Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Hard Rocking Writers: Multiple Formats

One of my all-time favourite bands was the rather shambolic yet beautifully poetic The Dogs D’amour. Their songs, often revolving around drunken high jinx and tales of young, broken hearts, delivered the perfect soundtrack to my teenage years which coincidently also revolved around drunken high jinx and the occasional broken heart.

The Dogs D’amour didn’t only know how to write a cracking tune, they also knew how to package their music. The Dogs D’amour believed in giving their fans a little extra and every single release came out in multiple formats including 7”, 10”, 12” singles, picture discs, colour vinyl, CD + video box sets and poster boxes. As a fan, I had to have them all.

Yes – looking back, I realise this might have just been a cynical attempt by the record company to get me to buy the same record again and again to force it up the charts (it never really worked, The Dogs D’amour peaked at #16 on the British charts with their acoustic mini-album A Graveyard of Empty Bottles).

The Dogs D’amour’s vocalist and chief song writer Tyla J. Pallas still plies his trade, now operating as an independent artist, flogging his music and his artwork via his own website and Facebook. Tyla’s output can best be described as prolific with more than 25 solo albums under his belt (he released a total of six albums in 2014 alone), creating quite a back catalogue. While Tyla’s music might be a bit of an acquired taste (like the expensive American whiskey or cheap red wine he often sings about), his work ethic is something we can all aspire to.

Content Delivery Networks

As authors, bloggers, journalists and writers, we can learn a lot about distributing our work via multiple formats from our rock star brethren.

Readers consume the written word in many ways and as a writer I like to provide them with the choice they deserve and expect in this digital age. I’m not precious about how my work is consumed. The most important thing to me is that it is consumed.

This means I deliver my work in multiple formats including eBooks for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Android and Apple devices, paperbacks (because people still love the feel of a real book in their hands) and audiobooks via Audible, Amazon and iTunes.

Having a very modern idea of what a book is has helped me reach a wider audience.

I personally believe a book is a collection of words. The paper these words are printed on, the screen they are displayed on or the speakers they are played through are only mechanisms for delivery and do not add or detract from the quality of the work. Similarly, I look at a newspaper, magazine or a blog as a database of content (news, business, sport, classified advertising, etc.) which can be interrogated and consumed with ease, regardless of how it is delivered (via the traditional print model or online). In fact, if you think too much about the physical medium of distribution, you will probably limit your work.

I never assume how my readers want to consume my work and so make it available in as many formats as possible.
coverThis abridged text is taken from John W. Hayes' new Kindle Single (eBook): Why Authors, Bloggers, Journalists and Writers Need to Think Like Rock Stars.

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