Writing, editing, galley proofs, indexing, cover design…it all takes time. The logistics of getting a book published can be tough when you’re sitting across the room from each other. What happens when you’re across the world from each other? That’s the topic of this month’s blog post.
Technology makes the world a much smaller place. Between email, instant messaging, fax machines, social media, and the like, work never stops. I wondered how all of this technology helps our international authors. So I asked Evan Stubbs, author of 2 current books, and one in the works, “How was it working on three books with SAS Press, when you are based in Australia and the publishing division is in Cary, NC?”
Evan replied, “It's not as hard as you'd think; so much of my communication is digital anyway that writing and editing simply becomes another workflow in the overall machine. I think it's always been possible to publish or do research from anywhere; the biggest shift has been around the immediacy of response. Where we'd once communicate by fax or mail, whether someone's next to you or on the other side of the planet is largely irrelevant; the communication channels are now exactly the same.
Having said that, time zones always present a challenge. When one takes into account the breadth of people I went to for feedback, working across so many time zones was a little daunting at first. The reality is that that's just the way it is now, though: given how mobile people have become, you work out how best to accommodate everyone's very busy schedules. Having effective writing tools made a big difference.
Being pretty mobile myself, I needed to be able to edit the same content across multiple devices including my personal PC, my iPad, and my laptop regardless of where I am. Everyone has reviewing preferences so making sure content's as portable as possible made it easier to get feedback. Some people swear by their Kindles, other people only speak Word. Still others like a PDF. For me, a key part of collaborating and coordinating internationally was making my content as device agnostic and portable as I could. The less time I spend playing with technology and trying to "make things work", the more time I have to write.
Social media's a blessing and curse. On one hand, it's a rich source of immediate feedback and inspiration. On the other, it'll drive you to distraction if you can't divorce yourself from it periodically. With constant connectivity, the temptation's always there to stay permanently plugged in. For me at least, a big part was also about learning how to balance the opportunities against the challenges.”
Visit Evan Stubbs' author page to read more about him and his work.