The Internet was the colossal meteor that hit the world of publishing, rapidly wreaking drastic changes to its once-stable enviornment. And now we watch the dinosaurs perish. Beautiful dinosaurs, mind you! Useful dinosaurs. Publishers of books, magazines, journals and newspapers have, over the last several centuries, brought us many gems of culture, not to mention cheap thrills and entertainment.
But the days in which these behemoths – for good or ill – held all the capital and (more importantly) all the mass communications media in their hands, are over. The publishing world is being overrun by a brood of talented, not-so-talented, and down-right philistine amateurs who can spead a text around the globe from any computer connected to the internet anywhere in the world.
Those who make their living from the written word have reacted in various ways. Just this last week a journalist friend of mine, who not too many years ago was pulling down over $1,000 an article writing for trade magazines, wrote to me: “Journalism’s dead!” He’s going back to being a science teacher. His wife, who used to be an AP reporter, is in PR now. I retreated to the comfy world of corporate editing. People are scrambling. Any port in a storm.
But it’s good to see that – while the T-Rexes are dropping like flies – there are little furry critters in the underbrush trying to figure out how to carve out their own little niches of the king’s former empire.
This project strikes me as a particularly clever way of selling writing. You wanna see it published, he says, then support me upfront! The guy is cleverly leveraging the fact that he has already published two books on the subject as showing his bona fides that the project will get done, and done well.
Yes, he could have just published his article gratis in Rending the Veil, as he has before (and for whom he writes an excellent column), but what the heck! He deserves a little cash for his effort, doesn’t he?
And his marketing is clever, too: refering to the pledges as “ransom”. I take my hat off to him. Clever idea. I’m very curious to see how much money gets pledged, and how fast.
And now I have to decide how much I’m going to pledge. Do I really wanna cough up 20 bucks for the inscribed chapbook? Tempting.
Addendum: I tried to pledge. I clicked on all the right links, but despite the fact that I already have an Amazon Payments account, and even have some credit left on it, I came to a page that demanded more information from me. That wouldn’t have been a problem if it weren’t for the field that said “country: United States”, and there was no way to change it. And I couldn’t continue processing my donation. F___! I don’t understand.
Sorry Patrick. Your infrastructure will limit you to donors from the USA.