Als Autor für das klassische Schreiben bezahlt zu werden, ist kein Naturgesetz. Umso schöner ist es, wenn es doch klappt. Doch die Welt besteht zum Glück nicht nur aus Risiken, sondern auch aus Chancen. Gerade heute. Es tun sich gerade riesige Felder auf, die auch für Autoren neue Betätigungs- und Verdienstmöglichkeiten bieten. Ein Beispiel: Storytelling für Games. Dazu ein kurzes Video (2 min.):
Mir wäre es sehr lieb, wenn mehr Autoren vom Schreiben leben könnten als das heute der Fall ist. Die Zahl derer, die nur vom Schreiben leben kann, ist ja auch bisher schon sehr überschaubar gewesen. Was mich aber bei der diesbezüglichen und oft durch Internet-Themen ausgelösten Diskussion stört, ist die fordernde Selbstverständlichkeit, mit der dieses sinngemäße (Totschlag-)Argument häufig in den Raum geworfen wird: „Aber Autoren müssen doch vom Schreiben leben können …“ Gern wird das auch auf Neu-Autoren bezogen.
Rivera: Many authors hear your message about being willing to give away their books for free, or to focus on spreading their message but their question is: “I’ve got rent to pay so how do I turn that into cash money?”
Seth Godin: Who said you have a right to cash money from writing? I gave hundreds of speeches before I got paid to write one. I’ve written more than 4000 blog posts for free. Poets don’t get paid (often), but there’s no poetry shortage. The future is going to be filled with amateurs, and the truly talented and persistent will make a great living. But the days of journeyman writers who make a good living by the word–over.
As he notes, although he is a hugely-successful author and speaker today, and hence presumably well paid for both, he started out by giving away stuff — lots of it. It was only after he had established his value in the market through that free content that he was able to to start asking to be paid for future work. In other words, just because he was a great writer and lecturer didn’t mean he had an entitlement to be paid from the start; he had to prove he was worth paying before people did so. And even then, they paid not for what he had done, but what he would do — just as you pay a plumber or train driver.
“The bar for being judged a thought leader has been to have a book,” Gerstein explained. “What they’re really looking for is a book as a badge—it’s getting your ticket punched to the thought leader game.”
Interessant wird zu beobachten sein, wie sich der Reputations-Markt verändert, wenn das klassische Buch immer weniger selbstverständlich der stärkste Reputationshebel ist. Gerade im Social-Media-Umfeld dürfte der Bedarf an Ghostwriting wachsen.
Interessant ist auch, welche Art von Schreiber es für das Ghostwriting laut Aussage von Gerstein braucht:
On the business side, Gotham Ghostwriters collects a 15 percent commission on each contract. (…) On the personal side, Gerstein says it “takes a certain type of writer” to be able to pen an entire book without a credit or even an acknowledgement, but that many enjoy working without the emotional baggage that goes with writing. “A number of writers find it liberating,” he says.
Soylent is a crowd-powered interface: one that embeds workers from Mechanical Turk into Microsoft Word.
Today’s user interfaces are limited: they only support tasks when we know how to write matching algorithms or interface designs. Microsoft Word is good at laying out your document, but poor at understanding writing and suggesting edits to it. But, it is now feasible to embed on-demand human computation within interactive systems. Crowd workers on services like Amazon Mechanical Turk will do tasks for very small amounts of money. Soylent is a word processor with a crowd inside: an add-in to Microsoft Word that uses crowd contributions to perform interactive document shortening, proofreading, and human-language macros. Underlying Soylent is a new programming design pattern called Find-Fix-Verify that splits tasks into a series of generation and review stages to control costs and increase quality.
Jim Marggraff, CEO of Livescribe, shows us how it’s done, using an 8GB Echo smartpen. Yep, a pen that has memory: for storing sound, your written notes for upload, and apps you can launch just by tapping a line you’ve drawn on paper. „Anything you write, hear, or speak, the pen will capture and make it accessible to you forever, and let you search it and share it,“ says Marggraff.
The pens can also be used to create „pencasts“ which recreate the movements of the pen, as well as recording the accompanying audio. Some of the pencasts, which range from calculus lessons to cartoons, have been viewed more than 40,000 times.
There’s an app store on the Livescribe site, but even the included apps elicit wows: A piano you can draw and then play. A translator that will speak in Spanish (or Mandarin or Arabic) the word you’ve just written in English. A user interface you draw yourself. Livescribe is writing just the tip of the iceberg.
Members of Free Art and Technology (FAT), OpenFrameworks, the Graffiti Research Lab, and The Ebeling Group communities have teamed-up with a legendary LA graffiti writer, publisher and activist, named Tony Quan, aka TEMPTONE. Tony was diagnosed with ALS in 2003, a disease which has left him almost completely physically paralyzed… except for his eyes. This international team is working together to create a low-cost, open source eye-tracking system that will allow ALS patients to draw using just their eyes. The long-term goal is to create a professional/social network of software developers, hardware hackers, urban projection artists and ALS patients from around the world who are using local materials and open source research to creatively connect and make eye art.