Innovation or Just More of the Same?

swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
edited February 14 in General Discussions
There are lots of different things writers can do to advance their careers as writers though obviously the most important thing is to write and do that well. Other things are often less within their control, such as finding and securing agents or getting a publisher for one's work. Those of us here are most likely here because we want to write or do write but haven't had the luck to make the traditional connections. So we have chosen another path, to do it ourselves. But doing it ourselves needn't hem us in entirely. Some do-it-yourself writer/publishers have parlayed this platform to a more traditional one and others have had some success using the self-pub platform. To get the latter though we often need to do more than just write and self-publish. And it helps to have a supportive POD services provider.

Years ago I embarked on this path and had a modicum of success. Recently I have become interested in having another go (for several reasons). So I thought the time may have come to revisit old efforts.  After finishing the writing of my first book in 1996 and spending two fruitless years searching for an agent or publisher I decided to self-publish, using a company named Xlibris. They didn't do a great job but it was okay and they turned out to be pretty helpful. Although they have now been taken over by a larger entity and are no longer a small start-up and I have long since shifted to Lulu (because Lulu is a do-it-yourself operation and I have learned how to do that), Xlibris back then was very responsive to me as an author. When I undertook to do two back to back literary arts festivals (because I was into the author thing by then although my book was no longer new on the scene and I was no longer actively promoting it), the CEO of Xlibris and I were in touch and he even came out to our event to join a panel to discuss self-publishing with another POD rep (from his competitor iUniverse), the owner of a small bookstore interested in highlighting off-the-beaten-path books and a literary agent. We had other panels, too, (historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy, memoirs) but that was one of the more interesting ones.

This morning I got to wondering whether or not there was still a record of what we did anywhere on the Internet. It turns out there is:

https://www.prlog.org/10016045-xlibris-participates-in-the-rockaway-music-and-arts-council-inaugural-literary-arts-festival.html

Also this, on the website of one of the authors who participated to speak about her newest book at the time (and make copies available for sale in our event book shop:

http://ellenmeister.blogspot.com/2007/04/rockway-literary-arts-festival.html

And these:

https://www.rockawave.com/articles/rmac-to-host-literary-arts-and-film-festival/

https://www.nysun.com/new-york/sand-surf-books-rockaways-hosts-literary-festival/52529/

In a world in which digital reality is becoming ever more the standard, it's nice to see that some stuff persists. I was actually surprised that there is still evidence of those two events. Maybe they can inspire some of us to do similar things now.

Comments

  • A fascinating story! Thanks for sharing it!
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  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    In a world in which digital reality is becoming ever more the standard, it's nice to see that some stuff persists. I was actually surprised that there is still evidence of those two events. Maybe they can inspire some of us to do similar things now.

    It usually persists to infinity, to the point that people are trying to get laws passed to make it possible to have the right to have it deleted.
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited February 15
    Kevin wrote:
    It usually persists to infinity, to the point that people are trying to get laws passed to make it possible to have the right to have it deleted.

    That's an entirely different issue, one concerning personal data, not the survival of records of events or news items. 

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    That's an entirely different issue, one concerning personal data, not the survival of records of events or news items

    No it's not, because 'news' etc., often involving people, and even just local news, also remains on line for ever, and some may not be good and/or no longer be relevant. 
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    It can be particularly damaging, to those with the same name, for example.
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    I suppose that's true. I was thinking, though, of the ephemeral nature of the Internet, how information stored on it depends for its retention on a technological infrastructure that is out of our control and given to instability, i.e., servers which carry some of the stuff go offline sometimes for good, accounts close down. I was pleasantly surprised to discover there was still a small record of the 2007 and 2008 Rockaway Literary Arts Festivals which I worked so hard on at the time. I suppose, though, that over time even that record will fade but for now it was nice to see some of the information about what we had done remained available to an online search.

    I haven't checked for the VikingSail2000 event recently but I expect it will be harder to find, given it was in 2000 (19 years ago). But who knows, it might still have left a trace of something on the Internet, too.

    But I do understand your concern about lingering data online which records the unsavory activities of someone bearing a name you share and thus casting a pall on your own personal reputation. Perhaps there is some way to get the matter clarified with whoever carries the data for Internet access? Have you looked into it?

