The web’s a game-changer for publishing.
The traditional approach is to identify art that’s ‘worthy’, clean it up, polish it, actualize it, and then present it to the audience. You hope they’re going to like it.
But the web allows us to connect with the audience much earlier, to gauge their reactions and find out whether they love the work as much as we do. Better still, if we allow them to participate in the publishing process, they have a stake in it too. And often they have brilliant ideas that we’ve never thought of.
Last night I posted Chris Pearson’s poem Hit Me Again as a featured work on this site. If you haven’t seen it, the poem is the simple, touching memory of a man’s first encounter with his unborn daughter – when she kicks him as he puts his ear to the mother’s stomach. We’d already done a good deal of polishing, producing this ( – for the full-size version, click here):
As we saw it, the poem would make a great congratulatory card for someone who had just made their big announcement. But we were concerned about the colour. For a card, didn’t we need to lighten up? So we proposed these two variants, and asked readers for their opinion.
What a great way to start the day! Cheri had given me:
Not long afterwards, Kama Frankling added her vote.
Confirmation then that the poem was making its mark – and that we probably shouldn’t pastellize the card. Later, Kama added a note on Facebook, suggesting that we shifted the photograph right a little. I’d been thinking exactly that at the design stage yesterday: Kama’s message showed that I should have trusted my instincts.
The web allows the publisher – and the artist to play live. It allows us to try things out, to engage the audience, to see how they respond, to incorporate their good ideas, before we prepare the final release. Coloring The Wind intends to make the most of the opportunity to be a community publisher.
For more on our publishing philosphy, read Creative publishing guidelines.