Confessions of a Dog Eater: One Author’s Flight From the Horrors of Social Media

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Some ten years ago we asked, “How can you possibly call yourself an author if you can’t process digitized full-motion video signals on your computer, accelerate your image-compression manager to thirty frames per second, and enhance your video with full stereo sound?” (See Author? What’s an Author?)

Tim Kreider recently asked himself the same thing after twisting himself out of shape to make friends on social media, attend webinars and produce a video for his book. He did everything that is recommended in the Facebook playbook. His video had all the right elements: “A hot girl, my cat, a catchy song and a child being humiliated.” But for all his efforts he was only able to garner some 700 friends on Facebook, “which makes me the Internet equivalent of what in the ancient Indian caste system was called a ‘dog eater.‘”

His conclusion? The best thing about being a writer is…writing. In the two years it took him to write his book “I began going to a quiet, Internetless public place every day that I appropriated as my office; I liked commuting, feeling like just another person in the world with a job to do; I belatedly learned to separate work from the rest of my life and not only got more done but enjoyed goofing off less guiltily.”

“The sudden, insane hula hoop-like popularity of social media and mass dinosaurian die-off of print has publishers panicked and willing to try anything,” writes Kreider, “and so writers, typically reclusive types who are used to being able to do their jobs without putting on pants, now find themselves shoved on camera and hawking their books like mattresses on Presidents’ Day.”

Read Like the Video? I Wrote the Book

Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis

About Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis is a leading New York literary agent (www.curtisagency.com) who foresaw the Digital Book Revolution and launched an e-book publishing company early in 2000. E-Reads (www.ereads.com) is one of the foremost independent e-book publishers in the industry, specializing in reprints of genre fiction by leading authors in their fields. Curtis is also a well-known authors advocate, author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including several books about the publishing industry, and prolific blogger – see his hundreds of other blog posts here.

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One thought on “Confessions of a Dog Eater: One Author’s Flight From the Horrors of Social Media

  1. I realize that this is tongue-in-cheek, but really…

    Authors have always had to promote themselves. Dickens, e.g., kept up a grueling schedule of international lecture tours for close to 30 years. When you consider what that must’ve been like using 19th Century transportation technology, learning to use Twitter and Facebook doesn’t look so bad. It’s just writing. That’s what you do, right?

    Making a YouTube video in the comfort of your own home is traumatic? Try traveling thousands of miles by sailing ship and steam train, then getting up on a platform in front of strangers every night and delivering your “video” live.

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