Self-Publishing: How You Can Innovate

Self-publishing - a source of innovative thinking and how to benefit from it
A presentation about innovators in self-publishing

Times when writers were the last people on earth to embrace technology are over. Internet with all the advanced tools and solutions is a chance to be at the forefront. Pioneering can draw unexpectedly huge attention, also from the potential readers of your book.

There are two kinds of innovation: driven by money and driven by idea. Self-publishers don’t have money, so they invent new ways to use what’s available and free – technology.

I’ve described several examples in this presentation, now I’d like to focus on one of them. In my opinion it’s a brilliant case of how writers can innovate to involve readers in their writing. It’s Google Wave.

When the new service from Google opened for users with invitations, writers were one of the first groups to populate the new ecosystem. They were starting literary waves to write mostly short stories, with a help of other members of their waves. Great writers who started what I call “wave fiction” were Adrian Graham, Tonya R. Moore and Brent Millis.

If you remember what Google Wave was about, just imagine the excitement when you were able to see the author writing a story in front of your eyes – or rewriting it after seeing a comment from another participant of a wave. All in real time!

Now, imagine that such tools are taking off every day. What you need to do is to find a way to creatively use them.

You’ve probably heard of Instagram, extremely popular photo sharing tool for iPhone. If you are writing a travel book, why don’t you share photos of destinations you’ll cover? Sounds like a good teaser. Or you can be more creative and instead of pictures you can share text, sentences or short paragraphs. It’s easy to do, you can use a note taking app, make a screenshot and add a vintage filter to give a cool look.

One picture stories - example
Microstories created on an iPhone

Other photo sharing sites to consider are Plixi, Yfrog and Twitpic. You can always use modern blogging platforms like Posterous or Tumblr to upload creative content. There is absolutely no limit in what you do and how you do it. Check for example microfiction stories I create completely on an iPhone and share via Posterous to 10 other sites.

If you prefer to innovate with audio tools, try AudioBoo. It’ a social platform where you can share voice recordings taking up to 3 minutes. You can record the clips on the go as AudioBoo offers free applications for iPhone and Android.

A very interesting site was launched recently by Electric Literature. It’s Broadcastr – a social media platform for audio stories. The uniqueness of a service is that the stories are location-based. It opens a whole new array of opportunities to tell more engaging, real, authentic and tangible stories.

Analysts predict that 2011 will be the year of group messaging, which allows to send instant text messages to a private group of your friends. Why don’t you try Beluga, GroupMe or Fast Society and find out if you could build a group of ambassadors of your new book?

2 Replies to “Self-Publishing: How You Can Innovate”

  1. Piotr – these are terrific ideas and you’ve mentioned lots of new tools I need to check out. I do use audioboo and wanted to point out the recordings can be up to five minutes, long enough to comfortably fit around 750 words depending on how fast you talk :-)


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