This past Sunday, I attended the Heart of Texas Sisters in Crime chapter meeting. The speaker, David Heavener, talked about screenwriting and the film industry. Heavener is an award winning filmmaker and actor. He’s also an speaker and singer/songwriter. Although his focus was on screenwriting, it was easy to translate his comments to book writing.
He talked about the importance of having a goal, of knowing what you want to do and where you want to be in your career. With that “end” in mind, you establish smaller steps to get to that goal. This is true for writers. What is your ultimate goal? Write it down. Then find out what you have to do to reach that goal - write those steps down. You can divide that into many smaller goals, each with its own steps. Perhaps your overall goal is to become a best-selling author. What are the intervening goals? Write a book. What are the steps to get to that? Edit the book. Again, steps. Find an agent. Steps. And so on, all the way to your ultimate goal.
One thing I found especially interesting about Heavener’s talk was his prediction about the movie industry. He predicts that, basically, it’ll be gone as we know it in five years. Hollywood is already losing more money than it’s making. With the economy the way it is in California, there’s already talk of taking away the help the movie industry gets, such as not having to pay property taxes. He says movies are moving to Webisodes and perhaps much shorter movies supported by advertisers.
As I listened, it made me think of books. The book industry is changing - reluctantly - but changing nonetheless. Self-publishing is bigger than ever now that you don’t need a major house to sell your books on Amazon or B&N online or the myriad of other outlets. E-books are growing in popularity, especially among the younger generation, which, incidentally, is the same age group changing movies to Webisodes. Book promotion still takes place in brick and mortar bookstores, but not like in the past. Internet promotions are just as important, if not more prevalent, as actual tours. More and more people are buying their books online or downloading them to reading devices.
I find it hard to believe we’re nearing the end of print publishing or actual bookstores. But then, I’m old enough to have trouble imagining not going to the movies and sitting with my popcorn to watch a movie on the big screen. My kids are used to watching movies or Webisodes on their computer screen. What will your kids’ kids watch? What and how will they read?
(Speaking of speakers…After you leave us a pithy comment here about the end of publishing as we know it, drop by The Blood-Red Pencil. I’m doing a 4-day series on Public Speaking for Authors. Yesterday, we talked about Organizing Your Talk. Today, the topic is Practicing Your Talk.)
5 months ago