[LINK] E-books said to be "utterly unneeded"
Thu, 09 Aug 2001 18:39:25 +0930
> From: Danny Yee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 18:30:41 +1000
> To: Jenny Millea <email@example.com>
> Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: [LINK] E-books said to be "utterly unneeded"
>> I think that's what people say who are not involved in creating a creative
>> work from scratch. (no offence meant)
> I invest a lot of time in writing, and I publish it all online (at
> my own cost), where it's freely accessible. I think this is true
> of rather a lot of people on Link, so I don't think the "you can't
> talk about this unless you're an author/creator" argument gets you
> anywhere at all
I wasn't saying that you can't talk about it unless you're a author/creator
at all. What I'm saying is that the argument is often made by people who do
not make their living from the creative process, or who don't want to. My
guess is that you have another type of job and you have the 'leisure' to
spend on writing for free. Most people I know who are 'literary' writers -
for want of a better term - have other jobs that are usually tenuous; that
is they are part-time or sessional academics, high school teachers, doing
freelance editing, try and get gigs as writers-in-residence, and/or work in
everyday jobs because they can't survive on what the current
copyright/distribution/publication system provides. Australia's also got a
problem with having only a small population/market too, of course.
> The Internet and the content available on it demonstrates conclusively
> that there *are* incentives other than profit that will make people
> write and publish. Also, people estimate that 90% of software is
> written "in house", and not for sale. I think the same is true for
> writing -- most of it is produced by e.g. academics writing papers,
> people writing company reports, lawyers producing case-law, etc. etc.,
> where people are being paid to do the writing, not through control
> of the resulting "intellectual property".
You don't need the internet to prove that. Writers, artists etc have always
done it for nothing or for little - that's the thing about the creative
process, even if there's no return, people do it.
And the publishing industry is built on that. The internet just gives them
another place to be. No writer or artist does it purely for money. It's just
not worth it if you're doing it for money alone. No small publisher is in
publishing for the money. Again, it's just not worth it.
> As with programming, writing *is* more often than not service rather
> than a product -- and that will be increasingly true.
I don't think writers see what they do as 'service provision' unless you use
it in the broad sense and talk about service to the community to reflect our
And bringing this back to e-books, e-books provide a mechanism of a sort to
enable more ideas to be more available and hopefully to provide authors with
a better return %-wise, on their effort.