Friday, January 22, 2010

Suspense Insider Blog

Publishing's New World Order
by Vincent Zandri

The book publishing industry has changed drastically in the eight years between my last commercially published novels, As Catch Can (Delacorte Press/Dell) Godchild (Bantam/Dell) and my newest indy press noir effort, Moonlight Falls (RJBuckely). The most obvious of which is the utter explosion of social media and the tremendous marketing opportunities available there.

Eight years ago I had a single AOL account where I’d receive email and, on occasion, peek at the news. The internet back then was more or less an extension of both the television and the telephone. But today, I have a website ( which can be updated instantly. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace. And this article is appearing for you not in newsprint but on your computer screen. See the hyperlinks? Just click onto them. A whole new universe opens up to you with each double-click.

Articles are no longer articles. They’re interactive, multi-media, multi-dimensional “blogs.” I have no idea where the term comes from, but I do know that the blog is a way to express participatory journalism in as real-time as possible. Eight years ago, I had to put my journalism on hold since writing articles and sending them out to pubs via snail mail along with an SASE, was exceedingly time consuming. I concentrated on writing fiction, the old fashioned way. When a manuscript was ready, I printed the hardcopy, packaged it up, pasted a bunch of stamps on it, and sent it out to my agent.

Back in those days, I had no other income source than my fiction. Today, not only do I make money from my fiction, I’m a professional blogger. As an experienced photojournalist, blogging is something I simply fell into. Check out a couple examples of my blogs here: Embedded In Africa, The Vincent Zandri Vox, and Dangerous Dispatches. You don’t need to do anything other than double-click on the link. It’s that easy. When I complete a new fiction manuscript, I simply add it to an email as an attachment and send it electronically to my agent, whom I’ve never met in the flesh. She will then read the book on her Kindle. Suggested revisions will be emailed back to me as an attachment with computer generated corrections. When the book in finally completed, she will query publishers by email. Welcome to the new world publishing order.

I now deal with CMS systems, podcasts, and video links. I submit photos as “gifs” or “jpegs.” Meetings with my editors and fellow freelance writers from around the globe are conducted via Skype or Webinars. If I’m not at my computer, I can utilize my Blackberry touch-screen as a fully capable mini-computer. In fact, I often send photographs directly from my phone to Facebook in preparation for a new food blog my girlfriend and I are thinking of starting.

For my first couple of books, I drove around to bookstores where I signed copies of the novels. I drove to new York City, flew to Philly and L.A. Come February I begin my first ever “Virtual Tour,” because after all, my new novel is gauged not necessarily by how well it’s doing in the independent bookstores, but what my Amazon rating is. The Virtual Book Tour of interviews, guest blogs, reviews, flash trailers, websites and more, will assure me success as a traditionally published author in a non-traditional online, cyberspace environment. Which leads me to the news I got just this morning. Moonlight Falls has just been released on Kindle. I’ve never even seen a Kindle in person.

But despite the publishing world wide web and the electronic revolution, you can’t replace a good old fashioned literary reading. You know, the kind where the writer makes the walk to the podium with all the visible anxiety of a man walking the plank. You can see the sweat beading on his forehead, see the fear in his eyes, hear the crack in his voice when he begins to read. Oh, hey wait just one moment. This is the new world publishing order we’re talking about here. See for yourself. This me reading from Moonlight Falls. Just double-click on the link: Youtube.

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