Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The publishing revolution?

I was recently having a clear out and came across some old issues of ALCS* News.  This feature about the “new” technology, got my attention. Written 20 years ago, it predicted who and how the digital revolution would impact. Interesting that the tone of the article assumes that it will be the publishers who will be at the forefront of the revolution.  There isn’t much mention made of writers taking control by indie publishing their own work and bypassing the publishers.  If i-phones or tablets existed then, we weren’t aware of it.  Did Amazon exist 20 years ago? Who could have imagined what a different direction the technology has taken us.

What we face now is a revolution in the way information is transmitted; a change from the familiar carriers, such as books, records, cassettes and films, to an intangible form of delivery by electronic means.  Despite appearance, creators are in a strong position: their work will remain in demand as the indispensable foundation for this new activity.  It is the producers of the traditional carriers who will have to look to their livelihoods…But it is imperative for writers themselves to believe in, and make use of, their strength; if they do not, it will evaporate.
ALCS NEWS July 1993

*The ALCS is the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society, a membership organisation that campaigns for and collects money due to Members for secondary uses of their work. These include such things as photocopying, cable retransmission in the UK and overseas, digital reproduction and educational recording. This sort of income is typically made up of small transactions that are difficult for individual writers to monitor. 

If you write I recommend you join as it can be a valuable source of additional income.

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  1. Having checked, was founded in 1994 but did not show a profit until late in 2001.

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