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Things Have Changed (as well as FB) September 22, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in business, cats, e-books, food, movies & TV, music, sci-fi, Second Life, VIPub, writing.
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A couple days ago I blogged about reviews and reading/not reading them. Since progress always marches on (and sometimes over us, as witnessed by the “upgrade” in Facebook) what’s a reader to do without a reviewer?

The answer is pretty obvious if you read ebooks. There is a sample function that lets you read the first few pages of the work. If you like what you read, go for it. If you don’t, you’ve gone to a primary source (your own likes/dislikes) and spent about the same amount of time as reading someone else’s review. The latter requires you to decipher the reviewer’s opinions and use them as a filter. If the reviewer hates s&s and gives a bad review, this is pretty worthless since the best s&s would get the same level of contempt. If the reviewer hates s&s and gives a good review, you might have to dig further. Reviewer a friend? Having a good day? Something else? You still don’t know.

Read the sample chapter yourself and decide. What a concept, forming your own opinion rather than relying on an outsourced one.

Last night in Mike Stackpole’s office hours (Second Life) he made the point that we writers are entertainers. A long time ago Poul Anderson famously said we are in competition for the reader’s beer money. Do they buy our book or a six pack? Cost is about the same. This is an example of indirect competition. We are indirectly in competition with all forms of entertainment, video games, movies, amusement parks, music, baseball games, tv, even that six-pack. (Think of this as an example. You want to go to a restaurant and there’s a McD’s at hand. Next to it is an Applebee’s–indirect competition. They both serve food but different kinds in different atmosphere. Next to that is a Burger Thief. Direct competition since both food and ambiance are on a par with McD’s. Which do you choose? This is the heart of direct & indirect competition.)

Direct competition comes from other authors, other books (pretty much in the same genre). It’s always good for a business to identify both customers and potential customers. How do we do things better than tv or movies? How do we give the reader a superior experience to another author? This is all part of VIPub and the business of writing.

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