Berkman Center for Internet and Society
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Brad Abruzzi: Amazons, Witches, and Critics – A Liberated Novelist Asks, “Now What?”

In the olden days, a writer hoped to catch the eye of an aristocratic patron who might supply a well-placed word of endorsement. The Gutenberg press wrested authors free from this feudal condition, only transfer writers' indenture to publishers, who by owning the means of [re]production acquired the final say regarding what volumes would and would not land on store shelves. This gatekeeping privilege of publishers largely survives to this day, and depending on how well you think they do the work, we might celebrate publishers as Stewards of Culture or lament the state of a Literature Held Hostage.

Now digital media and the Internet propose to devolve the means of [re]production upon authors themselves. Any would-be novelist can flog his work in a digital format over Amazon KDP, Smashwords, and other open outlets for textual works.


30 Jul 2012

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Last updated

January 31, 2015