Today we host a Ada Moretti post about the last meeting of “Le Dita”, a group of Bookbloggers held in Genoa on March 2. Ada Moretti is an editor and writer in science and culture, she has a degree in Literature and has decades of experience as an editor and author of articles and books. Native print; become digital by experience. Communications world is her work and her passion. Ada’s house is the blog www.viva-mente.it where she shares her thoughts.
The publishing world is changing, and this change is far from being clear. Until recently writers and readers belonged to two distinct spheres and were hierarchically ordered. There was no communication among them: the publishers did not even think at all of opening a channel of contact with the readers, nor the latter demanded it. Products were newspapers, magazines and books, without any intermediate form, the work was exclusively printed words.
Today things are different. The communicative universe has expanded and diversified. Not only as content but also as media and – above all – in the roles of the actors actively involved. To understand these new scenarios a group of bookbloggers “Le Dita” (“The Fingers”) organized in Genoa a meeting gathering those interested in this complex transition which is going through in the publishing industry. The event (streamed and commented on Twitter with the hashtag #leditaGE) covered many crucial issues of the publishing world and speakers and audiences have developed a lively and interesting dialogue.
Here some of the topics discussed:
Bloggers credibility. It’s a timeless matter. Since the emergence of blogging (and perhaps most importantly “microblogging”) an increased possibility of expression is incompatible with a careful monitoring of content. The traditional system of “accreditation from above” is now partly replaced by the “judgment of peers”, but there are specialized areas in which this aspect seems inapplicable.
Writer-reader difficult relationship. The old publishing system implied that the relationship between writer and reader was unilateral, that is structured in the form of a one-way, feedback-free flow of information. Today things have changed: the reader wishes to comment and has the resources to do it. Many authors still demonstrate a strong resistance against this possibility, fearing a loss of prestige. The process, however, cannot be reversed. Though the cultural transition is an individual process, it is undeniable that the publishing houses will play a strong role, mediating between the two players whose relationship will grow in an increasingly complex nature in the near future.
Being digital. As we all know by now, copyright issues are among the hottest in publishing today. These issues were addressed in the light of a new open, more flexible forms of protection of rights, a framework which meets the current market structure rather than trying to rigidly protect something – which appears to become manifestly inapplicable now.
The reader’s emotional relationship with the book. Much of the resistance to eBook is due to its perception as “cold” support. This is in contrast with the affection between reader and paper book which has always characterized readership. This intrinsically cold feature goes hand in hand with the cold feeling transmitted by larger and impersonal publishing houses, which become ever more distant from their audiences. The bookbloggers may be the ideal bridge to link readers with publishers and attributing to the eBook this personal connection that the new publishing world seems to have lost.
The evening at Café Berio ended only because the time was over. The bookbloggers still have much to comment about this changing era of the relationship between humans and written words. Genoa said its piece. The hope of all participants, now, is to resume this discussion at Librinnovando meeting in Rome on April 28, with the common goal to move forward knowledge dissemination frontier.