Saturday, October 29, 2011

Some random thoughts from the Singapore Writer's Festival.

This year has ended fairly productively on the writing front.

a) I published 3 e-books, one is an RPG, one is a book on Finance and one final book on Philosophy.
b) Took part in the Golden Point Award, submitted a short story. Too bad I took my writing lessons with Felix Cheong after my submission because I would have stood a fighting chance if I armed myself with some basics on storytelling.
c) Just today, I was given a chance to speak to writers in a 30 minute event. Never really wanted to be a passive player in the world of writing anyway.

Here are some insights I've gotten from the Festival :

a) Publishers here have no idea that they are in serious trouble.

There is this pervasive atmosphere that publishers are overselling themselves and outmoded publishing models to the general public but I think we writers know better than to keep on working so hard for so little. Modern modes of distribution can now provide up 70% margins for the content creator and this restores the balance of power in publications.

I think it's high time that publishers take a long cold look at themselves and ask themselves what they've become. It's almost like a refuge for Luddites who want a career to doing anything technological. Well, time's up ! The future belongs to publishers who can take a written work and create interactive experiences around it. This requires a team of competent IT and engineering professionals. More jobs for techies ! In writing !

b) Writers can be a self-absorbed bunch.

Writers can be a narcissistic lot. A writer was resistant to the idea of using literary devices so that the book can penetrate the student market. Other writers express concern that their work will change too much because of editing.

Personally I don't have a problem pandering to the market. I wished I got that right sometimes. More importantly, it's challenging enough for someone to read your work, I'd be kissing the feet of whoever offers to edit my work for free.

Anyway, I have more insights to share at a later time.

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