Forget journalism—this chat between Gerry Marzorati and Mark Danner over at Nieman Lab has tons to say about writing and the public sphere in the most general, awesome sense. Couple bits that really resonated with me:
Gerry Marzorati: One of the things that’s really taken off in the last 10-15 years: The public has a hunger to actually encounter the writers who are writing these pieces. One of the ways nonfiction writers are able to make money—not all nonfiction writers, but a fair number of them—is on the lecture tour. A kind of 19th century idea, the book as a loss leader for actually going out and encountering people.
And I did not know this:
Mark Danner: It’s really an amazing “back to the future” thing. Tolstoy did War and Peace by subscription, and finally, with publication in full, the earlier volumes were substantially changed. You signed up for the beginning and you basically saw it in progress.
Makes me think of the amazing Max Barry. That’s a model I really, really want to try.