Sunday, June 22, 2008

YADS, Egads--veinglory


Display sites are getting more confusing by the day. The standard YADS (yet another display site) just lists blurbs and covers and links to a point of sales. The financial model will be a combination of advertising and/or selling a 'prestige' service with extra perks and/or selling author services like promotion or self publishing. YADS can be fun, especially if they develop a social networking element, but they are almost always a waste of time in terms of selling books.

Another model is the content site. The site seeks writers to provide content, money is made mainly by advertising which may be shared with the writer (e.g. Publicbookshelf). The difference is that when you sell 'content' you do this instead of publishing. It might be a viable use of reprints but perhaps not even then. Fiction general doesn't usually function too well as content, and if you go this path you may as well put up your own ads. I notice these types of sites offer fairly vague contracts without clear length of contracts, earning share etc.

Novel Storm is another variation where authors post books and people can pay to read them online. Basically this replaces advertising revenue with direct charges. I am really not convinced that is a profitable model, but okay. However I feel there are some problems with saying: "You can earn money from your posts and as always there is the prospect of having your work published." Because if you entire work is available and on sales, your book is published already. And if you intend to publish your work digitally I strongly suspect their are better ways to do it. Better than paying to submit your novel with the option of paying them to publishing it physically.

People can get very enthusiastic about these kinds of sites and their various way of spinning the YADS and content models but I would be astounded if their offered better earning potential, a better learning experience, a better contracts or in fact a better anything than working with a reputable e-publisher.

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