In an age where yesterday seems like it was only 24 hours ago, it is almost dizzying to realize that at this very moment, scientists are already working on the problems of tomorrow. Clearly they’ve given up on the problems of today. Undaunted by their failure to deliver on the promised Jetsons-style flying car, science now boldly moves beyond teaching monkeys to smoke and putting sleeves on blankets.
Digital technology has changed the way books are written, published, distributed, purchased, rated, and ignored. Thanks to science, it takes less time than ever before for an aspiring author to become disillusioned. The two things we know about people is that 1.) They do not like the way things are, and 2.) They hate change. This is why science stopped listening to people a long time ago.
New authors often wonder how long they might have to wait before they see reasonable sales of their fiction. Whether they have published story collections, individual novellas or shorts, or full-length novels, the desire to understand the life history, or life cycle, of a book of fiction resides in many authors. The newest comers to this crazy industry understand book longevity in a different way from those who have been writing or publishing for some time.
The reason is obvious. In addition, those who view the book industry from the angle of a reader see it in a vastly different light from authors or publishers. It’s as different as seeing a theatre from behind the footlights, on a stage lit up for a performance, as it is seeing the theatre as a cleaner, when everyone’s gone and the house lights are up. If you have never been on a stage, you can compare the difference to the one of a rally driver looking at the track through a muddy windshield, and the guy who walks the same track after the race, picking up demolition derby souvenirs. The view is nothing like that of the person doing the work that makes the whole show possible. Continue reading “The Longevity of an eBook”