This is the last in a series of posts focused on communication and how it relates to writing. It has been a great journey to look at how we try to focus our efforts to write for a specific audience and then work to actually get our work out there for that audience to read–to listen to the ideas and messages we have created. To experience the worlds and characters we have taken the time to put together detail by detail so that they come alive on the page or on the screen.
This time, though, let’s look at this in a broader view. What if we become WILDLY successful and our stories take off? What if we gain a readership that is not just domestic, but hits the readership on a global level?
As we (the world) continue to cross borders and reach out to one another, as our level of communication broadens and we reach people from Israel, Pakistan, China, Japan, Korea, Germany and many other countries, how do we make sure the messages, ideas, actions, plots, characters, and worlds all relate to a worldwide readership?
In my current readings, an author, Doreen Starke-Meyerring, stated “…professional communicators who operate on the basis of a concept of culture as hybrid, heterogeneous, complex, and constantly renegotiated boundary creations do not ascribe literacy practices to presumably static groups. Instead, they understand literacy practices as existing in complex webs of diverse, overlapping, and dynamic “cultural ecologies.” In other words, we are writing for a readership who comes from a background that is vastly different from our own. We are often “speaking” to peoplewho may not believe as we do and who may not be able to relate to the ideas and details that we have created.
So, what do we do about this?
I remember when Harry Potter first came out. One of the things that the publishing company did to market overseas was to, of course, use a test market on their books. One thing they found was many of the references and area-specific terms were not understood by their American test group. This was the same in many of the countries that they tested the book in. Their answer was to adapt the book to the specific country they were marketing to while creating the wording to get the ideas across to the readers.
Basically it is telling the story, not just in a different language, but in a different way so it would be understood by the readers in these different cultures and societies.
This is where we go back a step to the last post. At some point there will be a decision to make between self-publishing and working with an established publisher. To gain a worldwide market, it will be important to understand the amount of work there will be to put into this scale of marketing. It is not impossible to do this yourself (in fact this is becoming easier and easier) but, as accessible as this is becoming, it doesn’t mean it is easy. Just something to consider.
On the other hand, this is a problem worth having. Becoming successful enough and having a viewership wide enough to have your stories become a worldwide event. To have to solve the question: How do I get this idea across in India? That is a goal worth striving for.
Thanks for reading my series on discourse and communication, and stay tuned in for new topics and other writings coming soon.