Innovation

'Zodiac' author explains how publishing's digital transformation launched her career

New York Times best selling author Romina Russell tells how tech changed not only the way she writes books but also how her fans read them.

The way people read has changed dramatically over the past 10 years.

TechRepublic's Dan Patterson spoke with New York Times best selling author Romina Russell about how digital transformation has influencedher career.

Russell's fascination with language and writing began when she learned how to speak English after moving from Argentina to the U.S. at a young age. After reading Harry Potter, she decided she wanted to write books and began to write Zodiac.

SEE: Social media policy (Tech Pro Research)

"I believe the digital transformation of publishing had a huge effect on me because I feel like I came into it right as a lot of these different platforms were taking off, and have really impacted not just how I write but how I even think about writing and think about my books," she said.

People are consuming content so quickly because of technology, which forces authors to produce books faster. Russell publishes a new Zodiac book every year.

She describes writing new books as more of a collaborative effort now between readers and authors.

"Readers will tweet at you as they're reading every chapter so of course it's affecting what I'm writing in the second book and third and fourth because you can't shut that out," she said.

One problem for authors that comes along with distributing their books digitally is piracy. Russell said a lot of her books are read through a screen, and through PDFs that are pirated.

She believes most of her readers don't even realize that what they're doing when they read her book as a PDF is thievery.

SEE: PC, tablet and smartphone trends, and the rise of the hybrid (Tech Pro Research)

Just as the music and movie industry experienced piracy, the publishing industry is now seeing it too. As fan bases around books begin to grow, sales tend to stay the same.

"I think there's a disconnect because technology makes the world so accessible and convenient that we almost expect everything to be that way. And those limits are kind of gone."


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Image: iStockphoto/nevarpp

About Leah Brown

Leah Brown is the Associate Social Media Editor for TechRepublic. She manages and develops social strategies for TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research.

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