From Passive to Active: Here Come the Creator Tablets (via


Chad Pelley recently wrote on about the shifting relationships between publisher and writer as writers move to gain more control over the distribution and monetization of their content.

This is just one aspect of the seismic shift that’s occurring.

Here’s the beginning of another profound development: a creator-fuelled instantaneous direct to market tablet – potentially, in the future, soon, that is – called the NoteSlate.

Behold some amazing grammar:


This low cost gadget is very useful for everyone in a daily life. You can keep it anytime with you. Every day you need some notes, meeting notes, sketches, concentrate on your work. This e-paper tablet could help you to make that process as simple as possible. Immediately. The low consumption technology is enough for that …. Our target are all the people out there (creatives, managers, accounts, planners, future thinkers, writers, drafters, teachers, children, schools, geeks, all living people also in the third world, who needs to grab ideas on the paper and are still doing that with pen. And for the lowest possible price, it will be accessible for all the parts of the world. And the highest value it has are your own notes, ideas,…


And so… what does this mean? What, besides a precipitous drop in the quality of copy writing and/or translation services, does this portend?

Who knows, except that artists and writers will soon have the inexpensive, portable tools for creating content in unique, dynamic ways and then publishing that content to the web and POD immediately.

A tablet that doesn’t just offer you a ‘reading experience with a branded ebook ecommerce option attached‘.

A tablet that let’s you read and create with it. And share with it.

This comes close to reflecting the reality of something that I wrote about a year and a half ago for our friends at Open Book Toronto and was inspired by conversations with Hugh McGuire:


People are going take text that they like or want to use for a specific purpose from wherever they can find it, and they are going to manipulate it to whatever ends they desire. Then they’re going to slap it into some kind of digital container and probably cross-pollinate the work with video, stills, music, scans of random junk found lying around and then they are going to share it. That content will then be reconstituted by others who have picked it up somewhere in the digital aether.

In this ridiculously dystopic Mad Max/Blade Runner world, the great Icelandic ballads are mixed together with a Kigali street-slang reawakening of The Faerie Queene and cut up with non-sequitur injections of scanned foreign fast food containers, tabloid ragas, personal histories, rude limericks and the latest photographs of Tokyo hipsters torn from graffiti magazines.

Books, released from the tyranny of their covers, physical dimensions and coordinated distribution networks will transcend themselves into a place where pure creativity and collaboration can exist without the burden of commerce.

– from The Future of Publishing: A Conversation between Sean Cranbury and Hugh McGuire. OpenBook Toronto, September 2009.

Sean Cranbury is the Executive Editor of Books on the Radio. He's also Founder and Creative Director of the Real Vancouver Writers' Series. Sean is General Manager at the legendary Storm Crow Tavern and consults with literary arts organizations on digital communications strategies.

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