Friday, October 12, 2007

The Economics of Writing

Eric Flint has an interesting article up at Baen's Universe on, as you can guess from the title, “The Economics of Writing”. It meanders back to the real point, which is that Flint believes (and has numbers to back it up), that the availability of fiction for free online can and perhaps will help the actual sales of a book. It’s an interesting read. Which reminds me, of course, that I’ve been long considering ordering an issue of Baen’s Universe. I wish they had a print edition, but they pay their authors very well, so they should have good content. I tend to recognize most of their writers. I’m not used to paying for online content, but Baen’s might be a good place to start.
...what is the net effect on the income of authors as a whole if some of the authors start handing out some of their works for free in electronic format?

Well, the first and most obvious effect is that the authors who do so will become better known to the reading public at large. And, as a result of their greater visibility, will generally see an increase in their sales.

I need to stress that this is not guesswork on my part. It’s something that has been proven in practice over a period of years—by me, among other authors. – Eric Flint

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