Yesterday, I mentioned that getting published has never been easier, thanks to Amazon. One of the other effects that publish-on-demand creates is a book that isn't outdated by the time you finally see it in print.
I am reading a book (it's a romance and I'm simply not going to admit to the title so you can make fun of me for what drew my attention to downloading AND reading it). In it, are references to the somewhat crude TV series 2 Broke Girls and to the disappointing movie John Carter. (and no, I was not disappointed despite being a huge collector of Edgar Rice Burroughs' books and a long-time lover of his Martian books).
In the old days, a manuscript would have taken some time to write and re-write under the usually austere gaze of a sharp-eyed editor. Let's say a year to be charitable. The process to actually print and distribute the books would have added a year to two years, 18 months on average, to it's publication date. Somewhere between a year and three years after the writer thought to joke about 2 Broke Girls and John Carter, those humourous bits of dialogue would have finally been exposed to the world.
And the odds are that readers might be scratching their heads. The likelyhood of 2 Broke Girls still airing three years from now is slim. And John Carter, while unsuccessful, will survive on DVD and won't nearly be noteworty as a bomb to the same degree as say, Heaven's Gate or Ishtar. So those references will be lost on the people who buy the book and look over to their DVD pile and see the described bomb in the book and wonder.
But the beauty of instant publishing is that the book comes out and the jokes are still fresh. It's also the issue with instant publishing. If the book DOES become a perennial and keeps selling year after year, fewer and fewer people will be understanding the topical references. Yin and Yang.
Still, I'm enjoying the book for what it is ... a book length blog posting. I get the jokes while I'm reading the book. And that's all that's important to me.