Monday, July 9, 2012

"Writing in the E-Age," Writer's Manual, and Hunter Parrish on iTunes...


I posted about Catherine Ryan Hyde's and Anne R. Allen's new writer's manual titled, "How To Be a Writer in the E-Age," last week and wanted to follow up today with a short post. I bought the book over the weekend and I'm halfway through it.

So far, not one complaint. I have to admit that although I haven't learned anything new, what I have read in the book validates a lot of the things I've been doing for the past seven years in e-publishing. In other words, I wish there had been a book like this around seven years ago to help me figure things out instead of learning them all the hard way.

And what I'm liking most about the book is that it covers all angles and even mentioned a lot of the literary agent blogs I've been following for years now. It's not against "trad" publishing; it's not pushing self-publishing either.

One of my blog readers left a comment the other day mentioning that he's not comfortable with self-publishing yet. I know a lot of people who feel that way and they have good reason, too. But books like "How To Be a Writer in the E-Age," help validate self-publishing and they show that self-publishing is no longer regarded in the same way it was ten years ago. It's not vanity publishing anymore either. It's not something people do when they get rejected and can't get published. I have over 94 published works listed on Goodreads with publishers and I decided to self-publish this past year. A lot of authors who have previously worked with publishers are doing it and they all have their own individual reasons. And those reasons have nothing to do with being against traditional publishing.

I will post a final review of this book when I'm finished reading it. But right now, even though I'm only halfway through, I would recommend it to anyone who is just starting out as a writer and needs good solid advice. There's also some kind of a deal that when you buy the book you can sign up for electronic updates every six months, which I'll also post more about in the review. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this done before (but don't quote me). I'm assuming that as publishing changes and evolves, new updates will cover more information as it crops up, so to speak.

Now, the reason why I'm posting about Hunter Parrish's new music on iTunes has to do with the way we are now buying and listening to music. It is a lot like the way we are reading and buying digital books. Hunter Parrish is best known for his part on the TV show, "Weeds," as Silas Botwin. I recently read where he's released his own music on iTunes and it looks as if he's self-publishing them on his own. I could be wrong about this, so don't quote me here either. I couldn't find any information stating it as a fact. But my point is that if Parrish is self-publishing his own music in iTunes, he's not the only one who is doing it. I've posted before about many talented artists who are doing this now. And in many ways it's reflecting the same thing we're now seeing in digital book publishing.

I remember an old friend who wanted to break into the music business. In those days, the best way to do it was to find a DJ (or talent agent) who would be willing to play your demo tape. It was virtually impossible to get a good DJ (or talent agent) to do this, and very few people were able to break into the music industry. Well it was the same way with book publishing until recently. Only instead of getting a DJ (or talent agent) to listen to you, you had to get a literary agent (or editor) to read your work. Again, virtually impossible to do.

The music angle is explained well on this web site:

Just as technological innovations have changed the way that customers buy music, technology also has changed how artists distribute music to their fans. In 2010, one-third of all music sales consisted of digital tracks, with the remaining two-thirds made up of CDs and other physical media [source: Jones]. This enormous digital market has removed one of the largest barriers for musicians trying to enter the market -- money. Artists who once needed the support of a major label to release an album can now self-release music online, or even produce CDs at very little cost.

And here's more about Hunter Parrish and his newly released music:

Hunter Parrish may be best known for playing the enterprising and hunky offspring of pot-dealing mom Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) on Showtime’s hit series Weeds, but as it turns out, the actor also moonlights as a singer, releasing his first EP Guessing Games on iTunes today.

7 comments:

T.D. McFrost said...

I love weed. I mean, Weeds...the TV show. I totally meant Weeds.

I didn't know he can sing. It's good that's he's expanding his brand like that.

ryan field said...

I thought so, too. "Weeds" is probably the fastest half hour on TV right now. And it's hard to watch anything else afterward.

A.B.Gayle said...

Quite a lot of actors also sing. When Tim Robbins came out to Australia recently, he performed at the well known nightspot, The Basement, as Tim Robbins & The Rogues Gallery Band that included one of his brothers.
He released (self-pubbed) a CD of songs he'd written over the past 25 years. His father was a member of The Highwaymen, so he wasn't a complete novice.
So, the parallels to writing continue. Celebrity always sells. Check out your bookstore next time you're there. How many books are written by or ghost written by celebrities. Not necessarily the avenue they're famous for.
The problem with self-pubbing whether music or books is getting known. Having some sort of profile first is mandatory. People like Josh Lanyon, Jordan Castillo Price and others can afford to do it because their fans will follow them.
Even E.L.James had her own fanclub or at least the Twilight fanclub to follow her.
If I self-pubbed I'd get nowhere.

ryan field said...

Having a cute little backside like Hunter Parrish helps, too (smile). But he is also talented and "Weeds" did give him a great platform.

Never say never about self-publishing. I see names all the time that do fairly well and they didn't have platforms or cute little backsides :)

ryan field said...

Also...I don't think the goal for most writers is to achieve E.L. James fandom, I think it's to make a decent living and do what they love. That can be achieved nowadays.

T.D. McFrost said...

I'll take a decent living over fame anyday. I DO NOT like attention.

ryan field said...

Now that surprises me a little. I definitely see "star" quality in your work.