Low-Tech or High-Tech: Which Kind of Author Are You?

Posted by Arthur Gutch
Published On Jun 8, 2016

I just found this great new app that streamlines my social media marketing.

I love the way my Moleskine notebooks fit anywhere and let me keep notes always handy.

Authors are presented with a huge array of high tech solutions to writing and book marketing, but that doesn't mean every author wants to take advantage of them. Depending on your personal work style, high tech options may or may not make your writing day go easier. Every writing task has high tech and low tech techniques for writing and selling books. Which kind of author are you? pad_computer_writer.png

Scheduling Your Day
  • High tech authors can choose from many different calendar programs. One of the more popular is Google Calendar, because it integrates with so many other apps. It will send you a reminder on your smart phone, set off an alarm on your laptop, and even give you a popup reminder on your tablet.

  • Low tech authors are fonder of paper than pixels. Wall calendars are good for long-term plans, while a pocket calendar can help you to schedule your day in hourly blocks.

Plotting or Outlining

  • Authors who are tech-savvy can find everything from plotting programs to actual plots already planned out online. Mind mapping programs are great for figuring out combinations of characters and sequences of events, while virtual post-it notes allow you to plot your novel right on your desktop.

  • Those who prefer a lower-tech solution can rely on whiteboards, bulletin boards, actual post-it notes and even notebooks for keeping plot and character details in order.

Writing Your Book

  • Authors have multiple high-tech tool options for getting their words down. The simplest is Word or Open Office, along with other basic word processing programs. More elaborate programs include Scrivener and other complete author packages, as well as motivational word processing programs like Write or Die, in which your words erase themselves if you stop writing.

  • Being a low-tech author doesn't mean a total lack of electronic knowledge. Word and Open Office are great basic programs for desktop or laptop. Many authors love the Alphasmart line of portable word processors. They allow you to write words and nothing else, eliminating all internet distractions. And then there's the classic pen and paper. Elmore Leonard wrote dozens of classic novels on yellow legal pads, and thousands of other authors have turned out great work on paper. Some people find that there's no improving on the original.

Marketing Your Books

  • In marketing, the high-tech authors have a distinct advantage today. Social media has taken the independent writing world by storm, making it a simple matter for new authors to reach thousands of readers every day. From Facebook to Instagram, social media is the high-tech author's necessary marketing stop every day.

  • Authors who like to avoid social media still have options in terms of marketing. It takes a more personal touch, but that can sometimes result in more sales. Authors can hold book signings, give away copies of their books, attend conferences in their genre so they can meet fans, and even create reader events at local libraries. It takes more time than social media, but often creates closer ties between readers and authors.

The self publishing world today seems geared toward high-tech authors. But for those who would rather spend their days writing without all the electronic bells and whistles, there are answers to creating and marketing questions. It doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing decision any more.

Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!