My adult children (Gen Y & Gen Z) are completely at ease in this digital age. They are not unique, as most young adults of their age group have had many years to master and excel in all forms of digital and computer technology. From the simple digital camera to writing complex code for computer programs they seem to thrive. And of course there is an app for everything nowadays. They forget that there was a time where none of these forms of technology were around. As older generations reminisce on ‘the good old days’ others, a little younger (Baby Boomers) get caught in between, and with vacant looks we try to learn, struggling along as best we can. I suppose I belong to this group! Yes I really do belong to this group!! I see the advantages of the technology but it is a real challenge to utilise it to its fullest potential as I usually have no clue where to start. Alas, I also see the disadvantages of information technology including social media.
Now, I am no ‘dummy’ as I have gained many awards from my time at multiple universities and it is with no doubt that while the, computer Word program was helpful for second drafts with the cutting and pasting features, I couldn’t successfully submit my assignments without writing a hard copy on paper first. It was from this awareness that I needed to start with my digital marketing and a steep learning curve hovered in front of me. Prior to becoming an author I had never used Face book and thought my life was quite complete without the use of social media. I didn’t even have a smart phone so I was very naive as to the benefits these phones provided. I suppose the saying “You can’t know what you don’t know. You can’t know about things you have yet to discover.” by Jonathan Raymond rings true for me (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/jonathan_raymond_616169)
After attending a Business course for Start-up Businesses I soon learnt that a website was essential and I could not survive without this form of exposure that the digital media could offer. Or could I? While having a lesson on the ‘ins and outs’ of how to do social media with my Gen Z child, I wondered how the authors of the past managed their marketing, distribution and sales. And I suppose the difference is likely to be the publishing aspect. An author would have had to prove they were outstanding with a social contribution to society to be signed up to a publishing house. Perhaps, firstly as a journalist writing small stories for local papers. Recently I happened upon the movie Miss Potter (2006) a delightful exposé of her life into the book world of the time and how she arrived to her high status to become a famous children’s book author. So I asked myself as many other authors do that are rejected by multiple publishers, have I done my due diligence? Am I making a social contribution with my book series for children? And I rest easy, knowing as self publisher I am bearing the costs to produce the books, learning a heap of new skills and getting it out there even while barely keeping afloat. Most publishers have a self publishing ‘arm’ of the business and are not interested in a manuscript unless they know it will sell. So sadly authors are forced to go this way as they risk their money first, to prove they can achieve sales. But perhaps the winners are the public who have a chance to experience your book and the many joys it may bring.