It all started with the nugget of a thought. This idea that, for publishing to thrive in the digital age, it was going to have to change a lot. As I read blogs, articles, forums about publishing, this piece of the puzzle was clear on all sides.
But how? What would be the great new secret to success be? Everyone has their own opinion.
While listening to an NPR series on publishing on my way to work one morning, my own answer to this question came through to me in a burst: publishing needed to adapt the tactics that have made digital age medium of blogging successful. Open access, frequent updates, brief content, easy sharing.
I believe the digital age is an opening for short stories to make a comeback. But traditional literary journals publish once a month, sometimes once a quarter. And they tend to exist in their own bubble; readership mostly consists of other writers. Most non-writers don’t even know about most literary journals, even if they’re avid readers.
Then, there’s blogs. A successful blog posts at least weekly, and builds a community around a common interest by providing valuable content and making it easy to share.
Why couldn’t a literary journal look like that? I don’t see any reason it can’t.
And I don’t see any reason that short stories can’t be read by mass audiences–enough of the heavy literary schitck already. Can’t stories just be fun sometimes? Like, maybe just some good juicy genre stories?
Because our modern culture seems tailor-made for short stories. Attention spans are shrinking, and our time seems to be ever divided into smaller pieces, but connectivity is at an all-time high. Maybe my geek is showing, but who wouldn’t enjoy reading a story while say, commuting into work, or waiting for their kids in the carpool line? I know many people carry novels with them, but there’s something satisfying about being able to complete a story in a single sitting.
I think there are plenty of people who would enjoy this kind of publication, and I think they should have it.
That is the spark that led me to create wordhaus. I know I’m not the only one out there giving something like this a try–there’s tons of us mulling over this digital age publishing question. And I think it’s fantastic. The experimentation itself is even more important than the success of any individual project. More than anything, I think what publishing needs right now is a lot of creative voices willing to ask “what if?”
I hope you’ll join us for the ride. Subscribe now by RSS or email to get wordhaus updates starting with our very first issue.
And I hope you’ll help us spread the word. Tell your reader friends! Tell your writer friends (we’re accepting submissions)! Join our pre-launch celebration and share how you fell in love with stories on your blogs, your social media (#storylove) and over here.
And tell me … what do you see in the future for publishing?