Monday, February 26th, 2007
This week is my turn to work with the students on De Montfort’s Online MA in Creative Writing and New Media, which I am very much looking forward to. But first, an apology: I had promised to put together a video lecture, but it turns out that video is a lot harder than it looks. I spent most of the weekend struggling with the technology, only to end up at 1am this morning with a video which was both too long and rubbish. I’ve thus concluded that I need to acquire a few new skills before I start making rash promises about video - I hope you’ll forgive me, but I honestly think those are 30 minutes of your life that you can do better things with.
Everything I would have said in the video has already been published, however, in the Open Publishing category of this blog:
- Open publishing - preparing a lecture for De Montfort
- Open publishing - Why do people publish books for free, and what about audiobooks?
- Open publishing - Writing in an age of pirates
- Open publishing - A wider context
- Open publishing - Something for nothing, three years on
- Open publishing - Cory Doctorow
- Open publishing - Open access in the scientific world
- Open publishing - Collaborative writing
- Open publishing - The opposite of open is DRM
But I’m left with a few questions.
- What are the numbers? How have Penguin, Tor and Baen seen sales develop over the live of an open book? Do they have any information that would allow a comparison between downloads and sales?
- Does open publishing prolong the shelf-life of a book?
- Is success genre specific, and focused on internet-literate readers such as science fiction fans and tech books?
- Do authors who open publish earn more overall? Do they get more requests to speak, or write for magazines or newspapers? Do they get other paid gigs alongside their writing?
- Will the model work when we don’t need paper at all? Is open publishing a blip, viable only during the period within which ebooks are non-interchangable with paper books?
- Do ebook downloaders buy more books overall?
- What’s the relationship between audiobooks and ebooks?
There is, obviously, a lot more to say about open publishing and my curiosity is very much piqued by what I’ve read and written so far. I look forward to delving into the topic even more and look forward to everyone’s questions and comments.