Reaching an audience

Notes from a talk to Le Groupe Esperanza, Le Cercle de la Garnison (Garrison Club), Quebec City, 2/12/13

(After describing how my work borrows from experience while not being autobiographical, I introduced my new project:

"Meantime, since my first book was published in 1986, the world has changed. As most of you know, the publishing world is not what it was. Fewer books are being published in the conventional way, more as e-books. A friend and colleague convinced me that I should embrace this new culture, and so, with his help, I am preparing the Shinny's Girls trilogy for ebook publication this summer. It was a very interesting process of scanning in the text from the two previously published novels, and revising old work. I found that I wanted to rewrite parts of the first, to improve the quality of the writing, for though it was my best selling book, it was not as well written as Flashing Yellow; but I made some changes to the text of that novel, too.
We are about midway through the process of preparing the trilogy for publication, with several aspects to explore. But the popular Canadian/British writer Cory Doctorow has provided a wonderful template regarding distribution, where he offers his books at different price points, from free-downloadable, to print on demand, to traditional hardcover, high-quality – a real work of art for a significantly higher price. Finally, stories that are custom written. He has pioneered in literature what has been happening to the way people consume news, for example, or entertainment such as videos. Instead of everyone tuning into CBC's The National at the same time each day, people customize their news consumption. Perhaps watch the National on TV; perhaps download it to watch when they want; perhaps seek other sources of news, Al Jazeera or BBC via the internet. It is no longer so much the case that the entire country is riveted on a single TV series, such as Dallas... who shot J galvanizing water cooler talk. I might order a TV series from Netflix, you might order another. What we watch and listen to, and read is becoming more finely tuned to individual tastes, through the Internet.
And so, in this new world, readers who have read my trilogy, may request that I continue the story about one or more characters. Someone may want to know what happened to Shinny, or Elfie, or Matthew, or Annette and her goats, and for a considerable sum, I would write that story for them."