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Founder of NaNoWriMo Tells How He Created a Following Without Social Media

ChrisBaty

Chris Baty started a fiction writing movement without the help of Facebook and Twitter. Back in 1999, Baty was a 26 year old who shared a love of books with his friends and wanted to give one of his crazy ideas a try. With six writers and 50,000 words down in 30 days, the experiment was a success.

Today, NaNoWriMo has over 226,000 participants in 90 countries around the world. But how did Baty attract so many followers sans social media? In the latest Mediabistro feature, he tells how the movement grew:

If you had to credit one single catalyst as the reason for NaNoWriMo’s breakout success — in the pre-social media era — what would it be?
The amazing thing is it was truly word of mouth in a time when there were not a lot of easy ways to spread [the word]. It was back when the main social networking tool was email. And also, the year when it really kind of exploded was the third year, and that was 2001, and blogs were just starting to come into their own. I think that National Novel Writing Month was helped by the fact that suddenly there was this category of websites called a blog, which were to be updated regularly, so people needed things to write about. And then a lot of the people who would write about it just to have a blog post would end up blogging about the process.

To hear more from Baty, including tips on how to write a novel in 30 days, read: Hey, How’d You Start a Fiction-Writing Revolution, Chris Baty, Founder of NaNoWriMo?

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Mitch Lowe: ‘The Business is Changing in Favor of Netflix’

MitchLowe

You may not have heard of Mitch Lowe, but you’ve almost certainly used one of his products. As the co-founder of Netflix and former president of Redbox, Lowe has been instrumental in revitalizing the movie rental industry.

Lowe’s first creation was the Video Droid, an early movie rental machine back in the 80s. He sold it to a Japanese company and started opening video rental stores (back when those were still profitable). After sensing the switch to online content, he and Marc Randolph came up with the idea for Netflix. The rest, as they say, is history.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Lowe spoke about the ever changing world of the video business:

How do you see [Netflix and Redbox] evolving now?

The business is changing in the favor of Netflix. There’s still the segment of the population that’ll own a DVD player for the next three to five years, but it’s shrinking. Also, they’re shrinking the number of hours they’re using a DVD for. It’s mostly because their children are streaming and watching things on their iPads and not renting the disks as much as their parents are. Netflix, on the other hand, is right at the forefront of the streaming and the original content kind of trend. I think Netflix will continue to gain users — and Redbox, if they don’t adjust, will see a dwindling share.

To hear more from Lowe, read: So What Do You Do, Mitch Lowe, Co-Founder of Netflix and CEO of Quarterly.Co?

– Aneya Fernando

How Have eBooks Changed the Publishing Game?

BeFunky_KaraTaylor.jpg

Kara Taylor is unlike most people her age. For one, she’s already a published author (she wrote her debut novel, Prep School Confidential, while still in college). And while many millennials are struggling to find a job and possibly still living in their parent’s basement, Taylor is jetting to L.A. to help write and co-executive produce a new CW show, The Revengers (created by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack).

Taylor recently spoke with Mediabistro about the struggles of finding a literary agent (she was rejected by over 100 of them), landing her TV writing gig and how digital has changed the publishing game:

You came into the publishing industry fairly recently, in the midst of all of the changes on the digital landscape. How has that affected your approach to your career?
I know with a lot of the [YA] authors, the pressure to churn out a book every year is enormous, and that’s why a lot of authors have turned to releasing short, eBook novellas in between their books. My publisher is a little different. [At] St. Martin’s Griffin, their trade paperbacks, which Prep School Confidential is, come out every six to eight months, so the second book in the series is actually going to be out in March [2014]. So they stick with that model, and they really haven’t experimented a lot with the short eBooks. It’s not something that I’ve considered for this series, but I do know that to have longevity as a writer, if you’re not doing a book a year, it’s hard to stay in the game. I know a lot of people are doing these serialized novels in eBook form, so that’s something that I’d definitely like to dabble in, especially since I write for TV, too. Episodic writing comes naturally to me.

To hear more about how she achieved her early success, read Hey, How’d You Become a Published Author and TV Writer at 23, Kara Taylor?

Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.