Book publishing is changing.
We used to enjoy the feel of paper, the smell of ink and the portability of the printed page.
Now we feel the plastic, smell the electronics and carry our page on a screen.
With the advent of new technology and a new perspective on reading, more and more books are being distributed free.
With that reality in front of authors, a number of writers are going to patronage or sponsorship in writing books.
Patronage – an investor chooses to pay you to write on a topic of their choice, or allows you to write on topics you suggest with which they agree.
Sponsorship – an investor receives a prospectus of what you will write and decides this is a worthwhile venture.
Both models dispense with royalties. You receive your payment upfront. Then the book is released free of charge.
Advantage – if you self publish, you are not stuck with bills and books when your work of art does not sell.
Disadvantage – if you have a run away best-seller, you don’t get additional monies after the act of publication.
A new model?
In one sense, this has been around for centuries. Patrons of the arts allowed artists to freely create art. They would be commissioned for a work of art, paid on salary, or convinced by an artist of the worth of their art.
With “gofundme” campaigns and other avenues of fundraising, we may be headed back to the future.
The new angle?
The works of art are freely distributed for the widest public – using ebook formats as well as printed copies (although these are optional). Once they leave the artist’s hands they are gone, not to the retailer, or the publisher, or to the patron, or to the sponsor, but to the public.