Distributed Mind

A Different Way of Publishing

An idea I've been kicking around - various forms of which I've thought of over the years, esepcially with regards to music, but in this case, I'm thinking of the context of (text) publishing. I think we need a non-profit organization whose responsibility would be to give grants to support authors for the time necessary to write a book. The purpose of the funding though is not just to cover labor and other expenses, it is also in part to make up the lost potential revenue from other endeavors in that time period - not to cover it completely, but I think it makes sense to make this more generous than just the strict amount necessary or so.

Though the author may retain the copyright (or maybe the organization? probably the author though), all works funded by such grants must be licensed according to something like a Creative Commons license. I'm not totally sure which provisions are important in a C license for such a thing, but I think it might be good if possible to allow derivative works.

The other responsibility of this organization would be to distribute the work. Distribution would be primarily digital, but hard copies should also be distributed, for something in line with the material and labor costs for the printing.

Money for such an organization would be needed to cover the grants, the distribution infrastructures, and costs for editing, etc. I don't know about editors - would they be freelance for each project? Volunteer? I'm not sure.

I think the organization should generally seek out authors though there should be perhaps some way of selecting some first time authors as well. Or maybe the organization could accept proposals too, not sure.

Also, there should be some way of covering short stories as well. Perhaps they could be covered at like two or more times a reasonable and/or typical rate.

This is all in the context of secular publishing. I think it would be even more interesting to see something like this happen with religious publishing - but then the licensing terms should be even more generous - maybe even public domain?

Ideally, there would be many such organizations (and especially, ones that would be friendly to first time authors). But I think to get started, a pilot project involving higher profile authors, or something, would be a good idea.

(Note also that this is very similar to my earlier proposals about music.)

posted at 23:34:17 on 10/11/11 by ben - Category: Media


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