Twitter, and networking

You should never believe an author when he says his book is “finished.” There’s always something more to do. In my case, I’m now waiting for the second-round draft to come back from my publisher, incorporating all the corrections I made in the first round. Then I’ll have to review the galley, which is the typeset version. After that there’ll be the cover artwork to inspect, the final wrangling with the publisher about the subtitle (still to be determined), and odds and ends such as the jacket copy and the author bio.

And then there’s all the publicity work: revising my website, asking fellow authors to write blurbs, lining up press attention, and asking friends to spread the word via Facebook and Twitter.

Speaking of Twitter, I’m taking it seriously at last, and composing lovely gems of 140-character wisdom for perusal by my avid followers. You can follow me @MikeChorost.

I am also working on a proposal for my third book. The book landscape is changing every single day. It’s like trying to build a house during a hurricane. I dream of creating a “native ebook”, where the book is conceived from the start as existing online, with the print version being the poor cousin. I’m considering ideas such as inline audio and video, display of reader comments in the margins, and dynamic updates where if I revise a paragraph all the book’s readers automatically see the updated version. In my more fantasy-ridden moments I’ve imagined a feature that would let me see what paragraphs are being read at any given moment so that I can text-message readers at random to see if they want to discuss. Imagine yourself reading Hamlet and Will popping up on your screen to ask you, “So what do you think? Should he be, or not be?”

Just fantasies at this stage. But fun to think about. The actual topic is, at this moment, a deeply classified secret.

In other news, I’m working on getting better networked in my new hometown of Washington D.C. by going to events and lunching with people. My long hot summer of lunches.

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