The revolution of online business

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The revolution of online business

But how many writers today realize their good fortune? This is a short history of media. The thing is, a revolution just happened, and I wanted to be sure you were awake.

In the beginning, books were handwritten on scrolls made of leather. These books were priceless treasures, seldom glimpsed, and of infinite value. People were mostly illiterate, since books were priceless as diamonds.

The only things that got into books were very important things, like sacred texts or royal decrees. People mainly clustered in groups to hear what these texts said when an authority figure read them aloud.

In the 16th century, Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing presses. To be sure, presses were in existence before that, but the Gutenberg equipment allowed for the relatively cheap and rapid production of books.

People started to learn to read. Books were suddenly affordable, even if still expensive. Books were an individual experience; people read and studied in isolation.

Printing got so cheap in later years 17th, 18th, 19th centuries that political manifestos, advertising texts, and how-to manuals found their way to print. Then came magazines and novels. Publishing was now an industry. People mainly still read in isolation. In the 20th century, TV and radio changed how information got disseminated.

Literacy was no longer required, nor was an authority figure. If you owned the right technology radio or TV setyou got the message, and you could listen alone or in a group. Then came the Internet. Now everything is different. We could talk a lot about the isolation versus community aspects, the resurgence of literacy skills, and the splintering of the broad markets into niches.

What we have to care about is something I hear almost no writers talking about. What happens to the writer in this revolution? In the Internet, podcasting, digital media world, publishers are left out of the equation.

Every other form of media, from ancient scrolls to modern TV stations, require some kind of business entity to distribute the message. The Internet basically eliminates that. Anyone can get on the web. When I first started writing, writing was all about finding publishers and selling to them.

A lot of writers still look at the writing industry that way. A lot of writers are also poor and browbeaten. The problems with publishers are many. First, publishers determine the content and they are prone to buy the things they can best sell.

This means that niche products, specialty markets, and unusual outside-the-norm writing is almost impossible to sell. Second, publishers keep most of the money. True, there are exceptions.

But for every J. Rowling there are dozens of Randolph Hearsts and Rupert Murdochs. Third, publishers call the shots. Writers have very little leverage. The beauty of the Internet is that it made the publisher obsolete.

The revolution of online business

Now if you want to publish a novel in hardcover form and have it on the shelves of every brick-and-mortar bookstore on earth simultaneously, you are going to have to try to break in to the traditional publishing model good luck.

But what if I told you that you could now set up your own online magazine in the form of a website? If you can write an interesting how-to book or have a great collection of recipes, you can sell these online as a digital product ebook.Marcoses, the Aquinos, and the Unfinished Revolution online by Sandra Burton or download.

Withal, on our website you may read manuals and diverse art books online, either downloading them. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is blurring the lines between physical and digital, building on such technologies as artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, robotics and biotechnology.

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