I continue to work as a contractor in offices. I enjoy this work, but sometimes the short term nature of the work is frustrating. I would like to think that the work I do will prevent the company from needing to hire contractors in the future, or that it saved them money. I think I am a rare type of person that struggles to think short term and excels at thinking long term.
One thing that I sometimes think about is how everyone, in a way is a contractor, and that life is the one contract that we signed, without knowing the terms. We still try our hardest to live up to the terms. Only what the terms are is quite vague and difficult to understand...
I found this "short introduction" book when I went to the SCBWI conference in Portland, Oregon a few weeks ago. Someone had left it at the hotel I stayed in and I picked it up. I used to love this series in high school and college, but I have not read one in a long time.
One interesting thing that the book said is that best seller may be a poor choice of words, since "best" is an ill-defined term. He says "better" seller may be a better term, and also that better and best are all relative, since there are some best sellers that go out of print fast, while other books that are not bestsellers may stay in print longer and ultimately sell more copies.
Also interesting was his comparison of British best sellers and American best sellers. One thing that I did not know was that the U.S. has been keeping track of best selling books much longer than Britain.
I wish the book had discussed peripheral markets like Canada. Because the population is so small in comparison to UK and American, it is difficult to build up a stable market of local best sellers. That is why Canada has Canadian Content laws, which prevent TV and radio from airing all British and (more likely) American content.
In theory I support government intervention into content if it is done to edify the population. Of course that is very complicated in practice...