How the Ebook Revolution Compares to Another Great Revolution

publication changes

where are we in the digital culture?

 

I have been thinking recently about the twists and turns the music industry took when they had their great revolution; what we would now term, I imagine Music 2.0.

Remember Napster?

Back in the days of dial-up modems, the sound of the dial up modem wasn’t music to anyone’s ear, I don’t suppose, but I found the revolving triangle of the Netscape browser somewhat calming.

What wasn’t calming was the fear that the big music industry titans unleashed on music lovers when the lawsuits became frontpage news (when we bought the paper and got ink on our hands for reading it). There were more than several cases that were used to be an example for the Everyday Joe who ‘stole’ some billion dollar figure from music producers and performers every month and struck the fear into everyone on the world wide web. Yes, that’s what we called it in my day and we used all three words, as well.

Now, I wasn’t an offender, and I would swear this in a court of law,  because being an artist and working in the industry myself, I had a special affinity for those that produced any art in any medium and didn’t get fair-recompense. I didn’t go all medieval on the friends that downloaded music, but I sympathized with the artists that were not getting the paychecks they would get otherwise.

 

But this can go two ways.

A lot of the problem back then was one great behemoth of an organization that took over the music industry. It didn’t allow for free market competition and allow the markets to even themselves out in the economic climate. It was known as BMI. We’ve all seen the talk that Laurence Lessing gave at Ted with the overpowering support the courts give to new innovations.

 

How does this relate to writing?

Well we are going through another sort of revolution in the publishing industry with ebooks, and it’s been going on for some time.  We don’t have a behemoth industry to compare to BMI though some would call Amazon that giant, but there are plenty of other corporations that have the capacity to overtake them. It’s been done before. People can argue, and win in their minds, both ways when it  comes to the pros and cons of Amazon.

And yet, every minute the landscape changes. See what BitLit has to say in the latest salvo here.

I think this is a fantastic idea and would like to see how it works. now logistically the writers publisher if it is a trad pub would have to set up (and pay for) ISBNs for all version: print, digital, audio and of course there are the markets outside of your particular nation; these would have to be coordinated as well. And this is just off the cuff thinking; there is surely much more cost and arranging for this idea to work be feasible.

What do you think of what BitLit has to offer? Comment below.

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