ENTRIES TAGGED "WattPad"
Similarities between the HBO series and our industry are remarkable
There’s no question that the publishing industry is going through a lot of changes. It’s the last industry to go digital, and as a result going through the fastest disruption. Watching the Game of Thrones is like watching a war between traditional publishing houses, startups, tech giants, indie publishers, and other players in the industry.
Wattpad's Allen Lau on the changing publishing landscape and the influence of the social network.
The disruption in publishing is affecting every aspect of the industry, from the way stories are created to how they’re published to how they’re consumed. And much like many other areas of our lives, the writing and reading processes are becoming more social and more mobile, giving rise to community reader/writer platforms like Wattpad.
At the recent TOC conference in New York, I had the chance to sit down with Allen Lau, co-founder and CEO of Wattpad, to talk about the changing publishing landscape. In our video interview (embedded below), Lau attributes the shifts in the way content is created, discovered, and consumed to the Internet:
“I think the Internet has fundamentally changed the way people connect. In the last few years, the advancement of the social network — both from the social perspective and from the technology perspective — has advanced a lot, and that helps to bring the readers and the writers together. For the first time in human history, writers can reach out to millions of people in other parts of the world that they could never have reached.
“So, that creates a very interesting dynamic among the readers and writers because the scale is very different now. Someone who is sitting in the comfort of their own home can reach, potentially, millions of people. Those people can not only consume the content, but they can also participate in part of the content creation. In some cases on Wattpad, the readers would write Chapter 2 for the writer. People who have never met before may co-write a story together. That completely changes the dynamics, and the readers, in a way, are part of the content creation process, too.” (At the 1:57 mark.)
Lau also talks about mobile ereading, the role self-publishing will play, and he predicts the end of the term “traditional publisher.” You can view Lau’s full interview in the following video:
All keynotes and video interviews from TOC NY 2013 can be found on the TOC 2013 YouTube playlist.
A report from Author (R)evolution Day
If you’ve spent as much time reading author blogs as I have, you may have noticed a disturbing pattern. In nearly every “here’s how I did it” post in which the author explains her route to greater visibility and sales, there comes a point when something happens that the author did not plan for or expect, that puts her over the top.
I call this the Black Box Effect: the degree to which authors are still mostly in the dark about what makes their book marketing and platform-building efforts succeed. For authors to take full advantage of this incredible time in publishing we need to reduce that effect, which means we need better data, and better tools to help capture and measure the data that already exists. So I went to Author (R)evolution Day last week to see how far along we are in chipping away at the edges of that black box.
The last four steps for platform and authoring success
For the last couple of days (see part one here and part two here) I’ve been sharing what I consider the new paradigm for DIY book marketing–a kind of cart-before-the-horse strategy where you market yourself first, and then publish later.
Yesterday we looked at the planning behind this kind of marketing strategy. Today we’ll look at execution.
Laying the foundation for vision, branding, and social channels
In yesterday’s article I gave you a tantalizing introduction to what I consider the new paradigm for DIY book marketing–a kind of cart-before-the-horse strategy where you market yourself first, and then publish later.
Here’s what I think it could look like for any writer approaching the publishing process for the first time. (Warning, this a 1-2 year strategy…)
They all contribute to the personal experience of the shared space
Here’s something about the user experience of online communities that you’ve probably never considered: everyone in an online community is having a unique, individualized experience, even though they’re all doing it together. Think about that for a second. Your activity feed is not my activity feed, it has different places, people, and pages appearing in it. Some of the posts in your feed may also appear for me, depending on our collective preferences. But most of the time I’ll only see a small portion of the things you see, and then share those with my own subset of friends. It’s like riding the subway. It’s a personal experience in a shared space: a million small interactions that can be meaningful, or totally forgettable.
Ease of delivery plus time constraints add up to new opportunities
2012 may be remembered as the year that digital publishing brought serial fiction back to the reading public. Readers in the 19th and early 20th centuries often read fictional stories in installments in newspapers and magazines: books were simply too expensive for many people. But as affordable paperbacks flooded the market in the mid-1900s, serials lost popularity. Now, however, the ease of delivering installments to digital devices, combined with the limited time people have to devote to reading, is leading to a resurgence of interest in serial fiction.
Collaboration, uncertainty, & rewriting the rules of publishing
This is the second in a two-part essay that lays out the framework for our new conference for authors and creators.
TOC and Publishers Weekly wanted to create this conference because we had a growing awareness that the kinds of conversations and information we were dealing with at TOC—important conversations about the future of publishing—were not making it over the fence to the people who needed it most: the authors and creators.