Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Embracing Technology – Coping Mechanisms for the Non-Techie

Fact: The publishing industry has charged into the technology arena—full speed ahead.

Fact: If writers don’t jump on that technology bandwagon, they may end up eating its dust.

Fact: Not all writers are tech-savvy, and some still reside in the medieval world of manual typewriters.

Fact: Some of us believe that “Twitter” is short for “twitterpated” (think Bambi), only birds “tweet,” Facebook must have something to do with a book cover, “Fan Pages” are just for movie stars, “WordPress” is a new publishing house, and “Pinterest” is a misspelled word.

In other words, the world of technology is overwhelming with a capital “O.” Since eating the dust of that technology bandwagon doesn’t help us market our books, we need to be creative in our thinking.

Option 1: We can forge ahead, plunging into all the above with great zeal and educating ourselves to get up to speed on the latest and the greatest.

Option 2: We can take a course—or a number of courses—at a local college to catch up on all that’s new in publishing’s technical arena.

Option 3: We can join an organization, such as Author U in Aurora, Colorado, (no doubt other such publishing groups exist across the nation) and learn from techie members who hold mini classes on all of the above.

Option 4: We can network with pros-in-the-know, the ones who seem to have been born with computer chips in their brains and who soak up this stuff like big sponges.

Option 5: We can create a team of “specialists” who each bring a different component to the table. Whatever our expertise may be, it will likely offer value of its own to others in the group.

Option 6: We can hire someone to handle the tech stuff.

Whatever option we choose, we need to move ahead with the industry if we don’t want to get left in that dust. Are you a techie? If not, how do you keep up with the ongoing changes in the publishing world?


Linda Lane and her team of editors promote excellence in writing through their mentoring programs. Learn more about these at

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  1. Networking with people is vital to an author's success. There is no way I could have self pubbed two books on my own. And networking can keep you up to date on all the latest and greatest in the industry so one does not get left in the dust.

  2. The digital world and its importance is driven home (again) with the Colorado Springs fires. At midnight last night I was monitoring the #waldocanyonfire hashtag on Twitter and retweeting official and important information, while monitoring the fire fighter radio scanner on my computer! I was getting fire reports on-location. This is where the real power of digital lies, and why it can help us in many ways... and help change the world. Just to put a different perspective on it. Linda, I hope you and yours are safe.

  3. I sorta 'get' the technology ... my issue is that I don't know what to do with it ... I got nothin' to say, man.

  4. I have 2 evacuees (family) staying in my small home and 4 more eating meals here. (I live south of the Springs.) We are safe, but not totally untraumatized. I started up Ute Pass shortly after the fire began on Saturday, but I chickened out and turned around (with the help of a kindly sheriff who stopped the Springs-bound, bumper-to-bumper traffic to let me head back to safer turf.

    On that different note…the technology that firefighters are using to determine the precise extent of the fire, its growth, and the hottest spots is mindboggling. Yes, technology is an invaluable tool in many arenas.

  5. Glad to see you are both safe, Dani and Linda. It is scary to be so close to the fires.

    Regarding the blog, you are so right about the importance of staying up to speed with technology. For me, the last option, hiring someone, is looking better and better. I have been in a technology snarl for three days and I am really frustrated. I don't do tech well to begin with, but when machines start throwing me curve balls, I have little patience. I just want to put words on paper... Sigh....

  6. I've been glued to the television and the KKTV's Facebook page as well as text/email messages from on county alerts. I tried the #waldocanyonfire feed, but it moved too fast for me to keep up! Facebook has been working well for me. So far, we're not in a danger zone, but as we saw with the shift in winds, things can happen fast, so being connected is a great use of technology.

    (And I hope nobody minds; I'm donating 5% of all royalties from DANGER IN DEER RIDGE between now and July 1 to the Red Cross. It's on my FB page)

    Terry's Place

  7. Glad you're both safe, Dani and Linda.

  8. I'm not a techie, but also not a rookie, when it comes to technology. I'm always willing to learn more, unless there are so many steps I can't keep up with them.

    Morgan Mandel

  9. Terry, how nice of you. It's great when people can use their success to make a difference in the world.

    I am not so much a techie as a writer determined to keep my head visible above water and on twitter and Skype and anywhere else it needs to show up.

    I used to have a desktop publishing business but like you, Maryann, I got to frustrated when one stupid hiccup would consume days of unpaid time. That's when I changed to editing, so I could concentrate on the words, not the technology!


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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