Bob Mayer and I were at Thrillerfest this past week. We gave a workshop on the Future of Publishing for the Writer. One of the things I talked about was that while we think our eBook is forever, the technology that is coming our way could actually put our eBook on the “out of stock” list. Why? Because generally speaking with technology you can almost always go forward, but you can’t go back. Think back to the days of DOS (Disk Operating System). Can we run anything we have now on DOS? Probably a couple of things, but the key issue is in coding and either things will show up as junk or it won’t show up at all because DOS won’t “understand”.
An eBook is basically a website. You know how you are constantly asked to update your browser? A while back we talked about different types of browsers. Google Chrome. IE (Internet Explorer). Firefox. Safari. And there are others. Each of these browsers work different and each has their own way of understanding the coding. I believe if you are still using IE 7 you will have a hard time with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Ever go to a website and your browser doesn’t read it right? Comes up all weird? Most likely that is because the website is more advanced in coding than your current browser can handle.
So what does this have to do with eBooks? Its simple. You created an eBook lets say about 2 years ago. Well since then, Mobi 8 has been introduced for Kindle. You also have the Kindle Fire. So, should you go in and update your eBook? Yes. Why? Eventually your eBook will become out of date with technology. Ah, but you say its just a fiction novel. Nothing fancy. Don’t need this or that. No bells and whistles. Remember, Readers rule and they are going to want the bells and whistles. I’m not talking about enhanced eBooks, I’m simply talking about keeping up with the technology.
So, while your eBook can be forever, you’re going to have to tweak it every once in a while with new coding, and any other changes that are going on in the industry. That is the beauty of it. But is also a responsibility.