I thought the idea was kind of cool and expressed an interest in trying it myself.
Anyway, today I receive a comment from Martin Wales the president of Paradise Publishers Inc.who run the site. For some wonky reason the comment isn't appearing on the blog and I really feel it should be shared with you because it has some thoughts/ideas about publishing in general which are worth discussing.
So, here it is in its entirety:
Enjoyed your post and hoped to comment further to this great conversation you've started.
At Paradise Publishers and Free-eBooks.net, our mission as "The People's Publisher" is to
help anybody publish a book and share their message. This is a system that arguably
allows for everything from the best to the worst content. Where a writer's material falls
on this scale is up to each individual reader.
Free-eBooks.net, is not expecting authors to live off the nominal amounts that could come
from any share of advertising revenue. It's merely a small way to thank, respect and show
gratitude to those who contribute their works and share their passion.
Books, in and of themselves, are generally not profitable enterprises. Neither for
traditional publishing nor for self-publishing. So what's the purpose or value of writing
Books have stories for our inspiration, entertainment or an escape from reality to fantasy.
Books hold a better life for our education, wisdom, inspiration and shared experiences.
Books are about an experience, learning and a record of what was.
Any rational and honest evaluation of authors getting rich from writing books will find
you're unlikely to beat the odds. People CAN become wealthy from speaking, consulting,
offering related services and products, e.g. coaching or DVDs, becoming a 'celebrity'
spokesperson, or selling movie rights.
Authors rarely write as a full-time career, as only about 5% make a "living" at it. It's
a passion, an art and some say a calling. Whatever it may or not be, it's a personal choice
often driven by those who want to contribute to a better situation for our world.
There are more paintings painted then will ever be sold, for similar reasons to authoring
a book. There are movies that cost $150 million to make and bomb in the court of public opinion.
There are television shows, buildings, cars, furniture, and clothing that are exceptional bad
or good. Yet there's billions of dollars in transactions made around their production and
distribution. Have you noticed that TV networks are posting some of their content online for free,
once they've been broadcast?
The model of "free content" for your attention has existed for centuries. The model's infrastructure is based on building an audience that advertisers value and, therefore, pay to reach. Reality TV shows
are a glaring example of the possibility of multi-million dollar jackpots riding of the backs
of amateur performances and voyeuristic semi-documentaries. The daily newspaper is exhibit B.
Money is made from the fees for "distribution" and promotion. The cable television industry is
about distribution, as is the natural gas and petroleum industry. The actual unit value of the product in each industry is actually negligible.
Further, self-published authors often never sell more than 100 books in their lifetime. The bigger, dirty secret is that out of the 500,000 new books produced every year in the traditional publishing industry, only about 2 or 3% are big, cash cows. Frankly, there's a near-inexplicable, egotistic mania of having a hardcover tome "published" that helps this industry meagerly persist.
A book can be therapy, a catalyst for discussion, a credibility strategy, a marketing tactic,
or a teaching tool. Whatever a book might be, for authors there's more than words and a book.
It's the process of writing, a crusade, the sharing, or perhaps just a figurative, carving in
a tree saying "I was here."
How do you make money from free thought? For whatever reasoning, judgments or arguments you
hold or wish to present, here at Paradise Publishers and Free-eBooks.net, we remain "The People's Publisher."
President, Paradise Publishers Inc.