2009-01-07

Scott Sigler in Seattle

Scott Sigler was in Seattle Tuesday to promote his new book, Contagious. I reviewed his previous book, Infected, here. It was awesome.

Sigler did his reading and took questions at the Barnes and Noble in University Village. He read from Contagious, and included bonus material that was cut from the final version of the book.

Much of the discussion focused on Sigler's new approach to the medium. He gives away his books, chapter by chapter, in Podcasts. He uses his website to aggressively promote these novels.

I expected this would complicate his relationship with traditional publishers, but Sigler says the opposite is true. He developed a following on line and brought that to the negotiating table with the publishers. It made their marketing efforts easier. This appears to be in stark contrast to what musicians experience with the recording industy.

One of the people at the event asked Sigler what the most important things were when promoting a pod cast of a book. Sigler offered two key pieces of advice.

From the content side, he cited 4 steps.

  1. Write the book.
  2. Edit the book.
  3. Edit the book.
  4. Edit the book.

This matters for a couple reasons. Editing and revising is the standard advice offered to all writers. And that's because it's critical advice. As my high shool English teacher, Dennis Vellucci, alway said, "Good writing is never finished."

With episodic podcasts it is even more important. There is a temptation to write a chapter, post it, then write the next chapter. That's a great way to ruin the story. If you end up in Chapter 12 and realize that you now want to change something in Chapter 2, you're stuck.

The other challenge is that if the author gets stuck or life gets in the way, it can mess up the posting schedule mid-way through the content.

From the distribution side, consistency is most important. It's important to distribute content at the same time each week. People come to expect consistency and schedules. A pod caster should not disappoint.

Sigler also talked about the writing process, the need to create a personal space, and the business of selling book rights, among other topics.

He appeared happy to be there, taking questions and talking to fans. He was down-to-Earth, and genuinely seemed to be a nice guy.

If you like the books, or are interested in the way new media can transform publishing, try to catch one Sigler's talks. Here's the schedule.

2 comments:

igoddess said...

sound advice! Thanks for reporting and reminding!

Scott Sigler said...

That's a solid summary of the book reading, and glad you had a great time. I dug the pictures of the autographs. Thanks for coming out!