New Year, New Horses, New Riders

New Year, new hopes, new dreams. This must have been what the Portuguese sailors wished for at the start of 1488, as they contemplated their fate on the day after St. Sylvester. Their tiny ships were locked in a storm, far out to sea in the raging southern Atlantic. – Dias days.pdf

Worse was to come…

This is the last part of the crossing of the Cape of Good Hope which appears on this blog. The remaining posts are about another journey to the east, which used the traditional Mediterranean route. It is the story of The Spy, Pero da Covilha. From the navigational perspective, the combined intelligence from both trips opened the door to India. Actually, the door to Calicut, for by the time Vasco da Gama sailed, his information was so complete that at Malindi, on the Kenyan coast, he sought a pilot for Calicut. Not India. He knew exactly where to go.

As I write this, The India Road is being prepared for electronic publishing. It took me some time to decide to go down this path, because I began by trying the old road. But like the road to India, risk and innovation may be the key.

E-Publishing, and books on demand, are around for a few hundred dollars or less. This does little more than cover costs, and is a completely new business model.

Mainstream publishers and literary agents are trawling the e-market for likely candidates, by looking at the authors who are winning prizes, attracting readers, and selling books. Once again, this works because terabytes are cheap, and shelf space and publishers’ time are not.

In other words, instead of one person “discovering” a new book, the Long Tail does it, and the old way goes fishing. Which makes good sense – if you want to publish authors who sell, what better way to do it than hook those who have already sold?

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