The fluid world of ebooks


All of us writing and publishing in this changing world, the giants and the idies alike, are explorers, finding our through a miasma by touch. We burn our fingers on our mistakes, regroup, regrope and try again. One things shows promise, then fizzles. A trend becomes a fad. Like trying to asses the intimate details of a lover’s body, we want to caress it everywhere at once. To avoid beating this metaphor to death, I’ll simply say that we face a myriad opportunities in terms of the way we convey our stories (now called “content” by the heathen), including various ebook formats, print books and even video and audio. Of course, these all have to be marketed differently.  Life is mostly fun, and seldom easy (if you are doing it right).

None of that is intended as a complaint. In fact, it is fascinating, especially since the situation is completely fluid. Today’s innovate solution is tomorrow’s old, and outdated  news. Some want to be one step ahead of the curve, but risk turning the wrong way, and just keeping pace is a challenge.

There are some very smart people out there, who I think are able to assess the situation accurately. They judge the implications with insight. They aren’t necessarily always right, but when they are wrong, they quickly determine that and reevaluate. They understand that in fluid situations you must be fluid. Being flexible isn’t an option, but a basic criteron.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch is a good example, maybe the best. I read her BUSINESS RUSCH blog regularly. I enjoy her thoughtfulness (as in thinking fully, not kindness, as she can be unkind, thank God!), her ability to question her own strategies and, most of all, her ability to express her thoughts compelling. By way of full disclosure, I confess to never having met the woman, know nothing about her that she hasn’t posted, and wouldn’t know her if she sat at the next table to me in a seedy nightclub. I do know she is worth reading if you care about our fluid world.

Fluid is good. It keeps us alive.

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