Post-Artifact Publishing

While reading Craig Mod’s “Post-Artifact Book,” several thoughts were racing through my head. One of them was about my sister, and how she is an author herself, and publishes her own books through Amazon. She stays up late every night, chugging red bulls and typing thousands upon thousands of words every session, while also balancing being a teacher during the day. It was surreal holding one of the first copies of her own book that she wrote, did the cover art for, and published herself through Amazon. This quote reminded me of her situation:

“So submitting that file to be printed is to place ultimate faith in the book. To believe — because you must for the sake of sanity! — that this is the best you can do given the constraints. And you will have to live with the results forever.”

Now, I’m sure that she has felt this feeling before, specifically as she is editing the final parts of the book and making sure everything looks right in the software, and then the big decision to press PUBLISH. I’m sure this is more of a reality with more popular authors, since the big time authors probably can’t make significant changes after just publishing the book. But, if you do publish yourself as a small author through Amazon, you’re able to change whatever you want to the book on the fly, and then the next person who orders the book will receive the edited version (though not knowing it had been edited). For a major musician, they have to give the okay of publishing their new album, and that they can’t really make any changes past that. I think there’s fear when you’re about to press PUBLISH on anything, since there’s a chance that anyone can see an imperfect creation, especially in digital media. Now, that’s not to say that it needs to be perfect, but just that the person publishing feels they did their best with what they made.

I think an impact of the digital age is that we get to hear everyone’s opinions and thoughts. Maybe in some cases it’s forced down our throats, even. But I know that just with looking something up on Google, you get so many answers, links, and ideas. I know there’s been many times that Google doesn’t provide a definitive answer, but Reddit does. Forums are a good example of this system, where you get to hear people’s thoughts on anything. For me growing up, I would always scroll through comment sections on YouTube videos to see what other people were thinking about it. It creates an additional world to the artifact, the world of the community it is consumed by, and also a personal world of the lone consumer.


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