Friday, October 3, 2008

We've Come a Long Way, Baby

By Rebecca Talley

It’s amazing how technology has advanced in the last 25 years. When I was in high school, no one had a cell phone or a personal computer. We all had to use landlines to speak with our friends and we used typewriters for our research papers. Yes, gasp, we had to actually know how to type (or at least know how to use the correction tape properly).

I remember my grandpa’s old typewriter and how the “e” always looked like an “o.” When I received a sleek new manual typewriter as a gift, I was thrilled. I was even happier when I was able to purchase a snazzy electric typewriter with the correction tape already loaded—talk about up-to-the-date technology.

I can still remember the papery thin feel of the onionskin paper and the ding when I needed to return the carriage on my manual machine. I remember the clicking of the keys and the pinging as the metal letters hit against the page. I can still hear the soft clicking as I moved the roller to load the paper. Of course, I also remember the frustration of finding a typo or misspelling and trying desperately to correct it.

When I was finishing my senior year at BYU, my husband tried to convince me to use a computer. I refused. I wasn’t comfortable with a computer and couldn’t see how it was any easier than using a typewriter—silly me. After several months, he finally persuaded me to try a computer and when I saw the ease of the “delete” key, I was sold.

Technology has come a long way. True, it can be used irresponsibly, but it can also provide us with a wealth of information at our fingertips as well as connect us to people all over the world. When I first started writing, I had no groups, no connection to other writers. I had no one to ask questions. I knew nothing about publishing. I didn’t even know how to really find the needed information so I kind of bumbled around in the dark hoping to figure it all out.

Then, the internet hit and, boom, I could access information from my computer in my own home. It didn’t even matter that I lived in the middle of a hay field. I found groups. I was suddenly connected to the world.

Because of the new technology and the internet, authors can do what time, distance, and money prevented them from doing pre-internet. Authors can now take advantage of blogging to create a web presence, create websites, participate in blog book tours, join online groups like our newest ANWA group Cyber Scrybers, ask questions in forums, and promote books by simply attaching a link on all outgoing email. We can promote our work while sitting in our pajamas. How cool is that?

The newest tool to promote our work is now on a site called YouTube. Our own wonderfully talented Marsha Ward has created her own book trailer for “The Man from Shenandoah.” This is the future for authors to promote their books online. See what you think.



And to show you a little different approach, here is a YouTube by LDS author Jewel Adams promoting her fantasy novel, “The Journey.”



Even if technology seems difficult or foreign, it’s definitely in our best interest to embrace the new ways of communicating with our friends and with those who may want to read our books.

I’ll let you know if I ever fully embrace it and have a YouTube on Heaven Scent.

2 comments:

  1. Yes, just this morning I was reminded Rebecca of how dependent I have become on modern technology. Our computer(at home) got a virus, had to be fixed and the dsl connection installation disc has disappeared if it ever existed at our house or not. I missed jumping on a fav blog site to see others reaction to the veep debate last night. I'll be glad when that disc comes in.

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  2. It is amazing, isn't it! But there are times when the technology breaks down and I am in a state of panic and think about how well we seemed to do before we had all this technology.

    I am very grateful for the tools that are available online. I can help my children with homework even if it is in an area where I lack knowledge. I also appreciate having access to all the Church publications and information.

    great post, Rebecca!

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