A new book publishing venture called Fractal Press seeks to anthologize blogs and publish the resulting books using print-on-demand technologies. An interview with co-founder Navanit Arakeri can be found on Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 blog. Arakeri will start with personal finance books derived from finance blogs (Forbes.com may be part of this future?), but also envisions branching out into fitness and other areas where good blogging exists.
One quote from the interview really struck me:
it has been shown that artists who worked on their pieces without any monetary incentives show more “flow” and enjoyment of the process when compared to artists who worked on similar pieces but with monetary incentives. Bloggers write on topics that they care about, while we play a minimal role in terms of editorial direction, heavy-handed changes, or monetary incentives during the creating process — we believe this vastly improves the author-publisher relationship and makes it much less adversarial than is usually the case.
As a fledgling blogger, I can identify with this. If I were doing this as a job with a boss, I’m sure there’d be more friction about what and when I wrote, and less productivity. People perform better doing what they like to do, when it fits their passions and deeper motivations. (However, I wish there was a citation to the “it has been shown” assertion above.)
This also intersects with an idea I’ve toyed with, basically annual volumes printed from Wikipedia. While printing the entirety of Wikipedia is impractical, according to calculations from 2007, selling a book at the end of the year anthologizing the newest and most popular entries might just work.