Saturday, October 29, 2005

the press of vanity

Once upon a time, books were written on parchment or paper, and with quill pen; quite often by candlelight. That must have taken a great deal of commitment, dedication and patience as each draft (and there would be many) had to be assessed, then re-written until the final product satisfied the author. Then, in collaboration with professional and experienced editors, publishers, graphic designers and printers some of the best, and longest lasting books ever written were produced, and was not for the fainthearted or 'casual' writer.

These days, with the advent of computers and 'desk top publishing' anybody with access to a keyboard can 'express their thoughts'. Where once the distribution was limited to the few, now, with the advent of 'Blogging', these thoughts and writings are accessable to the rest of the world. The range is from the exquisitely brilliant, the erudite, the deeply personal .. to the terrible and tawdry.

Apparently there are 19 million blogs available, increasing by five thousand per day. There are criticisms about the explosion of 'quantity' over 'quality', and the increasing commercial exploitation - but the fact remains that there is always a deep need to share experiences, thoughts, information; that cannot be denied.

Once upon a time, 'wannabe' authors - those with a deep need to see their 'family history', 'idle thoughts', 'second-rate poems', 'next blockbuster novel' in printed hardbound copy; most of which would never see the light of a commercial publisher's office - had then, to escape the flood of dispiriting 'rejection slips' that papered the walls, resort to the expensive, and frustrating experience of the "vanity press", ('self publishing') requiring largish print runs, often resulting in boxes of 'lovingly' written books mouldering in a back cupboard.

Whether we like it or not, "supply and demand" underscores almost every facet of our lives, and commercial publishers are hard wired into the "demand", as the "supply" is unlimited.

However, do not despair. Every so often 'available technology' spawns a brilliant idea. This one is a lulu.

Check it out. I haven't tried it, nor know anyone who has, so can't comment on the quality or efficiency ..

Perhaps, one of these days, when the world supply of oil dries up, when electricity will be only for the super rich or fortunate .. your great, great grandchildren will still be able to light a fire or candle; and read about you.


Peter said...

It is certainly easier to get our scribbles out there now, it does nothing for the quality of what we scribblr nor does it guarantee us an audience,
It is indisputable that there are more people writing than ever before, the benefit from this is that with writing, as with most things, practice while not making us perfect, does improve us.
Nuff said!!
Davo, can you tell me what portion of a photo URL is required to get the image onto your profile? I have tried, the lot, any part that looked like it might work, and all I have got is a message that the URL contained illegal material,

Davo said...

Yup, Peter. Even though it's US dollars, it's so cheap that am thinking of collecting some of my rubbish and trying it out. Have sent email with instructions for the photo bit.

GreenSmile said...

Well, lulu went on my "vendors" bookmark list promptly.

I saw "good night and good luck" at the movies yesterday. It made me think that having to wade through a ton of not-so-impartial reporting, as blogging subjects us to, is probably a small price compared to the threat that commercial or political pressure can apply in shaping the "news" as we hear it from the major, for-profit, networks and newspapers. For instance, it becomes unclear to me how much Fox News is an evil tool of a conservative businessman and how much it is simply pandering to an audiance to make itself rich. With blogging, I don't have to get to the bottom of that uncertainty because there are so many other sources.

Davo said...

Gs, I didn't mean to imply that the 'blog network' had no value. Quite the opposite. It really is only the 'mainstream journalists' who are miffed. Mainly because the 'blog' journalists are far more deeply researched, passionate, and articulate than the ones who are, by and large, 'muzzled' and partisan by the "Elliot Carvers" of this world.