While writing – like other art forms – is quite often done best in its rawest and purest form (that is to say, putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard) there is a modern side to the craft. To wit:
- Wanderlust – a web-based application that offers readers somewhat of an interactive experience while reading. Six to Start, the company that pioneered this ingenious way that “next-gen storytellers” can draw readers in, says they wanted to create “location-based stories that could be read by anyone in any location.” How does it work? Readers sign up to receive short stories in multiple installments, but they can only access the next chapter by going to a particular location – a local bar, for example – and log in with Foursquare* to identify the type of location. So if the story is set mainly in a bar and then moves over to the laundromat, the reader will have to hunt down a laundromat, log in via Foursquare in order to verify that they are, in fact, in a laundromat and voila, chapter two comes in. Writers who want to write for Wanderlust are encouraged to keep their stories to a minimum of places. Like a scavenger hunt, it’s fun and intriguing to travel around to get the next installment, but too many and you’ll drive your readers to a sure destination: your e-book in the garbage file!
- Klout – Writers must make use of today’s on-line technology to help promote their latest article, book or upcoming guest appearance. Klout helps monitor all your on-line accounts (for example, your blog, Facebook page, Twitter account) to help you determine the success of your efforts. Klout is a social analytics tool that takes into account 35 variables like retweets, shares, and likes to measure the “true reach” of the number of people a user influences to action; “amplification”, meaning the degree to which a user influences others to action; and a “network score”, meaning the influence of those over whom a user has true reach. You will also be privy to the topics over which a user has the most influence and will assign influencers a score from 1 to 100 with 100 being the most influential. The whole idea is based on the level of trust people put in their friends and peers as opposed to paid ads which people usually equate with the stink of obvious intentions.
- Chapter & Voice – Offers writers AudioTeasers (six- to eight-minute recorded excerpts of their books) read by any of their five professional voice talents. Authors can then use these digitally recorded excerpts (the file is sent by e-mail) on their blogs, websites, in e-mail signatures, on booksellers’ websites and in social media communities like Facebook pages.
* Foursquare: is a social media smartphone application where people check in and share (physically/geographically) where they are at any time of the day, any where in the world. “Whether checking out a new restaurant, meeting up with friends, or visiting a favorite boutique, they are chronicling and sharing their adventures,” says their site.