Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Get in line with Dante, Keats, and Shakespeare.

Guys, remember when all the monastic copyists got mad because the Gutenberg press became more popular than them?

Project Gutenberg, one of my best friends and also the website that existed even before the Amazon Kindle for giving away free post-copyright books, has now added a digital self-publishing portal. They're calling it the "Author's Community Cloud Library," and it seems that as long as you are willing to post your content for free, you get to upload whatever you want. From what I can tell it requires that the uploader have also already formatted the book for digital download, as opposed to the Kindle site which will provide some rudimentary formatting for you.

While I don't think it will take off like the Amazon self-publishing portal (you can't get paid by Gutenberg, after all), I can see it becoming useful for some niche groups. Academic writers looking for publication and exposure, I think, will find the writer's community interesting, and also authors who are still in some discovery/early writing stages. It's definitely limited in what it offers, but I think people looking for someone to download (probably more erudite/academic texts, too, as opposed to the commercial popularity of Kindle publishing) and give any feedback or commentary will find it worth a second look.

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