The Schizoid World of the Novelist

While most people don’t have several different personalities coexisting within them, maybe that’s the perfect mindset for a novelist. Take the writing part of the process. The novelist by the very nature of this art form works alone. Likely he or she spends a lot of time thinking as well as crafting words and plot. Before even that point, novelists spend a lot of time observing. Think about it, even when they are at a party, they’re on the outside looking in, observing people rather than really being in the inner circle.

Can you think of any novelists who were ultra popular in high school? The answer is that they likely were not that popular and certainly not part of the “in” group. Others probably thought of them as quiet, introverted, and just plain different. After all, how much introspection do the school’s most popular kids really have time for?

Meanwhile the students on the outside, the ones often ignored or marginalized tend to have the time to mull over their lack of success and think about how wonderful it would be if things were different. They likely are the same kids who don’t come up with the snappy response when ridiculed, but who come up with that response days later and play out the scene in their heads so that it ends more favorably.

Novelists by their very nature tend to be introverts and observers. They capture parts of people they meet and meld them into characters.  Often they even feel like observers when dramatic scenes play out in their heads. Characters often talk to each other while the novelist observes. How many times have you heard novelists admit that characters took over their story and went in a completely different direction than they had plotted?

Not too long ago writing a novel was enough. The big publishing houses would take the novel, package it, market the hell out of it, and sell it. They would send the writer on book tours while accompanied by a trusty publicist. The publishing house would make all the arrangements; the writer had to show up and sign books. Even the most introverted novelist can sit at a table and sign books.

Today novelists need a second and far different personality to take over once they’ve finished their books. Suddenly they need to become extraverts with sales personalities. They need the fearlessness of an insurance agent cold calling strangers and the friendliness of a door-to-door salesperson selling 100% on commission.

Novelists today often make their own arrangements with bookstores, including cold calling the bookstore managers. They solicit their own reviews by contacting editors and bloggers. Recently I saw a few writers with booths at the Carlsbad Fair where they sold their books.

Can you imagine the quiet, introspective part of a novelist coexisting with the extraverted people-loving part of the novelist necessary to sell the books? It makes Felix and Oscar in The Odd Couple seem compatible.

I should point out that I’m not just talking about novelists who self-publish or publish with small publishing houses. Large publishing houses are hurting today to the point that they bet most of their resources on a few established novelists with legions of fans. The rest of their “lists” tend to receive very little support. Someone I know very well negotiated favorable terms from a major publishing house and discovered after the fact that it had laid off many of their editors. His editor turned out to be someone working at home as an independent contractor.

Occasionally you find novelists who enjoy the celebrity part of the job far more than the writing part. They appear perfectly content on late night TV interviews or even the early morning news shows. They joust with John Stewart on the Daily Show and dish it out with the women on The View.

Most novelists, though, shun the limelight. They’d be just as happy if they could hand over the marketing and selling of their books and concentrate on the next novel in their pipeline. Unfortunately the book’s not done until someone actually buys it, reads it, and enjoys it. Otherwise, we’re faced with a variation of that old philosophical question: If a book falls onto Amazon and no one hears about it or buys it, is it real or just part of the writer’s imagination?

Silent Partner ARCs

Any bloggers who write reviews on paranormal mysteries, please contact me for the opportunity to view an ARC of Silent Partner. This paranormal mystery will be released September lat by Pen-L Publishing. I’m very pleased with the care the publisher has taken to produce this book, including some very nice formatting of page numbers (with handcuffs if you can believe it) and chapter headings (a surprise).

Here’s what people will see soon on the Pen-L’s website:

Silent Partner 

by Stan Schatt

Coming September 1st!


      Detective “Frankie” Ryan tracks a sadistic killer while the press attacks her as a feminist vigilante who takes the law into her own hands. The only one who can help her is a tabloid reporter who can’t decide if he’s a psychic who sees ghosts or just someone going insane. As they search for the killer in a sunny seacoast city’s seamy S&M underside, they begin to question everything they know about sexual identity. How can they find the killer before he strikes again when he defies description? Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery, a police procedure novel with a female detective that will remind you of Harry Bosch, a ghost story that suggests what lies beyond death, and a comic look at a tabloid where the truth is whatever sells.

Schatt Research Publishes 3D Printing: A Guide for Investors

I’m very excited that Schatt Research’s first book, 3D Printing: A Guide for Investors has just been published as a Kindle book. The rationale for this project is to make solid research available to the general public at a very affordable price. Below you’ll find the press release as well as the cover.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

New book reveals bright future for 3D printing but words of caution for investors

3D Printing: A Guide for Investors by Stan Schatt guides potential investors through the maze that is the current 3D printing industry

May 6, 2014

CARLSBAD, Calif.  3D Printing: A Guide for Investors provides a guide to current technology, most likely market growth scenarios, a market forecast extending through 2018 and covering applications, printers, services, and materials, and an analysis of current vendors and their products.

According to Dr. Stan Schatt, Principal at Schatt Research, the total worldwide 3D printing market including printers, services, and material is likely to produce $3.3 billion in revenue in 2014. The 3D printing industry is still in its infancy after almost thirty years, but a number of factors are pushing the market closer to greater consumer acceptance of the technology. Schatt points out that while there still is no “killer application” for the home, several new features as well as falling prices and increased media coverage is moving the market beyond just hobbyists. He compares the current state of this industry to the personal computer market in the early 1980s. While there is great opportunity for investors, there also are considerable risks since the 3D printing industry is likely to experience the same kind of vendor fallout the PC industry experienced.

This book explains why it is difficult to find unbiased information about the 3D printing industry and why certain materials are poised for substantial growth as are certain companies specializing in services. It also examines some key legal and ethical issues that could derail industry growth.

