Mightywords Stabs ELO ED in Back
Today (Internet) AP: Mightywords, formerly Fatbrain, today announced
it was shutting down its revolutionary business model, previously allowing
authors to self-publish their writing as "e-matter." Mightywords, along
with Xlibris and Iuniverse and probably a couple other companies with
silly names with fake one-letter prefixes, had dismantled the time-honored
publishing model in which authors are not part of the publishing model,
but sort of free-lancing, no-contract-having temp workers engaged to
create one of the raw materials, words, like paper, used in book production
and marketing, as minimally as necessary, to the extent that the authors
were first able to market themselves to agents and publishers and editors.
The phrase "you have to be published to get published," a paradox accepted
as truth, appeared as though at any point it might change to "you have
to publish to get published."
Mightywords said some shit about how it wasn't really making anough
money, and they are discontinuing all self-published titles, and reverting
to a more traditional model in which all but already-widely-published
writers will not be considered for publication, and will be sent traditional
form rejection-letters. "By email, because it's cheaper" said some
| You have to publish to get published.
Scott Rettberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Literature
Organization, is author of
"Words fit for Burning," an e-matter fiction collection for which
Rettberg has already received upward of $1 royalties, and which will
soon be out-of-print, or out-of-e, or something. When asked for comment,
someone else pretended Scott said "Now I'm thinking of a kind of short-story
Napster application. But I'm still trying to work out how to retain
the high levels of royalties these new self-publishing outfits offer."
Then reportedly Rettberg shed a tear and said "Damnit, I'm trying
to create the future of literature and new, equitable publishing models.
I don't have time to send my fiction out to publishers. Plus, my printer
is out of paper."
As of the time I wrote this, or however you say that, the World
Wide Web was still not rejecting submissions and continued to quietly
exist in the background of the turbulent struggle by ill-fated companies
with silly names attempting to find out how to make money off writers
faster doing e-publishing.