If someone describes themselves as a writer, it’s easy to assume they mean they are a creative writer and that they probably write novels or short fiction. But “writing” covers a huge range of styles and genres.
Fiction is about storytelling, but stories are also an essential element of scripts and screenplays. And writing doesn’t stop with stories: there’s poetry, and non-fiction – full-length reference books, textbooks, travel guides, biographies, etc. – as well as essays and articles that appear on the web or in newspapers and magazines. Not just general interest magazines, but professional and technical, as well as in-house newsletters for organisations of all types. What about all the supermarket magazines, the leaflets you pick up in the bank, instruction manuals, tourist brochures, local directories… and the blurbs at the front of the phone book, the information sections on timetables, and labels on food and clothes? These may not exactly be literary epics, but they still need to be written by someone. And surely someone who writes for a living is a writer? So, while a novelist is certainly a writer, a writer may deal with all sorts of other texts and publication types.
In the same way, digital publishing isn’t only about formatting fiction to be read on eReaders. It also includes enhanced ebooks and content apps with audio and video, high-quality full-colour images, interactive maps and 3D explorable models. And this kind of digital publication isn’t just for creative literature, but can be used for technical product specs or business catalogues, multimedia CVs, company profiles and other corporate literature.
Almost any piece of print collateral that a company uses might be published digitally. Not simply formatted as a pdf, but re-imagined, expanded and enhanced to take advantage of the functions available via handheld devices.
In short, digital publishing is just as relevant to business as it is to novelists and other creative writers, and the writers themselves are also an essential part of a content-rich business environment.