Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Research, and then there's research

I told the gaming group the Chinese baby story, and one of the players said that newborn baby boys have a street value in China because of their being so strongly preferred to girls. Which ramps the whole affair up in the "thriller" scale, if true, but wasn't mentioned in the news stories I read.

This is why you should research before you start writing. You don't want to do a lot of work, then do some research to fill in the blanks, and learn something that changes the whole face of your premise. God, the devil, and the best stories are all hanging out together in the details you dig out by researching.

Unfortunately, business research is less fun than story research. I'm supposed to be figuring out how to take the backlist books to which I have recovered rights, and learning how to make e-books of them. If electronic copies of these exist at all, they're on floppies in outdated versions of WordPerfect. So I'll have to scan the books, but I don't even know what the best format to scan them into is. So I'm asking people who've done it before, and so far not quite getting answers to the questions I thought I was asking, which means I'll have to do interpretive reading to discover if the answer I need are nevertheless in there.

Which is standard research procedure, but I keep finding more urgent things to do. You know how it is.

I don't even have an e-reader. I like hard copies. But if I can generate income from e-books, I'll have to learn to like them, too.

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