It was one of those meditations where I had to keep myself sitting when I wanted to come and write. The washing is in the machine, and I am raring to go.
The first one is the Internet eBookshop, unfortunately something like this might already exist. I have seen different schemes about how writers might make money through the internet, but in truth if you are making money the chances are you are only contributing to the 1%. So what about the writer who is also a mindful consumer? Then this writer does not want to be a part of the monetary system or would want to be part of a community currency.
Let’s bear this in mind as we examine how the 1% publishers work. They decide whether the work is to be published based on commercial interests. They control the distribution and sales outlets. And readers as consumers spend their leisure time going to bookshops deciding which book will decorate their bookshelves. And for this the writer is paid a small royalty, and the 1% exploits through monetary profit based on distribution and sales. Now what the writer also gets is access to distribution, and this is important. As an unread internet writer I have no access to distribution. I am convinced that my work is as good as some that is in bookshops (what writer isn’t). Objectively I actually have no idea how good my work is, but as I am driven to write at least Nature must feel it has some value. Of course every writer in the blogosphere would say the same thing.
Distribution is the first key. And with the internet one aspect of distribution is absolutely no issue – download, and for non-commerical writers like me free downloads are the order of the day for Zandtao, Wai Zandtao – SciFi writer, Matriellez and eventually Mandtao. I have no idea how strong Creative Commons is, but hopefully copyright is also covered. But the other aspect of distribution covered by the browsing in bookshops is getting your work recognised. Now this is determined by the publishers who own or liaise with the sales outlets, have book tours – to be honest I don’t know enough about this but they sound awful; they are all part of the 1% control. As a result of these processes books are displayed in bookshops, people buy the books, some writers make an income, the whole process is exploited and the 1% make their profits.
An internet eBookshop would cover these aspects of a publishers’ control. Browsing in an internet bookshop would be no different to browsing in a bookstore, you can even choose your own coffee!! Distribution would be the download, OK the books on your bookshelf would get old! But this is a small price to pay for mindful consuming.
Now publishers have editors. I have no contact with these people so the following might be doing them a disservice, my apologies if it is. An editor’s job is to choose the books and make the books saleable because the business they are in is selling books. So of course populist novels are a safe choice and the taste of the consumers is oriented to this popularism. Whilst there are books available that expose the 1% for who they are – because these books can also make a profit, they are not chosen for their content. I would personally not enjoy an editor’s consideration of my work because I would not trust their outlook, however I do believe in the process of editing because no matter how may times I revise my own work I find mistakes. But an editor whose livelihood depends on profit-making for the 1% does not encourage me to seek their services.
Perhaps the internet eBookshop would have editors, or maybe peer review would help. Being eBooks a writer would have easy access to be responsive to such peer reviews. Who knows how this could develop? But the point is that there is nothing here that would warrant writers enslaving themselves to publishers.
The main problem is of course payment. And so we come to mindful consuming. In my own case I begrudge paying for anything that I could possibly download because of who gets the profits. But when it comes to an author we need to be making an exception, but not an exception that involves paying the 1% through publishing. We could however pay royalties directly. This could be organised through the internet eBookshop where the writer could be connected to the eBookshop, and a means of paying royalties be established by them.
But this is still not the solution. The eBookshop might use Paypal, but in using Paypal they are still using dollars – a currency of the 1%. I once proposed #O as a currency of Occupy, and here is another example where #O would come into play. Making an intitial dollar payment to establish your #O presence, you could then pay the author royalties. But now if this transaction was part of a wider possibility of transactions such as crafts, organic produce and other mindful economic ventures this #O presence can establish a meaningful transactional base. As Occupy is also talking of alternative banking, this community currency, #O, could integrate into that.
Occupy Internet eBookshop is also a possibility because Occupy has the computer expertise to carry this out – OWSinternteBookshoponline.com is well within their capabilities.
And there is one final possibility that could make this work. Occupy has many famous writers who are associated or support it. These authors such as Naomi Klein, Cornel Wilde, Michael Moore and many more could be the names that build the platform. Once consumers get used to paying #O royalties rather than paying the 1% or searching for free eBooks, this #O internet eBookshop has a possbility of growing, especially if it were part of a wider #O mindful consumer network.
21/9/13 – Maybe Bitcoin is positive?