All right, just a couple of declarations up front...
This is what you might call a placed piece. I'm writing about something I'm involved in because I was asked to, and with the knowledge and consent of FutureBook.
Also: I have a fat face all of a sudden and I'm really annoyed about it. I'm actually in reasonable shape. I need to do some Pilates for my lower back but, thanks to pain and grunting at the gym, for a guy who sits at a desk all day I'm surprisingly fit. Why, then, do I have cheeks like an engorged halibut?
Well, hmph. Anyway, moving on...
Hire Intelligence, the speakers' agency created by Conville & Walsh, goes live tomorrow (June 28th). Which means that if you click on the site link today (June 27th), you'll find a holding page telling you to come back in the morning, so bookmark it, then stay here and talk to me instead.
The thing about this for me is that it's a way to connect. I get to go out there, talk about things I like to talk about (ninjas, ebook DRM, giant tortoise libraries and the future of books, IP & Privacy, tango dancing, etc.) and people enjoy this, so they remember me fondly, talk to me on Twitter, and with any luck, buy my novels and create a shrine to me in their living room made from printed pages of my FutureBook blogs.
Using as a centrepiece, I devoutly hope, an old photograph in which I do not have the cheeks of a giant engorged halibut.
Regarding Hire Intelligence...
I just like to talk. I like to write, I like to engage. So this whole notion fills me with joy. And fear, of course, but hey.
I'm fascinated to see where it will fit in to the world I already have; how it will dovetail with social media and books and so on. I trust that what it will do is open up access to different sections of the population, people I wouldn't necessarily connect with otherwise - it's easy to forget, in the rush to use the digital advantages we have, that not everyone gives a tinker's cuss for the online world - and at the same time strengthen the bond with those I already know. But I'm assuming I will have to hit the ground running, adapt fast and frequently, and ad lib.
I suspect I'm also going to have to learn to do (parts of ) the same talk more than once, which is not something I've generally done before. I tend to talk about whatever is interesting on a given day, but when you're talking for hire, I think you probably have to deliver a few set points which people want to hear you talk about before you go ambling off into the blue sky.
The thing is, I don't yet know who I will end up talking to, or how I will relate to them. That's part of the fun of live performance - feeling the room. So exactly how this will work for me is still slightly uncertain...
But what it does, apart from raise the prospect of authors having a revenue stream from live gigs, as musicians increasingly try to do, is put us in direct contact with people. We get to find out who they are, get to know their responses a little more.
Which is, I honestly believe, priceless.
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Tweets from @thefuturebook
TheFutureBook MT @tomroper to @RichardMollet CILIP is not 'UK off-shoot' of EBLIDA. 'There is nothing wrong with wanting to provide patrons with e-books'
TheFutureBook RT @WalrusWinks: @tomabba @fakebaldur — @TheFutureBook is a front for the old paper guys who are totally afraid of a future unlike the past…
TheFutureBook RT @sarahmedway: Do you think a lack of women in tech start-ups is leading to a lack of women in publishing's top tiers? Would love to hear…