The Advantages of Coalitional PublishingA piece which shows us bright ideas can change fundamentally the way the publishing industry operates - without necessarily prejudicing the need for creators to earn a living from their works.
The text of each edition is identical. Each partner publisher is responsible for their cover design, and for the copy they use for their page on Amazon, for press releases, and so on. Each edition has its own product number and all revenues flow directly to the publisher of the particular edition. The revenues from sales are then split between the author and the publisher on an agreed split.
Each edition is promoted actively by the publisher responsible for it, who has a direct interest in generating revenues. And each publisher benefits from the activities of other publishers – as people become aware of a title and decide they want to buy it, they will gravitate towards the edition that benefits the organization they identify with most closely.
People who are regular readers of openDemocracy won’t decide to buy something just because openDemocracy have published it. But if they decide to buy something, they will be more likely to buy it from openDemocracy than from a fly-by-night operation like Myriad Editions (that’s me, by the way. ME. Clever, eh?).
The future doesn't have to rely on imposing traditional business models on an ever-permanent present through overbearing copyright laws and legal impositions which stretch out forever the rights of behemoths everywhere.
Opportunities to share the publishing love can exist through such intelligent concepts.
Of course, these kinds of ideas won't be suitable for each and every publishing project - but since niches have been the way of the world, at least the online world, for far more years than we may remember, this kind of publishing model fits very nicely with such a concept of reaching the customer through various and multifarious channels.
So my advice? Read, and be damned!
The rest of Dan's post deserves your fullest of attentions.