Updated: 10/29/02; 9:56:54 AM.

 Russ Lipton Documents Radio
simplex veri sigillum

daily link  Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Now ... should a book(s) on Radio be produced on paper, as a linear .pdf file (with links), a weblog, a .root file or a combination of some/all?

Having published three dead trees, the sad reality is that even most bloggers only pay money for forests. Be that as it may, I can't bear this approach. It's too orthogonal to the entire exercise. Besides, publishers are too unprofessional to suit the needs of professional writers. Think on that a bit.

At the same time, while I may (will, duh) illustrate the book using weblogs, this is, after all, going to be a book, not a weblog. So, it must be online but with somewhat more explicit structure and framework than a weblog.

Since deploying a .pdf file from online file(s) means nothing more than flattening out those files, there is no barrier to creating such files. No doubt, I will. Minimally, .pdf makes printing convenient. But .pdf by itself best mimics dead tree books. The format is inescapably linear.

Creating Radio books as .root files within the Frontier-or-Radio desktop application probably makes the most sense. This gives me not only writing/outlining tools but a set of rendering scripts so browsers can display my stories. I can change the presentation over time based on the dynamics of the content. That's vital.

But how do I sell a .root book (that is, files upstreamed to a user's WWW folder)?

I'll make two bets.

First, really good content about Radio will find an honorable audience willing to pay to keep more stuff coming. (One reason I refuse to use Blogger or MovableType is that they cut away the ground for a revenue-based aftermarket, even with professional versions).

Second, I'll bet that only a relatively small percentage of that audience will share my sweat with others without paying for it.

If users will pay $5.95 or $7.95 or $9.95 or $12.95 for a useful text, I'll write another ... and another ... and another. If they don't, I won't. It's really not going to be very complicated.

(By the way, I'd rather sell one, two or five thousand books a year for a product with integrity than ...).

  feedback:   3:05:51 PM  permalink  

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