The Author’s New Writing Instructor: The Internet
Writers and prospective book authors are influenced by a
variety of actors and subject matters. Their writing is shaped by other authors
that they admire and by their teachers, from their English instructors from
grade school to their professors as an undergraduate. Styles and prose are
formed and shaped by a number of different means, but the Internet is taking a
prominent role in how authors manage word choice, their approach to writing,
and how they promote their new books.
Without a doubt, the Internet has shaped the current generation’s writing style. From emoticons as a form of expression to abbreviations used in email correspondence, the English language has adapted to the Internet, and in turn that version of the English language has affected writing from now and into the future. Catchy acronyms and abbreviations, however, are not the only way the Internet is shaping writing and influencing today’s authors. From online seminars to writing guides, the internet is becoming the go-to portal for authors in search of answers to questions on writing and publishing.
A simple Google search for “writing tips” will give you hundreds, if not
thousands, of websites that promote lists and how-to guides for writing and
publishing. Even if you have a quick grammar question, Grammar Girl most likely has an
answer for you. Even better, no longer does anyone have to carry around thick
style manuals when you can visit The Chicago Manual of
Style Online to find what you need. There is also the “50
Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills” or “6
Ways to Promote Your Book on A Budget,” which are a few among many lists
comprised of writing guides found online.
In addition to quick how-to guides for writing scattered across the Internet, a number of websites and universities offer online classes and seminars for would-be authors and publishers. For example, the blog network MediaBistro (which is also home to the publishing blog GalleyCat) offers dozens of online classes and seminars for writers and other media professions wanting to sharpen their skills (click here for the full list). Education Insider has a list of ten universities offering free online writing courses. The Online Writer’s Studio, from Stanford University’s Continuing Studies department, also offers a variety of courses for prospective authors.
MediaBistro even has a Self-Publishing Finishing School, an online event to be hosted from April 3-May 8, 2013. The event promotes itself as a “step-by-step course to transform your manuscript into a published eBook.”
After authors have gone through the steps of editing and re-editing their book manuscripts for print and then finally getting the hard copy of their hard work in their hands, there is the promotional side of publishing. Book tours and readings at coffee shops were always a good means of getting the word out about your new publication, but now you can even do that online. With websites like Booktalk Nation, which hosts real-time talks with authors about their books, and Goodreads.com, a website that promotes sharing and recommending book titles, how authors are promoting their books has also transformed.
Often without noticing, the Internet is altering how we view writing and publishing as a process and how we approach that process. Tadween has been keeping our audience up-to-date with the latest news from the publishing world through our bi-monthly news roundups (check out the latest one here), which often includes the latest analyses and opinions on how to make it in the publishing world.