Are you scrambling to keep up?
Once upon a time, you could learn how to do something and then you knew it. You were an expert. You could wear your fine, fine hat with pride. Thirty years ago we used Letraset to put the wording into a piece of art work. We used a bromide machine to enlarge and reduce artwork, then printed it up in a dark room. We laid out a book by cutting and pasting, using a t-square to keep it straight on the page. Daryl and I started as graphic artists in this era.
Then along came the computer era. So we bought one (or two) computers and learnt how to use the word program and photoshop. It was that or be left behind.
When the first book of my first trilogy came out in 1999, Daryl set up a web page for me. My publishers were impressed. They were scrambling keep up. Then of course I had to update the web page, so I had to learn how to use Adobe GoLive, or get left behind.
In 2002, when the third book of my trilogy came out, Daryl created a book trailer for it. My publishers weren’t sure what to do with it. The concept of a book trailer was very new then.
I’ve updated my web page every few years, which usually meant a complete redesign of the look and more complex structure with the pages and sub pages. I’d surf the web, studying other authors’ web pages to see how they presented themselves.
Then along came blogs. I must admit I resisted blogging for ages. With 6 children, plus all the volunteer work I’ve done for arts organisations over the years, I really resent anything that takes time away from my writing. Also, I thought why would anyone be interested in what I have to say? Besides, I had a web page. So I was a luddite, where blogging was concerned.
But web pages are static. There’s not interaction with your readers. And I knew I was going to have to start all over again, and learn a new skill. Not enough hours in the day, not enough space left in my brain to start over … To paraphrase Winnie the Pooh, It was all too much for a bear of little brain.
Luckily, Dave Freer invited me to join the Mad Genius Club, writers’ division, where I only had to blog once a week. And I discovered blogging is not that hard. In fact, it’s fun. It’s addictive, even. Before I knew it, I had the MGC blog, the ROR blog (my writing group), plus a blog on Live Journal. And my friends had blogs on wordpress which allowed you to put pages behind the blog. Blogs had morphed into web pages.
When the covers arrived for my new fantasy series, I started this blog, with pages behind it. And that meant I could simplify my old web page. So I rolled up my arms, completely redesigned my web page (for the fifth time since 1999) and took it apart, then put it all back together again. Took me all week end. Here it is. A leaner cleaner web page, that acts as a back up to this site.
I still haven’t tweeted yet. I feel as if I add one more thing to my list of commitments I’ll be twittering for real.
So tell me, are you scrambling every couple of years to keep up with the way the web is changing?