The problem: There is no way for an individual independent writer to be published in eBook format for sale.
(Note: I do not count Amazon’s Kindle Store and its confiscatory ass-backwards money split; its proprietary eBook lock-in file format is also detrimental to the interests of all writers.)
1) WordPress-like easy blogging system with an eBook eCommerce component
– WordPress.COM does not have this
– WordPress.ORG has a plug in, but:
— not every writer wants to devote time to webmastery
— personally, I still recall what happened to Gear Diary — (I’m not the only one!)
2) There are no indie eBookstores
– indie: not owned by Amazon, Apple, Google, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Microsoft or other behemoth
– indie eBookstore would carry titles current behemoth eStores do not
— print indie bookstores carry titles not found at B&N/Borders
— comic book stores carry fanzines
3) Apple and Amazon cannot be entrusted with freedom of expression
– Sony probably can’t be entrusted either
4) Am not attracted to sites such as Lulu, Smashwords, et al
– perception of sludge pile (worse than slush pile)
5) FictionWise, others, won’t deal with single writer
– combination of writers banding under a shell company label?
— Chaplin, Pickford, Fairbanks, Griffith United Artists model
6) Universal eBook Catalog
– list every eBook available
– become the discovery source
– break the “Let’s look it up on Amazon” cycle
– must be an entity in itself to preserve freedom of expression
— I still think The Pirate Bay should do this
7) No ePub tools for writers
– Adobe InDesign expensive and complex
— complexity not needed for all-text
— writers don’t do design
– software must be blog-easy
— multiple eBook eejit-proof templates like Apple’s Pages
I no longer believe that eBooks will enter the mainstream via the mainstream.
I now believe in the analogy to punk music in yesterday’s post.
What needs to happen:
ONE eBook gains a Word of Mouth (WOM) reputation
(Note: there are over 16 million eBook devices now [iPhone/Touch])
– genuine word of mouth or PR-assisted?
— PR-assisted cannot move something that’s shit
— only genuine WOM matters
— WOM moved The Fountainhead in 1940s
Unknown contributing(?) factor: Blog Book Tours
An eBook with WOM cachet and must-read-ness that’s available only as an eBook (in a format that cannot be printed out) could help push the needle from print books to eBooks
WOM must be of such scale to achieve Internet escape velocity
– must enter mainstream culture, not be confined to Internet Culture
That eBook must not compromise by going into print
That eBook must be dedicated to the Cause of eBooks
Given possibility of piracy, eBook should not be seen as money-maker
Rough notes. But I think eBooks now have to grow from the bottom-up, not be dispensed top-down from the self-appointed Publishing Gods of New York City’s Mt. Olympus.
eBooks are the future and are too important to be left up to publishers.
We live the precedent: The Internet grows from the bottom-up.