Seth Godin says that writers shouldn’t expect to have the right to make money from their work.
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?”
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.
Ok, fine. But that’s not the real issue here. The reason self-publishing is exploding isn’t because of the money. It’s because of the opportunity.
The opportunity to bypass gatekeepers (publishers) who said our work wasn’t good enough.
The opportunity to reach more people easily through social media without spending millions on advertising.
The opportunity to easily upload your work without technical skills.
The opportunity to try to earn money from it.
Of course, in the end, the money will still flow to those that write better than others. But at least everyone has a chance now. That’s what this is all about, and that’s what people are missing.