Saturday, July 11, 2009

Information wants to be free

I've never been a big fan of e-publishing. In fact, I've traditionally shied away from publishing in electronic magazines, preferring the respectability a printed and bound document seems to convey.

But the magic of the iPhone is changing my mind.

It all started when I first browsed through free applications. And - oh, look, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I'd like to read the Fitzgerald original, having seen the movie. And a Children's Books app, free to download - Peter Pan and the Jungle Book at my fingertips? I had to have that one.

From there, I was on a crusade to find all the free books I could. I downloaded Stanza to my iPhone, and from there accessed the online catalog. And there were many books by established authors, and also new works by emerging artists. I read P.J. Lyon's short story, I Burn Today, and I was hooked on discovering new authors who had released free books.

And I am starting to change my mind. Because here's the thing -- I've always believed in the somewhat hackneyed saying that "Information wants to be free". Watching the music industry fail to adjust to changing technology, trying instead to haul us back into the dark ages so they can keep selling CDs at $18 a pop, I've been convinced that the answer was to make tracks available for free and allow people to choose to support the artists. I know I'll happily pay for tracks off iTunes or buy CDs or concert tickets to support a musician once I've fallen in love with him or her (which only happens if I try it for free, one way or another).

So maybe writing is the same thing. Maybe what matters most is getting the story out there that needs to be told. And then all the other stuff - the money part - will work itself out in the long run.

Maybe that's naieve. But I have stories I want to tell.


Ana V. Rios said...

I agree with you. The main thing is to get your writing out there, to however many readers, through whatever means necessary. These are the times with live in and technology is advancing every day.

I am not too much of a fan of e-publishing either, at least not yet, but I do like to get free e-books on writing related information. So I am warming up to that idea more each day, this (e-books/publishing) might me the only thing we have in the future.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning my short story in your post :) It's heartwarming to know someone out there is reading my fiction, that is why we write after all. A simple connection between people through this magnificent medium of words. I'd hope you'd take the opportunity to publish your own visions, your own passions through Feedbooks or one of the other many independent publishing venues availble to new writers.

I often use a quote that just fits when it comes to money and writing:

There's no money in poetry and no poetry in money.

Write for love, everything else is merely a bonus after you've found your passions.


Lazy Writer said...

Yes, getting your writing out there is the important thing. If people talk about it, and the word gets around, maybe then the money will come, right?