We’re a month into my “novel slash social media experiment,” Sweet by Design. So far the project has exceeded my expectations. More people have logged on to read the novel’s chapters, submit covers and leave comments than bought and/or read my other two books combined: Some 10,000 people in 25 days, several hundred following the story, with more new ones every day. And while that number won’t get me on any best-seller lists, for me it’s a dream come true.

Thank you.

You should know I’ve not made money on any of my books. Financially speaking they have all been disasters. Ask my accountant! But I don’t care. I’m not in it for that. As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m in it primarily for the audience. This, more than cash, more than anything, is what motivates me to write. I don’t believe much in diaries. I want readers. If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it…

The other thrilling aspect about ‘publishing’ my book via blog is how successful the social media component has been. Not only have I been able to add pictures and links but I can also adjust the story as I go –correcting errors, changing details, adding lines. None of that would have possible had I gone right to paper. Neither could I have done any of it without you. Just as I have become a publisher, you have become editors. This is the frontier for new authors, maybe all authors; I’m convinced of it.

Sweet by Design has 48 chapters, which means we are about a quarter the way through. By early to mid fall it will be completely published. At that point a cover design will be chosen, with my barely used, top-of-the-line Ipad going to the winner. As of this moment there are thirty covers posted. That means the odds are only 30 to 1 to win it all. Pretty good odds.

I’ve included 11 randomly chosen covers, above and below. It’s a lovely display. Done right crowd sourcing really does work. Moreover, it’s fair and it’s fun. As of now, I see no downside.

I hope by reading this and seeing the work that your compadres have done more of you will be motivated to participate. For those keeping up with the novel, chapter 11 arrives shortly.

Again, thank you.

Screens, screens, everywhere a screen…

What’s the end game to all this?

By “this” I mean integration, convergence and social media. By this I mean the explosion of Twitter, Facebook and You Tube and the implosion of newspapers, magazines, and books. We now have Iphones, Imacs, Ipods and Ipad and I can’t count all the rest. So where’s it all going? What’s the end game?

I’ll give you a hint. In India something called Bubbly is creating a stir. In case you haven’t heard –heard being the operative word- Bubbly is just like Twitter, only users speak words instead of tapping them out. Users listen to words versus reading them. A half million trendsetters in India are using Bubbly today. What about tomorrow…and the next day? I ask again: What’s the end game? Where’s this going?

Need another hint? Fine. This one comes in two parts. 1) The advent of screens. Flat screens. Kindle. Nintendo. Smart phones. Wii. Our world is now revealed to us via screens. 2) The end of print. Newspapers, magazines and books (as we know them) are going extinct. Not if but when. And when may be a lot sooner than we thought.


This is the end game: we (meaning everyone in the world) will stop reading and writing and begin only talking and watching. I’m not here to bemoan it or criticize it or rail against it. I’m just saying it. Most everyone in the world will stop reading and writing. Most everything we do will be done via audio & visuals. Entertainment and communication are leading the way. Education and business are right behind them.

But screens are merely the gateway. With the advent of 3D and holographic technology, even they will go away. It will just be Us projecting to Us.

I’m a reader and a writer, and have been all my life, so don’t assume I’m down with this. But I am getting used to it. We all are. Things like Kindle, Iphone and Bubbly break us in. Books become antiques, heirlooms and decorations. Like the rotary phone, we almost forget they ever existed. This isn’t good news or bad news. It just is.

I understand some of us will never embrace the talking and watching world. Maybe you belong to this group. So what? Like me, you’ll be dead in 50 years. They’ll play a video at your funeral.

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