This week sees two books I’ve had a hand in formally published – one which I’ve contributed a chapter to and one which I’ve written half of. In one respect both books show a troubled future for the book publishing industry – the earnings will be, at best, somewhat limited and so writing is not about the money.
For all the commercial outward appearances of the book industry with prices on products, money exchanged for goods and companies posting profit and loss statements, at its heart is a huge dependence on people’s willingness to write without sensible hope of a decent direct financial return on their time.
The motivations are numerous – the love of writing, the non-financial benefits of being a published author, the potential for spin-off earnings or the hope of hitting the jackpot and being one of the lucky few best sellers.
It is not only that books have a look, touch and smell that still enchants. They also have a status that still impresses.
If you know me, reading words from me is hardly a rare occurrence. Between blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and more, there are plenty of words to choose from, most days of the week, every week of the year. All available for free.
Something however about gathering words up in a book form, adding a cover and slapping on a price makes people say ‘well done’, ‘that’s impressive’ and ‘you must be pleased’. All comments I am grateful for – and which I reciprocate in others, for there is still something special about a book.
Something sufficiently special that the same sense of excitement and achievement exists amongst not only acquaintances but authors too for the book in which I have a chapter: Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals.
Yes – even amongst those deeply immersed in social media, there is still something special about the printed word, collated in a format that has been with us for centuries.
Long may it continue to be so.
You can buy both 101 Ways To Win An Election (written with Ed Maxfield) and Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals online, of course.