Reminder: Orlando FWA Meeting – Wed., Sept 7 at 6:30pm – Speaker: Larry Leech

We’re back. The next Orlando FWA meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 7th at 6:30 pm at the newly renovated University Club in Winter Park. The speaker will be Larry Leech and his topic is “Tips from a Writing Coach.” See the original post below for more information about this talk.

The Future of Publishing – Rik Feeney

 How can anyone possibly predict the future of publishing? It seems we live in a world where technology changes day by day and just trying to keep up means you are at least a year behind. I remember as a kid reading the Dick Tracy cartoons and thinking how awesome it would be to have a wrist radio. Guess what? Samsung now has a wrist phone that it is marketing on TV.

I thought holograms were the coolest thing when I saw an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Commander Riker met Lt. Commander Data on a holo-deck made to look like a beautiful park in summer. With the command, “End program,” the holo-deck reverted to its real shape of a relatively small room with gridlines painted on the walls and floors. Now many devices, including wristwatches, are being outfitted with holo-emitters to project holograms of people. What happens if someone calls when I am in the shower?

In Japan, some concerts are being held where holo-emitters are being set up on stage and an artist computer-created or live, possibly halfway around the world in another studio performs for the audience and they see a solid three-dimensional representation. If only Milly-Vanilli (sic) had this technology when they were superstars. (see

But, what does this have to with us as authors and publishers in the here and now?

The here and now includes tablets and e-readers that have the ability to link to websites, videos, and audio. Some children’s books can now add animation. Cell phones around the world are literally becoming smaller versions of tablet computers and a steadily increasing number of people are reading books on their phones. Do I have to learn every new technology that comes out to be an effective author or publisher?

I hope not. I started writing because I liked capturing thoughts and ideas on paper, oops…, I mean the screen, and sharing them with other people. And, no matter how you slice it, the basic component of any TV show, movie, hologram, podcast, audio, or ebook is the written word. Without the written word there would be no programming, stories, or entertainment.

Being a true rebel without a cause, but with deeply held convictions (for which I was acquitted) I believe you should focus on what you do best, which is creating entertainment through writing fiction or education through writing nonfiction, and then follow the motto, “Do your best, then outsource the rest.” Let someone else worry about formatting for technology while you create the stories that either put us to sleep or keep us up all night.

A few years ago, I had the privilege of attending the Independent Book Publishers Association University in Chicago. While at the conference, I had the chance to rub elbows with a bunch of bigwigs in the industry (not near as much fun as holding hands and just wearing a hat), where I got the distinct impression that independent and self-publishers are setting the stage for the coming developments in the publishing industry whether the Big Dog Publishers like it or not.

The keynote speaker at the event was Guy Kawasaki, author of the book, Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur. Kawasaki talked about an intriguing idea called “Artisanal Publishing.” The concept being that artisans of all types from sculptors, to artists, to bread makers make and design without reference to much in the way of outside influence. An artisan is free to create as he/she sees fit.

This, I believe, is the real future of publishing. Artisan authors and publishers creating new and different books in a style and format that reflects their artistry, tastes, and style. More and more artisan authors will discover new and unique ways to express themselves much to the dismay of traditional publishers who likely will be too slow to make the necessary changes to survive.

While some rebellion in the use of the English language will result in this new paradigm, the author that understands the basics of grammar, the knowledge needed to publish, and the keys to effective marketing will succeed. Organizations like IBPA and other writer/publisher/marketer oriented groups will be needed more than ever to guide new authors and publishers on the path to success. Once the new author is firmly established he/she can break the rules effectively to broadcast their uniqueness to the world.

The future of publishing is you. Go out and write your bestseller.

© 2016 Rik Feeney. All rights reserved. / /

The article “The Future of Publishing” by Rik Feeney may be reprinted if the document is used in its complete form, without editing or annotations, and complete copyright information is included as the end-piece of the document.


September 5, 2016. Announcements.

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