Normally Schatt Research would publish this study as a report and price it accordingly, but it has decided to explore a new way for investors to purchase market research without paying thousands of dollars. Accordingly, 3D Printing: A Guide for Investors is available exclusively as an Amazon Kindle book for $9.99.

About the Author

Stan Schatt has over twenty years’ experience as a Research Director and Vice President at several of world’s leading market research companies including Forrester Research, Giga Information Group, Current Analysis, ABI Research, InfoCorp, and Computer Intelligence. He is the author of over thirty books on a wide range of subjects and has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, the Financial Times, Business Week, the New York Times, and Money Magazine. He has appeared on CNBC to discuss investment opportunities and new technology.

MEDIA CONTACT

Stan Schatt PhD, MBA

Email:  stanschatt@gmail.com   www.stanschatt.com

Phone:  760-613-10003Dprint_high

 

Disruptive Technology: Predicting The Future

For many years I made my living by forecasting what technology would be like five years into the future. Manufacturers would pay for reports that had my revenue forecasts and then use those numbers a number of different ways in their planning process.  Of course my numbers tended to be more conservative than those offered by  a lot of analysts. One product manager told me that he used forecasts from another analyst firm when it came to attracting investors, but he used my numbers for his actual planning work. What I learned over the years is that disruptive technology takes longer than people think to take over. Think of PCs, for example. It took several years longer than many people in the industry thought for PCs to become commonplace. Part of the reason is resistance to change, but another reason is that people need a specific reason such as an attractive application, to move them forward and make them change the fundamental way they do things.

Forecasting is one thing, but predicting major disruptive technology’s impact is another. It’s something that most people don’t do very well because it requires thinking completely outside the box. Remember the old Jetsons’ TV show? That vision of future transportation consisted of cars with wings on them. You have to break the mold for the way current things work in order to predict the future. So, here are some of my predictions for disruptive technology.

No More Smartphones: Thinking about investing long-term in smartphones? Don’t do it!. Much of the technology associated with a smartphone can be stripped apart into component pieces that you’ll wear (see my next prediction). There is no reason why a phone needs to look like a phone nor does someone have to hold a phone up to his or her ear to talk.

No More laptops, iPads, Notebook Computers: I know Steve Jobs would turn over in his grave over this one, but IBM Labs as well as other places have already developed wearable computers. Essentially you just need to place a small computing element in your pocket much like we now carry a key fob. What looks like an earring is in reality a receiver. As far as computing goes, why limit yourself to a tiny keyboard and and an even tinier screen. Most people will have a computer chip implanted that gives them 7/24 access to the Internet. They will probably use a version of a contact lens that gives them a virtual reality keyboard. Special coating on one’s fingers will enable the person to type on the virtual keyboard.

 Build it Yourself: Additive manufacturing will bloom as 3D printers become a basic home appliance. People will download designs the way they now download recipes. Does Mary want a new doll? The printer will produce one. Conversely, people who don’t have the inclination to print their own will be able to go to a neighborhood print center and pick up their manufactured and customized product.

The Cloud Becomes God-Like: As big data becomes even bigger, very complex databases containing images, music, etc. will become the norm. Do you see someone at a meeting and can’t remember his name? You’ll focus on him and send a message to your database in the cloud where all your contacts are kept, including images. The image of the person will be matched up and a name sent to you.

They Know Who You Are and What You’re Thinking: Some breakthrough research shows that scientists are just starting to identify brain patterns and match them up with specific thoughts. Thinking about a beautiful girl whose picture you saw? So, what’s the practical application of this technology in the future? Imagine if you’re walking or driving past a store. The store will recognize your IP address from your implant and match that address with your customer database entry. They will be able to end you an alert that a particular item you obviously like because you’ve bought it in the past is now on sale. If the store can recognize a specific brain pattern such as a sweater, for example, it could send an even more customized alert. Look for the civil libertarians to fight hard to keep our thoughts private.

Quantum Transportation: Maybe Star Trek was onto something when it showed people being beamed from place to place. The latest research on quantum mechanics shows that someday quantum teleportation is possible. Of course it will take many years for us to perfect it. Right now the best we can do is note the nature of entanglement. Old timers will approach teleportation the way people puzzled over fax machines. Remember the confusion over how you could send a report over a telephone wire? How could you squeeze it into such a small space? The same confusion will be found when it comes to the question of whether you’re sending a copy of yourself and whether that means there are two versions of yourself running around. Is the original destroyed? The debate will make the old debate over possible death panels and healthcare seem like child’s play. Still, quantum teleportation is a disruptive technology that will make traditional transportation obsolete someday.

Everything in the House is Talking but Me: Years ago Cisco Systems suggested the idea of a smart refrigerator, one that would keep track of what is being consumed and then produce a shopping list. Let’s take communications a lot further. Imagine all the appliances in your house in communication with one another and with your 3D printer. Imagine you decide you’d like a specific dish for dinner. You send a message to your home and then the real action starts. The master console checks to see what raw ingredients are found in the refrigerator as well as other areas of the house. The ingredients are assembled and the 3D printer uses its sophisticated synthesizing ability to take chemicals and build food molecules to fill in the missing ingredients. The final concoction tastes like what you ordered. Now, if you’re the type of person to become paranoid, imagine having to worry about what your appliances are saying about you.

Notice that each of these predictions has to do with breaking the mold associated with our current way of thinking about how to do things. That’s why the term “disruptive technology” has become such a cliche in Silicon Valley circles when it comes to attracting investors. Who wouldn’t want to get in on the ground floor when it comes to a truly disruptive technology? Smartphones and iPads broke the mold and created new ways of doing things. In the future, these devices someday will seem as antiquated as buggy whips and TVs with rabbit ears.