by Jules Older
Sometimes a great notion comes in unexpected form.
In this case, it was an email — a deeply humiliated email — from a travel and ski writer. He'd just spent a night in the drunk-tank in the ski town of Whistler, British Columbia. Here's how the email started:
“For accommodations in Whistler, you can’t beat the price. I found a single room for the cost of a bottle of Chianti (Reserva 2007 - $24.95, plus tax).”
The moment I read that opening line, I wanted to publish the email as a ski story.
The moment I had that thought, I had another: I can publish it as a ski story.
And before the sun set, I’d begun the process of publishing my first and, so far, only, ebook.
Ebook: a book-length publication in digital form, to be read on ebook readers, mobile devices and home computers.
I emailed the best ski writers I knew who wrote personal stories — not instructional, race coverage or gear reviews — and asked them to contribute one chapter each to an ebook with, as yet, no ename.
And while I awaited their answers, I created a name:
SKIING THE EDGE: Humor, Humiliation, Holiness and Hope.
Almost all the writers said yes. They sent me deeply personal tales from an altitude of 17,000 feet in Bolivia, from dodging gunfire on the slopes of Lebanon, from the day the chairlift crashed in British Columbia. They sent stories from the interrogation room in Toronto’s airport, from a sickeningly steep couloir in France, from the little ski town in Colorado where Beth Jahnigen first encountered real male culture:
SKIING THE EDGE: Humor, Humiliation, Holiness and Heart is my first eBook, and the learning curve has been as steep as a double-black-diamond run at Vail.