Feb 6, 2012

Taking Over the World (of publishing and other mad genius pursuits)


Okay, I’ve said it before, but let me just say it again, and again, (and again – growing fainter and echo-y – again, again…) When will writers unite to form their own cooperative?

These thoughts re-occur on the heels of reading about Amazon ruling the internet, followed by article after blog about the battle between Amazon and Barnes and Noble with regard to who will distribute what. What? So if my books are published in Kindle format, B&N won’t sell them – on their site? Or do they mean just in their stores? But didn’t I just purchase insurance against returns – that nit-picky thing called "expanded distribution" that makes it safe for booksellers to carry your product?

I’m a simple person. I need you to use tiny words. I use tiny words. I use lots of tiny words to create novels. Here’re my words: can't we just simplify everything by forming a writing cooperative?

And here’s my evil genius plan, laid out for all the super heroes to see before the crime is committed – just like any good evil villain is apt to provide:

1) Writers form a cooperative. This cooperative takes the form of a web/distribution site.
2) Books are posted – FREE to READERS! (What? Free books? With no compensation to writers? Hold on to your waist bands. Keep Reading.)
3) Advertisers receive a single display of their ad… on each page of the book. This takes the form of something simple, not too distracting from the book, but a good ol’ more than subliminal message. (Remember, it takes 12 exposures to a thing before the viewer takes action.)
4) For every page read, the advertiser PAYS THE AUTHOR one cent. (Well, the better part of a fraction of one cent, because someone’s gotta pay those pesky techno geniuses who maintain this web/distribution “smart-site.”)

*Note, this is still more than competitive. 8% royalty rate on a $10-12 dollar book? More if you sell through the Big-A, but we’re talking volume. (You do the math. I’m a humanities major.)

5) The writer (and potential reader,) obtain(s) some invaluable information!

And it’s this last component that is soooo important to this evil genius scheme. What the writer gets is feed back. This smart site keeps track of pages read, (for the purpose of billing the advertiser and paying the author,) but in addition to the benefit of being paid, the author also can see where the reader stopped reading, (if they stopped mid-way through the book consistently.) Invaluable information!

6) In addition, this smart site could provide the reader an opportunity to rate the book, and leave a review. Probably most noteworthy, however, is that this site has also compiled an accurate gauge of which books are true “best sellers.” It’s an absolutely empirical means of determining those best seller figures.

So, there it is, my evil genius plan in a concise page. Look out Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Break out your superheroes. The writers are taking over, so take that! Ka-Pow! Bam-O! Ctrl-S!

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