Every now and then people wring their hands about fiction writing and how it’s cruisin’ for a bruisin’. (How the crap am I supposed to punctuate that?) But the fact of the matter is that the tools are already there for fiction authors.
The only thing I’ll really miss is the secondhand book market, and that’s going to take a while to die.
I was reading this post on Mediashift about the death of pulp magazines, a subject that always elicits more sympathy than you’d think, seeing as how nobody subscribes to them, when it occurred to me that if no one else was already doing it, I should start doing this.
Of course, they are already doing it, and although it’s a bit ugly and definitely early in the game, they do seem to be doing things the right way: freemium content.
I think news works best using a metered content model because when you present news you have a tricky moral dilemma, which is that more people reading more news is always the best option for society. So putting up a wall is actually counterproductive to the cause, if not to your wallet.
In fiction, nobody has a right to enjoy the story you’ve just created, and it’s perfectly legitimate to ask them to pay you money if they want to read your work.
Between off-the-shelf online payment systems, the kindle, the sony e-book readers, and any number of other digital products that are going to start letting you move long-form fiction from the computer screen (sucks to read) to your armchair (perfect to read), I think we’ll see a lot more authors moving to “digital pulps.”
In fact, I think that when I finally do finish my stupid already-one-and-a-half-year long short story project, I’ll shop it first to the editors at Book View Cafe as a free short they can offer.
Jason often blathers about publishing at Eat Sleep Publish. If you want more nonsense, subscribe to the RSS feed.