How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Well, vacation’s a bit of a misnomer, I have to say, but I’ve been so quietly lately I figured I should explain myself.

I’m in rather a holding pattern, it seems, quietly watching the industry we all knew and loved change utterly from one minute to the next. Even something so basic as the ISBN is in flux, new markets are emerging, old ones are collapsing. What’s been standard business practice for years is being warped and twisted and wrung for its last penny by whichever enterprise has the biggest, most shameless vise, all wrapped up in shiny red “groundbreaking” packages.

I seem to go from excitement to outrage to apathy and all points in between, worrying about how to protect our authors, worrying which risks are viable and which will turn out to be mistakes. And of course there’s always “how to make buying a digital book a better experience than torrenting it” and “was Netflix on to something” debates to really keep the graymatter spinning.

I do take the occasional step back far enough to realize this is the turning point digital publishing has been waiting for. Of course, that brings with it the hope that someone will come to their senses and preserve the best parts of tradition and quality control for the readers taking their first steps into what’s sometimes an insanely complicated process that used to be as simple as buying a book, finding somewhere quiet to read it, and opening the cover.

In a nutshell, I think I’ve spent my summer vacation thinking too much. Boring of me, but it’s certainly an interesting time.


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