All this arts funding and Canadian books still don’t sell. Such thinking has lead to this wasting of taxpayer money to keep this system going is support all to support an old school thinking. The government could actually save money by having social media supply them a list of top, reputable book promotion packages, all aimed at the US market. Why the US and not Canada? The American market is bigger and sales would happen. “In Canada,” said a Canadian publisher to me some time ago, “the quality of the books is stressed over book sales. In the US, the publishers look at the book sales, not the quality.” This type of widespread thinking led to Key Porter going bankrupt, killing a lot of jobs. Arts funding, from every level of government, should update the rules for those old school types in the Canadian publishing scene, who aim at a generation of authors not familiar with the opportunities available in social media.
Twitter and Face Book are gazillion dollar companies, who each possess a group of shareholders, board of directors, and well paid CEO’s, who all are chauffeur driven and supplied with the best masseuses money can buy.
Why fix the wheel if it is not broken? Such conglomerates supply databases of information. If you want to contact a somebody, sign up, get an account, and you can access the method for contacting any public figure imaginable. But what if a person is afraid of Big Brother and don’t want to be traced. One thing to consider, in the past, when the police arrested someone, they would ask for identification, figure prints, which may include a request for information of next of kin, employers, or friends. Believe it or not, today’s law enforcement officials are in the position to now ask for email information and with that, access to social media which has a digital trail for them to contribute to their investigations.
So you can’t lose. Essentially, social media has ignored the market niche of those who are paranoid about Big Brother. Just think of it, to make their profits bigger all these multinational corporations have to do is publish their own encyclopaedias, all with their top hot links.
As an author, I look at face book and twitter for book promotion information. Sadly, in Canada no one in established, literary circles is familiar with social media, including government policymakers. Arts funding for authors and publishers are targeted locally, or nationally, but not internationally. In order for an author in Canada to get arts funding, they must have a book to get published in Canada by a Canadian based publisher and be Canadian based. Why? Because government policies for arts funding are rooted in the past. They ignore the American market altogether. I will give you a good example. To get an arts grant from Toronto Arts Council, one must be based in Toronto and have a Toronto based publisher interested in publishing their work. Why? That’s the rules. The same goes for Canada Council except it is on a national level. Government arts funding ignores the American market.
Back in 2008, I was looking to promote my book Mystery of Everyman’s Way. I went to Writers and Editors Network and I met several PR person who said they would promote my book for $12,000 unlimited for a two week period which would lead to guarantee sales. This offer was from a top PR man too. If I went to the Toronto Writers Center, it would cost me $1,500 dollars a month to have a place at the center, where first time authors were getting publishing contracts from major publishing houses.
I went to http://www.bookcandystudios.com/ and spent $4,500 US and got this link http://www.myspace.com/authorpaulcollins which includes a book trailer, all professionally done. In 2011, I got Mack Dunstan’s Inferno self-published. I found www.angiesdiary.com where it is free to post short stories and articles for big name authors and aspiring writers too. It costs $99.00 US for a one year deal and I think it is a great way of getting your work out there. You will find my short stories at this link http://angiesdiary.com/author/authorpaulcollins/ . In 2011, I found www.joeypinkney.com/ . For $75, his services include a separate author interview. For $25 package, he will have separate announcements for the book review and author interview on all the web sites he is a part of. The book reviews will be posted on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNobles.com, and GoodReads.com.
By a strange set of circumstances, the book interview he supplied led from http://joeypinkney.com/amazoncom/5-minutes-5-questions-with-paul-collins-author-of-mack-dunstans-inferno.php to http://www.oyetimes.com/lifestyle/35-books/17615-five-minutes-with-paul-collins-author-of-mack-dunstans-inferno-by-joey-pinkney to http://www.entertainmentnewsexpress.com/1329388805,iuniverse-publishing-iuniverse-publishing-gives-25-discount-on-all-books.html to a reprint to http://www.oyetimes.com/lifestyle/35-books/18509-iuniverse-books-that-have-caught-the-eye-of-the-media . Why is this interesting? Out of 42,000 books that iuniverse has published, the Joey Pinkney book interview led to Iuniverse to select my book Mack Dunstan’s Inferno and another for a major press release which led one major publisher to post this link on its walls. This whole experience has led to the power of social media and its future. The old school of arts funding does not work anymore.
Remember Joey Pinkney did not come from Canada Council or Toronto Arts Council but from Twitter. You may ask me: “Did you submit any unpublished manuscripts, past or present, to any of these funding agencies?”
“Yes, I did,” I would say, “and they rejected my work because I did not have a Canadian based publisher. You need a literary agent to submit your work to a Canadian based publisher. I couldn’t find such an agent because agents and publishers in Canada say non-fiction sells, not sci fi, or fiction. And that is why I found a database of publishers to submit work to through www.ralan.com , or even http://everyonewhosanyone.com/ . This experience in itself suggests old school thinking must change to include social media when it comes to arts funding and for us not to ignore the American market which would help authors to survive on book sales, not handouts. “
I want to come full circle and suggest Twitter and Face Book to publish their own encyclopaedias, all with their top hot links. And I want to take this encyclopedia to the one bloodline, reptilian cro magnons that run the Canadian publishing Industry.
Paul Collins, author of Mack Dunstan’s Inferno
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