Date: 2010-08-17 04:22 am (UTC)
The thing is, they were supposed to be publicity machines. The industries came to be, in essence, to spread the risk of bankrolling performers for what were increasingly high production costs. Maybe Garage Bands X, Y, and Z wouldn't earn out the initial investment of getting them into a studio, setting them up to tour, and putting sexy displays into major music shops, but if you averaged their performance with a U2 or a Metallica, the loss of investment didn't really matter. Same thing with films and novels - you were playing a statistical game by assuming the risk for a wide number based on the payoff from a few breakouts, and providing content creators with the sort of amenities they'd be unable to afford on their own at first, like editors and layout artists and sound crews and roadies, etc, etc. Division of labor.

I think my friend actually blogged about how the Publishing Industry as we know it first Borg-ified to assimilate small publishers and offer ludicrous advances to big-name authors and such. It's probably somewhere in her blog at Candlemark & Gleam, though I'm not 100% sure if it was there or on her LJ. That is, for the record, the company site I was talking about. She's remarkably levelheaded, and I'm really hoping it works out for her.

Since ebooks really do have to cost almost as much as a print book, especially when you're not publishing in print to begin with, and since most people are unwilling to pay those prices for digital ephemera (myself included), I really think the "tip jar" is a decent way to at least allow those people to pay something, rather than making it the all-or-nothing deal it's so often seen to be. In a perfect world, everyone would have ten quid to drop on a digital book, and a dandy indestructible ereader to read it on - in the real world, there are some people for whom that digital edition isn't worth the money because it lacks the convenience, and while it isn't fair that the publisher still has to take the same risks and invest the same in editing and layout, etc. to produce what's seen as a lesser product, it's good to at least give people a chance to plunk down what they think is decent when they've managed to snag a pirated copy.
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stephiny: (Default)

July 2011


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