Saturday, October 25, 2014

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: Storytelling At Its Best

I'll be traveling today back to California from St. Petersburg, Florida, where I attended the NINC conference. One of the topics that snagged my interest was the future of interactive media and the role of audio books, but not the audio books we know of today. We're talking audio books with multimedia platforms. Imagine yourself being able to "read" a story, and then with the press of a button, being able to get background information about the world you were reading or listening to, or the characters, past plots or characters or worlds. Much like an "online magazine" this could be done as a subscription service. Suppose you were able to learn about love, romance, learn about writing romance, or the love story behind the love story in film, song and the written word.

RCA 45EY26-1What we have to look forward to is innovation. The changes that occurred in the music business are now happening in the digital print business, where thousands of new Indie books are made available every day. Authors are re-releasing and freshening up old works that sat on a shelf somewhere. Books that were once thought of as not commercially viable by "gatekeepers" are now allowed to find their own audience. In this new age and time, being the biggest isn't necessarily the best. Being traditional doesn't have the security blanket it once had. Making a good living is just as important a goal as being the next best E.L. James or Stephanie Meyer. In this interesting time, creativity and innovation are more important than size. That's what the Indie revolution has been all about.

I have begun a quest for innovation and am looking to get involved in this new multimedia platform. There are innovators out there right now who are going to bring you new things you haven't even imagined yet. An author may not just be a person sitting in their writing cave putting words on the page, but also someone who collaborates with actors, storytellers in voice and film, people who can enhance the story experience. Reading will be combined with listening and research. Think of what we do today with our favorite online magazines. We see audio clips, pictures, hear narrations and can search archives of past related topics, some of them preselected based on IMG_9166our interests.

Nothing will replace a good, physical book. Just like there isn't anything that could completely duplicate the sheer joy I had in listening to my little record player as a child. My friend, J.D. Hart, sent me an antique machine that could very well have been the one I used to listen to. It reminds me that joy is derived through many mediums. The goal of the artist is to connect the "consumer" with the vision in the artist's head.

And who will be these innovators? As was said in the conference, it won't be from the people up on stage or teaching a class or on a panel discussion. It will be from the imagination of people in the audience who will watch and listen, and come up with something new and exciting. Who will say to themselves and their collaborators, "Why Not?"

There is no formula for success. But one thing I do know for certain is that we don't chase it.



NYT and USA/Today and Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author Sharon Hamilton’s SEAL Brotherhood series have earned her Amazon author rankings of #1 in Romantic Suspense, Military Romance and Contemporary Romance. Her characters follow a sometimes rocky road to redemption through passion and true love. Her Golden Vampires of Tuscany earned her a #1 Amazon author ranking in Gothic Romance.


A lifelong organic vegetable and flower gardener, Sharon and her husband live in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place.

Join Sharon Hamilton's Newsletter



  1. What a fascinating concept. It would be interesting to be able to do all these possibilities. Of course, it also means more technology my kid will be able to tease me about not having the ability to understand. Lol
    Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Be safe while traveling Sharon.

  2. Wow interesting concept as long as they don't turn them into mini movies. I lhave to agree nothing will replace my print books. I love them I have found a lot of comfort lately in reading my print collection. I find I can read faster as it's just me & my book the only distraction is the people or pets around me. Digital books I read slower as I read on my IPad and notifications distract me. I love these Sunday's posts they make me think or smile someway every time.
    Thank you Sharon for bringing so much to my life ❤️❤️

  3. Yes, more technology. I think we're talking about things happening over the next few years, too. And yes, more things to not understand. Right with you!

  4. Ah, as usual, Karen, you touch my heart. Yes, I love print books, but guess what? I'm the opposite? Can you believe that? I read 3 times faster on my Kindle. But we are information junkies. The good news is that things will get more complicated, and I think people will still long for the good "old" things and that will make them more rare and special, IMHO. Great point.

  5. The goal of the artist is to connect the “consumer” with the vision in the artist’s head.

    Sharon, these words are so true. But while the future unfolds and new innovation and technology enter the picture, it must be kept simple and less complicated for the consumer. Digital music and books have certainly been a wonderful creation for the consumer. It's also opened the doors for a lot of artists and writers to get their work out there and be heard. That's a great thing! I'm hoping that the new technology will not try to recreate radio theater for books. Readers still like to use their imagination. In a world of of overproduced CGI movies with very loud sound effects, it's still nice to have that quiet one-on-one personal connection using your own imagination while reading or listening to a book that puts you into your own private, personal fantasy world. IMHO

  6. When I had my plain Kindle I read faster on it but then it was stolen and I have not replaced it. I tried reading on my Kindle fire but get distracted on it too as it also gives me notifications. I love antiques so one of these days all of my books are going to be antiques and that will make them even more special. There is also something about the smell and feel of a book in your hand

  7. Glad I hat my coffee before all this thinking lol. I too am in awe of the possibilities the future holds. I did want to ask you if any part of it make you apprehensive ? And yes more stuff for my teen son t on reach me. !!

    more stuff fo

  8. I so agree, Karen! Yes, the multiple notifications drive me nuts. I'm learning how to turn them all off.

    Gloing to be doing a lot of that this year.

  9. I so agree, J.D. Nothing is more valuable than that quiet, personal space. I think I'll be doing things strategically, and not for the masses. Bigger isn't necessarily better. You and I so agree on that wonderful, creative place we get to play in, to go and improve our lives.

  10. Karen, I think many authors are jumping into too many rings, hoops. It is all about getting involved in the story, afterall, like that printed book, the record player. Funny that we should have so many choices, and still stay the same in terms of what works. Called involvement, and connection. Sharing the fantasy. How do we do that without spending a fortune or using up all your time? Good question!

  11. I love reading a book, its still magical to hold and be taken to places i didnt know i wanted to go. With the e reader came a choice that we didnt have before. Specially as you can stick it in your handbag with 100s of titles instead of choosing favourite or the lastest to take with you. Same with the audio books. So i cant wait for the next explosion of what these techo geniuses will come up with. I just hope that they will take pity on me and have classes like they did in our local school when learning about the computer

  12. Hi Sharon

    I hope you are having safe travels back to California.

    I enjoyed reading your blog this evening about where the book industry is/could be headed. Quite interesting to say the least. Time will tell the tale.


  13. You are so right, Ginger. With more choices comes more to learn. But then all the old good things will hopefully still remain. When you think of it, books and reading has always been a part of our lives for centuries. But what a world it was like without the printing press. And how it's helped create ideas and movements. Thanks for being here, and for reading my stories!