Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Above you'll find a promo video for a Columbia University Press book called American Pests. Tomorrow I'm shooting one of these promos for my book, The Late Age of Print. I'm excited to do it, but at the same time I'm feeling a little daunted. I've done my best to avoid video blogging and indeed entering into the video age more generally. I guess it's all finally catching up with me.
What's intriguing about the prospect of shooting a video for my book--beyond whatever potential there may be for getting the latter noticed--is what the promo tells us about the changing nature of book authorship. Never did I imagine having to become a multimedia personality when I began work on The Late Age of Print. I certainly wasn't trained for that in graduate school!
I suppose I was operating under what is, today, an increasingly antiquated understanding of authors and their work. That is, I had erroneously assumed that authors still could get away only with writing words and perhaps making an occasional public (i.e., "live") presentation of their work. I should have known better, given the arguments and subject matter of The Late Age of Print. If university presses are on to making videos, moreover, then you can be pretty sure the era in which authors were strictly writers has just about come to an end. Video killed the radio star twenty five years ago. Today, video has just about finished off the reclusive book writer, too.
I'll let you know how the shoot turns out, and once the promo is finished I'll post it here. It will also be available on the Columbia University Press "channel" on YouTube.