This is the first part of the presentation given to the Swanwick Writers Summer School, 11th August,2009. It is based on The Three ‘Rs’: Authoring in the Digital Age.
…The Number 1 ‘R’ is about Relationships
What is the most import relationship you have today?
The agent, the editor, the production department, the marketing team, the PR department, the sales force, the warehouse, the wholesaler, the book chain, the independent, the bookclub, the supermarket, Amazon, Google, Apple, the library, the school, the teacher, the student the consumer.
I would suggest that the most important relationship yesterday was that or those closest to you, the agent, the editor and the development process. Readers always are important, but if the amount of effort expended related to the importance, the answer was clear.
Many of the relationships I listed were outsourced to others and mainly the publisher. It wasn’t the time that dictated this, but often it was the effort and inability to do it effectively.
What is the most important one to you tomorrow?
I would suggest that the digital world potentially turns much yesterday’s relationships on their head. Agents, editors and publishers will still be important but now you can connect with your readers in ways that were never possible yeaterday.
If we look at your Readers.
What do you know about them?
How do you get closer to them?
You may want to write and nothing more.Shun your readers and delegate the task to someone else, or neglect it altogether.
But remember what Ray Hammond said about it being your business. Some of the most successful media creators today have joined those digital dots that connect them to their audience. They may be musicians, writers, artists, cartoonists, TV media personalities, whatever. They have learnt how to use today’s digital tools; websites, blogs, twitter, podcasts, social network sites etc. They have learnt which works for them and they are making it happen.
How do you now connect to those readers you don’t know?
Last night Ben Crystal spoke about Shakespearian actors engaging with their audience in a theatre with the lights on. Digital now offers you the same opportunity, the same thrill, emotion and reward. Importantly the opportunity to switch on the lights and connect to your audience…
Agree the ability to engage a real time audience is a great factor in providing REAL entertainment-
This is what I provide and have actually pioneered with Live Online Virtual Entertainment. This show is highly successful. Doing Live Internet TV shows which reach people a the edge of their fingers is part & parcel of "lean Forward & Engage" which sure has Replaced "Sit back & Relax"
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