What’s a stale book you ask? Let me tell you.
I recently bought a book for my e-reader and settled in for a good read. It is out of my usual genre (romance) and more like the books Diane Capri writes,which means it is a thriller. (If you like thrillers, hers are great and are available here.)
The book I’m so unhappy with is set in the middle east during an American CIA mission on which the fate of the world depends.
Great setting, right?
The book opens with a CIA executive briefing the American president about the risks to American safety and the future of the free world. Apparently these risks are posed by one man who wants to:
1. Build a dirty bomb
2. Set off a chemical bomb
3. Create terrorist activities on US soil
4. And so forth
Obviously I’m in for a spine tingling, sit on the edge of my chair read. But wait…what name is this?
Saddam Hussein? Whaaaaaat?
In all honesty I couldn’t finish the book. The former leader was not the villain by any stretch of the imagination but the premise of the book was: We have to get the bad guy before he gets to Saddam and they destroy the world.
One of the advantages of indie publishing is the ability to have our books on the electronic shelf forever. But forever means time changes and if I want a book to remain ‘real’ to my reader, I have to ensure that it is current and topical.
By the way, it’s not just thrillers. I bought several of my favorite romance writer’s ebooks and was most disappointed to see she hadn’t updated her backlist – so the hero popped a cassette into the car stereo, used a phone booth, and went home to check email. OOPS. Right away I’m out of the story and into my head about what’s wrong with this book
So tell me, how do you ensure that your books stay current over the long haul? Do you pay attention to these questions when you write? Or when your book is published? Or do you consider them at all?