Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sean Cranberry - Canadian Authors Association

Margot Bates,  “PS Don’t Tell Your Mother”, president of the CAA -West Coast Branch introduced Sean Cranberry, our speaker for the monthly CAA evening at the Howe Street Alliance for the Arts.
Sean Cranberry of Books on Radio fame is already a legend in the British Columbia Writing world. Hearing his list of accomplishments I was surprised to see this handsome young "jock" looking guy.  
I don’t know why I was expecting a horn rimmed older guy, he is a guru of the internet. It's a young man's game.
His topic was ‘Your Creative Platform’.  He described the web as a digital palimsest which had the wordsmiths swooning.   I’m still not sure what it means but I wrote it down as highly quotable.
He described a large number of places where you could make your presence felt on internet.  Then he added:  “you don’t have to be everywhere”.
“I use twitter, Facebook, wordpress (you can use another blogging tool), linked in and good reads”
“But nothing replaces being present in the same room with those who like you and your work."  I liked his being real and appreciation for 'presence'.
To this end he recommended the local Surrey International Writers Conference , SIWC.  He described how conferences and writers meetings (such as  CAA) allowed writers to connect with other writers as well as agents and publishers.
He quoted Hugh McGuire as ahead of his time. He described Neil Gaimon as an example of ‘masterful use of social media’.
The distinction between internet and books is totally totally arbitrary and will disappear in 5 years.
“The purpose of social media, is to help your agent, publisher, bookseller and fans  by sharing- to find and share examples of your work….the true currency of your work is when it is shared."
He discussed piracy at length describing how songs and books are now ‘leaked’ because in fact the books that are most ‘pirated’ are the ones that sell the most. The greatest piracy was found in the poorest nations.   ‘Free collaborative distribution’ was indeed the future.
“The internet is a copy machine"
“The internet is a distribution network"
“Participation = influence”.
 He was an animated articulate speaker thoroughly knowledgeable in his subject. He fielded questions from the audience about publishing, his development of Books on Radio, how he  modifies websites and how he balances his writing with his life as a writer.
DIY Publishing - press books - was one of many sites and services he recommended.  This was a way for individuals to develop and distribute their work as ebooks.  He described ‘smash words’,   ‘sound cloud’, vimeo:   'a fancier youtube’.
"Youtube", he said,   "was the second most common place people looked for information after google."   He encouraged using a ‘listening post’ like Google Alert to search your name or book title receiving alerts delivered "right to you".
He was a wealth of information. Before anyone knew it, a couple of hours had passed. People were swarming him after to ask more questions. I was one of them.
“He was really good,” said Poet Jean Kay when I was leaving, after asking Bernice Lever to edit my next book.
“He really was, " I said.  "He really is."  

1 comment:

Jean Kay said...

Thanks Bill, good summary of a very informative and well attended CAA meeting.