If I am going to be a writer, earning a living in the era of digital text, I need to understand where the opportunities are. They won't disappear, they'll just be different, and need to be recognised. In the last days of Vaudeville Theatre, they sued Marconi because radio was killing Vaudeville, where you had to pay to go into a relatively small room to listen to music and voice. But it didn't kill music, the outcome was a thousand times more music, making a thousand times more money, reaching a thousand times more people. But in the short term, there was panic. If digital text will result in hundreds more authors, with hundreds more novels, I need to be in the middle of eBooks. I need to be heavily engaged. All those people downloading my text is good news.
[What is the new is the creative process involved in producing a blook.] Blogs encourage their authors to publish in small, partially formed chunks,.. Previously, such jottings might have been kept in the author's notebook but something amazing happens when you post them online: readers help you connect them, flesh them out and grow them into fully-fledged books or blooks.
There are answers that cover the short, medium and long term. Everyone needs to realise that the thing the internet is good at is copying files, especially text files, between different locations. It is not a bug that needs cured, it doesn't need fixed, it's what makes the internet work. More people are reading more words from more screens everyday. It's not going to be long before the majority of text people read is in a digital format.
There are people already sharing eBooks out there,.. And they do it simply because they love books. You don't buy a second copy of a book, cut the spine off, lay each page on a scanner, run that. Tif through an OCR (Optical Character Reader), hand edit the resulting output for errors and then post it online if you don't love the book. It can up to 80 hours to turn a printed novel into an eBook. I figure if someone out there is willing to put in 80 hours of work promoting my book, then I'd prefer they do it in a way that gives a better return to me.
And it is promotion. My publisher, Tor Books, have some modern methods that allow them to make a profit on as little as 3,000 copies of a hardcover novel. The traditional methods would need a print run of 50,000 paperbacks. That means Tor can afford to have tons of first novelists every year on much shorter runs. But then the marketing effort is diluted to cover all those authors. It's not possible to make a good living from being a mid-tier author, just selling in the bookshops. I need to promote myself, with all the tools I have.
It's our goddamed city! It's our goddamed country. No terrorist can take it from us for so long as we're free. Once we're not free, the terrorists win! Take it back! You're young enough and stupid enough not to know that you can't possibly win, so you're the only ones who can lead us to victory! Take it back!
Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
The United States of America was a pirate nation for the first one hundred years of its existence, ripping off the patents and trademarks of the imperial European powers it had liberated itself from by blood. By keeping their GDP at home, the U.S. Revolutionaries were able to bootstrap their nation into an industrial powerhouse. Now, it seems, their descendants are bent on ensuring that no other country can pull the same trick off.