    I have someone on the Internet who bears my name, too, which is rather unsettling though he doesn't seem to have caused me any trouble in terms of reputation. I think he is a little younger than I am and in another part of the U.S. though, like me, he seems to have hailed from NYC. Fortunately we have different middle names which is why I tend to use my middle initial online! It helps a bit in the differentiation.      
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited February 19
    Okay, I found this small mention of our event (probably the New York Times' response to a press release I sent out at the time):

    https://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/03/nyregion/playing-in-the-neighborhood-953415.html

    There are other mentions but they are for the larger event since VikingSail2000 was an international affair centered on L'anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada (where the remains of a small Norse settlement were uncovered by the Norwegian archeological team Helge and Inga Ingstad in the early 1960s). The event brought a bunch of Norse replica ships across the ocean from Iceland and Scandinavia proper to L'anse aux Meadows and then a few of those ships sailed down the coast of North America to Philadelphia, the home of the Viking ship replica, The Norseman, and its reenactor team of sailors. Along the way they did a stopover in New York City Harbor for three days and, because I had reached out to them in the course of publicizing my then new historical novel about vikings and Indians in the New World circa 1050 AD, the organizers in Philly asked if I would consider coordinating the NYC part of their event since they were having trouble finding someone here to do it.

    Although I was working full time then I agreed. It was pretty labor intensive but we pulled it off. As part of the arrangement I included a stopover in my community which is on a small peninsula in the southern part of NYC. That turned out to be the best part of the event, I think, because the locals here are very much boat oriented, many owning boats of their own and given to sailing and fishing in the bay our peninsula helps create. We put the reenactor sailors up overnight and feted them with local dinners and a big breakfast the following morning to give them a send-off. They then sailed to Owlshead Park in Brooklyn which has a large Norwegian community and they held a festival for the sailors of the three vessels that were making the trip down to Philly. I was glad I got involved even if I only sold 12 books at those events!

    Here's another online record of the NYC part of the event I dug up via the Internet:

    https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=VEST20000915.2.31&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1

    And here's something I found from up in L'anse aux Meadows which was the core of that event:

     https://foreningenviksbaten.wordpress.com/viking-sail-2000/

    So the Internet does still preserve a lot of what we have done, even if, as Kevin notes, it can also have a serious downside.         
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  • __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    I suppose that's true. I was thinking, though, of the ephemeral nature of the Internet, how information stored on it depends for its retention on a technological infrastructure that is out of our control and given to instability, i.e., servers which carry some of the stuff go offline sometimes for good,

    They do? The stuff on them cannot be very important then. But the internet was set up in case of that. In case of the USA being nuked in fact. Information was not kept in one place in other words. Servers are not in fact that unreliable. This is just one of Facebook's server installations. Data is valuable. See the source image

     accounts close down.


    Data is not always kept in one place. The WWW sees to that. Nowadays it's often in the Cloud.

     I was pleasantly surprised to discover there was still a small record of the 2007 and 2008 Rockaway Literary Arts Festivals which I worked so hard on at the time. I suppose, though, that over time even that record will fade but for now it was nice to see some of the information about what we had done remained available to an online search.

    There you go then. One way or another, everything eventually becomes digitised  https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/

    I haven't checked for the VikingSail2000 event recently but I expect it will be harder to find, given it was in 2000 (19 years ago). But who knows, it might still have left a trace of something on the Internet, too.

    The stuff at the link above goes back 300 years, if something is put in print anywhere it often eventually ends up digitised.

    But I do understand your concern about lingering data online which records the unsavory activities of someone bearing a name you share and thus casting a pall on your own personal reputation. Perhaps there is some way to get the matter clarified with whoever carries the data for Internet access? Have you looked into it?

    Me? Indeed, but there's no law as yet to force them to remove such items, and if the data is in some other country the laws of another country are irrelevant.

    I have someone on the Internet who bears my name, too, which is rather unsettling though he doesn't seem to have caused me any trouble in terms of reputation. I think he is a little younger than I am and in another part of the U.S. though, like me, he seems to have hailed from NYC. Fortunately we have different middle names which is why I tend to use my middle initial online! It helps a bit in the differentiation.

    Indeed.       
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    That bookshop is cool Ron, but they were predicted to appear in every book shop, but it never happened.
  • True enough, but that’s not really the important message of the article. First is this: “The iconic Shakespeare & Co. shuttered its doors at its first location at 81st and Broadway in 1996 — and opened back up on the Upper West Side this fall,” which speaks to the resurgence of the independent bookstore. (Shakespeare & Co. was a big deal at one time. I'd been there and it was an incredible bookstore, one of the best in New York. Its closing was treated as a tragedy by the city.) It also speaks to the embracing of technology by independent bookstores. (The Espresso machine may have just been ahead of its time.)
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  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    A shame it does not happen in the UK.
  • Indeed! ☹️
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