Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Will technology set writers free?

I’m sure you’re familiar with the breakdown of the music industry. It’s all due to the sharing of music, starting with Napster, and it’s still going on, sometimes officially sanctioned, oftentimes not. Through it all, though, the music industry seems helpless to stop it. But the really interesting thing is that now the creators of music (musicians) are able to reach out to a wider audience without having to sell their souls to the music industry devil.

It’s inevitable then for the publishing industry to go through the same thing. We’re at the start of that, but did anyone learn anything about the trials of the music industry?

That’s a bit hard to tell. Certainly publishers have haltingly embraced e-books in a way that music didn’t at the beginning with mp3s. Google, too, has muddied the water with their unprecedented grab at taking electronic control of copyrights that they do not own.

So what’s a lowly author to do? No one knows what sort of royalty structure should be in place for the much-cheaper-to-produce e-books. No one has any foolproof way to track something as ephemeral as an e-book download for a fee. The producers of what people read (and please be certain that this term does NOT include publishers — they only facilitate) are left standing around while the big boys (i.e. book store giants, the big publishers, Amazon, Apple et al) duke it out.

But isn’t the internet, and our own ability to publish our own books and then reach out to the world something that could be of exceptional value? Might it be possible to forge a successful career on one’s own using the power of new technology? Could a knowledgeable and creative author forge new ways to reach out to the reading public?

I think so and next week I’ll outline how. Sorry to be a teaser about this but I’m snowed under with work, both of the daily-grind sort, as well as due to several characters who have to stand around all day, waiting for me to join them as we try to figure out the plot to the new book.

Tune in again next Tuesday when all will be revealed...


ajcap said...

looking forward to it.
Cheers, AJ

Debby (Deborah Turrell) Atkinson said...

me, too, Rick. I keep wondering how to look at the present situation with fresh eyes.

ortseid said...

listening music is very nice it make me feel happy in times when i am mud.
can comfort me when i am lonely
i love listining music, through singing i express my emotion.

free music download online

Rick Blechta said...


May I suggest that while you're listening to your music, you could be cracking the books on using English as a second language?

Or maybe you do actually feel mud sometimes. Chacun a son gout.

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