Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Daily Dahl 5/19/13

The Daily Dahl - Sunday Edition
19 May 2013

Hey all! Welcome to The Daily Dahl. This is a new meme I'm starting every Sunday. Sometimes its nice to know what's happening in the book community beyond what is already being published, read, and reviewed. Here is an opportunity to discuss the nature of literature and its many productions. I will mostly be getting my information from the news and journals, but of course I'll write about whatever inspires me that day. I'll try to include the most recent news for you all to engage with. 

Today's stories come from The Guardian. Let's see what Neil Gaiman thinks about the new frontiers of publishing:
Neil Gaiman Encourages Publishing Mistakes in the Face of the Unpredictable Digital Future

Found in The Guardian
Originally written by Alison Flood
Published April 16, 2013

My Summary and Thoughts: 
This article relays the uplifting message from author Neil Gaiman to the major figures of book business. His message was for publishers to make mistakes. He argues that the future of the book business shouldn't be pre-calculated, but rather experienced. The future of publishing, especially with the expanding digital frontier so full of opportunity, is too unpredictable to waste time planning for - just jump in. To quote Gaimain from The Guardian, "try everything. Make mistakes.Surprise ourselves. Try anything else. Fail. Fail better. And succeed in ways we never would have imagined a year or a week ago." 

It's certainly inspirational. His speech makes me want to spur into action the second I finish reading it. It's also very Romantic. Will publishing be able to rise out of failure, stronger and better? Can it even afford the level of risk that Gaiman is calling for? I was swept of my feet my Gaiman's speech, but a nagging concern still irks me. How much can the book business risk? I completely agree that so much can be learned from failure. And one can only get better at failing; that is, learning how to progress from failure only becomes easier. However, I think it is important to scope out the future of the industry, to create surveys and the like to assess what readers want in order to deliver that to them the best one can. Sure, one might not get it right the first time, and that's perfectly okay, but at the same time I do think its smart to create a foothold in the future as best one can. 

This article ended with a unique look into the publishing frontier, perhaps without even meaning to. Gaiman comments,"instead of applause...what I got was a tweet feed which went 'oh, they loved it." Readers are responding to what they read and hear, and publishers can listen by checking out the different forms of social media  - that is the foothold to the new frontier of publishing and digital publishing.

What do you think of Gaiman's speech? Do you agree that the figures of the book business ought to fail or is there another, better way to predict and feel one's way around this exciting frontier of publishing?

How do you feel about social media and the way readers respond to what they are reading? (Hey, think about it, that's exactly what I'm doing right now.) What can book businesses discover from online interactions and the digital push?

UPDATE (5/21/13):
My sincere apologies, but I forgot to include the citation with this post. This is quite an unfortunate mistake and I assure readers I won't do so again!
Here it is:

Flood, Alison. "Neil Gaiman urges publishers to 'make mistakes' in uncertain new era: author's speech to
        London Book Fair calls for an experimental approach to a changing 'digital frontier'." The Guardian:
        Books. Ed. Janine Gibson. The Guardian, 16 Apr. 2013. Flipboard. Web. 18 May 2013. 

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