In the fight to remain relevant in our tech-savvy and millennial dominated world, technology and literary publishing are rapidly growing co-dependent. One site to take notice of the expanding literary/tech market is technology catalogue site CNET. Despite any scepticism ignited in the minds of the literary and tech set, CNET is proving that both camps are not mutually exclusive, but can happily come together and form a silky and delicious “technically literate” pudding.
Since March, CNET has been publishing online fiction from established and highly esteemed authors including, Nayomi Munaweera, Cristina Garcia, and Anthony Marra. Here’s the catch: each author must plot their story around the theme of technology in some creative way, thereby satisfying CNET’s devoted tech readership. The first story published online to CNET, entitled The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley by New York Times novelist Michelle Richmond, caters to book and technology lovers alike. According to Alexandra Alter of the New York Times, Richmond’s story “is a satire about an unhinged foodie’s relentless pursuit of popularity on social media.”With her social media focused narrative, Richmond’s 5500 word story, brilliantly speaks to CNET’s current tech saturated market in a way that is not traditionally associated with a technology driven platform – through highly crafted narrative.
Connie Guglielmo, CNET News’s editor in chief, states that the purpose of publishing monthly short fiction is to expand CNET’s audience, and grow their brand. Guglielmo notes that experimentation is so much a part of the current culture, stating that “if you don’t experiment, you stay in place.”
So how can this “technically literate” platform influence the author’s book-savvy fanbase? By introducing literary fiction to an online platform – formerly targeted to tech nerds – CNET is drawing upon a new audience of readers, while simultaneously generating interest in an author’s larger body of work. Everybody wins.