Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Post by Estevan Vega: Adapt or Die

As the World Turns…Adapt or Die
By Estevan Vega

I thought the first part of that sentence was way too cheesy and hugely soap of me to leave as is; the cute little tag at the end makes it really shine.
Glad you agree.

For those of you who don’t know, the world is changing. But it doesn’t stop there. Yes, along with a number of floods, earthquakes, tornadoes (minus Helen Hunt or the ever-charming Bill Paxt…wait), and shady politicians, the world of commerce is changing. The world of information. The world of books.

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave the last decade, you have noticed a significant hiccup in the routine. You used to be able to waltz into a record store (I know, what’s that?) and purchase a CD, or second scenario, you hoped to God they carried your favorite artist in a Wal-Mart/Best Buy. If you were looking for a Friday night flick, you hopped into your car and sped to Blockbuster. But in case you are one of the few humanoids who can’t read the apocalyptic signs, allow one with the third eye to help out. Record stores, made famous for ridiculously high prices, have all but become obsolete. Likewise, many Circuit Citys have been chased out by Best Buys. And more recently, Blockbuster has suffered a devastating blow, now forced to close hundreds of stores, many near my house. Very inconvenient. I mean, aggravating. I mean, sad.

But it doesn’t stop there. More good news. For many. Borders filed bankruptcy earlier this year. Are times-a-changin’ or what? I never thought I’d actually see such heavy hitters knocked out. But it happened. Why? Because just as the music and DVD herd have thinned, other forms of entertainment are thinning. Books. One of the last great treasures, are losing value to many. For years, the industry has been down-sizing, hurting publishers, but even more so, killing the species known as genus author. Now, of course, this is much more frustrating than witnessing the demise of my childhood escape store, Blockbuster, because I am an author. No, seriously, I am. You don’t have to check Google or anything. But what am I to make of this ever-changing, ever-turning world of entertainment?

Well, to put it simply: it’s time to adapt to the times.

While I still have a deep appreciation and love for print books, e-books are the machines storming into Zion right now, and guess what, Neo’s not here to stop them. But this is not all doom and gloom for the author. No, in fact, it’s dank. Or, awesome. Like never before, authors can connect with fans the way artists have been forced to connect with crowds at a rock show. People may not be shelling out cold, hard cash for records, but they’ll see a band light up the stage come Saturday night. Similarly, a customer might hesitate to buy an expensive hardcover but be more inclined to click a button and have that same book at the mercy of their fingertips in seconds, without ever leaving their couch.

Like being able to change the channel without getting up, e-books are changing the face of the industry, the face of entertainment. They’re immediate. They’re now. If an author is going to make it, he/she must establish an online presence; find some niche, some way to connect to your audience. Find what your audience needs and give it to them. If a three minute song can make a person laugh, and if a 90-minute romance can make a chick forget she just got dumped, then a book, delivered on time and by an ever-sexy Amazonian website, can change even the most primitive author into an adversary to be reckoned with. Perhaps writers have just been given a get-out-of-begging-for-your-big-break card.

This is the future. Adapt or die.


Estevan Vega grew up in Connecticut and published his first book by the age of fifteen. His writing has been likened to that of Stephen King and Ted Dekker because he is known for penning stories that bridge the gap between the ordinary and the supernatural. Arson is his third novel and book one in the Arson trilogy. Look for its re-release this summer, as well as the upcoming release of book two in the series.

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