The emphasis on new media might lead one to believe that the very act of reading has changed in recent years. One would presume that writing would follow suit in turn. However, look at the context of it all, and it would seem that not much has changed, even with new technology.
That people's approach to reading in general has changed recently is the subject of this article
. In a nutshell, the author says that since everybody does their reading in bite-sized chunks on social networks rather than in books and magazines, the nature of the book is bound to follow suit sooner or later. The picture book is the way of the future, according to him, since these are the easiest to make and to digitize. Then, there is this odd idea:
the future of fiction is far more apt to look like an annotated chat conversation than anything else. Why? Because the conversation can be played out by the authors at their convenience and then be made available for feedback, comments, insight, etc. in near real time by their audience.
I rather suspect that people are already doing this. I also suspect that it has not taken a form that can be monetized, nor that such a process is as sure to create works of quality as traditional editing and other vetting procedures are.
A less recent article on the same web site quotes one executive as saying that print is still the core business
of publishing. That's a rather reassuring thought. I have long maintained that the heavy expenses involved in printing and distribution make it necessary for publishers to weed out all but the very best material, and work hard to make it even better, before bringing it to the market. The reading public might be happy to make forum posts, tweets, Facebook Wall updates, and the like; but they are still willing to pay money for something good.
In conclusion, new technology or not, and self-published or not, you still need to know how to write well and you still need to expend every effort to create the best possible work.