Updated with Bob Mayer’s comments, below.
I spent all day Saturday at a conference for editors, an event attended by 150-some word geeks, about 90 percent of whom were female. Why is the editing profession so skewed? Perhaps all the male editors are fully employed staff members someplace and don’t feel the need to attend conferences, while the female editors are home (or coffee shop) based freelancers who go to conferences to talk to real live people who don’t think it’s weird to care about the difference between there, their, and they’re.
The most interesting segment of the conference was a panel discussion of e-books. (Editorial note: I had to check the spelling of that word, which I wanted to write as ebooks. MW 11 wants a hyphen, which is better than insisting on capitalizing, but I’ll bet that hyphen will be gone in the next edition.) Anyway, one of the panelists, an author of he-man novels named Bob Mayer, has breathed new life into his pocketbook by republishing his old books in e-book form. Technology win! He caught my attention with his marketing strategies.
Bob said he not only maintains a blog but visits and comments on any blog that mentions him. Google alerts will tell you if your name pops up on the web (MW 11 wants that word capitalized, Web, but I just…can’t), and you can go see what people are saying about you. So I’m testing Bob Mayer’s dedication to this principle.
Will he visit? Will he create an account so he can comment? Come on, Bob, we want to meet you!
You guys wouldn’t try to trick me by claiming to be Bob Mayer, would you? I’ll know if the real Bob Mayer is commenting because he will mention the name of the moderator of the panel he was on. The rest of you can just say, “Hi, Bob!”
Did you know that Kindle books now outsell print books on Amazon? That’s damned impressive, especially considering the downsides of Kindle (and presumably other book readers). It’s okay for novels if they’re not too complex or subtle. If you are reading on a Kindle and you want to go back to that part of the book where we first meet Augustus and his terrible secret is not revealed but foreshadowed, you will soon wish you had a paper book in your hands. On the Kindle you will have no idea where in the book we met Augustus and even if you did, it would still be tiresome to look for it. Non-fiction in e-form is even worse, since you will definitely want to flip back and reread something and not be able to find it.
Nevertheless, e-books are only growing in popularity, potentially opening up new avenues for acquiring editorial work. I think I should write one, too. How-to books sell well. What would y’all like to learn for, say, $4.99 per download?