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eBook Authors: Economic Slaves of the West?

by on February 9, 2012 in Economy, Lifestyle

eBook Authors: Economic Slaves of the West?

You know what my grandfather on my mothers side did during the first Great Depression every day? According to my mom he went out and spent the majority of his sunlit hours scrounging for scrunched up soda cans and dirty scrap metal to sell for a few quarters so that he could bring home dinner to his wife and two children.

You know what I spend nearly every waking hour doing? Writing, editing, and formatting eBooks. The strangest thing to me is I make about as much as he did.

“Raise your hand if the internet has pulled you out of this economic depression please.” The imaginary speaker declares to the hypothetical audience of aspiring eBook authors. In response a couple palms can be seen displaying their pride and envious accomplishment.

“Good, now could anyone who is currently trying to get out of economic destitution through the internet please raise their hands?” and a sea of fingers engulfs the room.

Why are we doing this? Well, because we have lost faith that there is any work outside of the screen I am typing into. Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low

Apparently not only is technology going to save the human species and the environment but the middle class as well. I see the opposite. We are disillusioned with the “real economy” and have turned desperately to a digital one and it is turning us into bond-servants and internet chattel for huge Corporations. They managed to lure us into working for them for almost free after destroying the economy and exporting our jobs overseas. Since the birth of 2012 what I am describing has become known as the “eBook Revolution.” It is a tale of the average person with a computer and internet access trying to adapt to this second Great Depression when there isn’t anymore cans laying around.

It began basically with three average everyday people who after years of trying and being rejected by traditional publishing became overnight successes through free self-publishing in eBooks on sites like Amazon, Apple,  Smashwords, and Goodreads. They are the central “Rag’s To Riches” stories that have driven the “discouraged” workers out there online to try and get in on the coded gold rush.

Amanda Hocking was a young woman in dire economic straights that apparently put one of her endlessly rejected books on Amazon to raise some gas money, and then Boom!

John Locke was a niche marketing strategy guy that developed a  business plan to sell eBooks and managed to sell millions of them within a few months or something insane like that. He is the father of the $0.99 eBook phenomenon.

J.A. Konrath was a long time write who tried traditional publishing for a decade and then made it rich through turning his print books into eBooks.

I am not bitter. I just want to understand the truth.  The eBook revolution is mixed up in so much of what we are seeing go down in the modern world. If you are like me and you make a little money through eBooks, I want you to sit down and figure out what it comes to per hour spent writing, editing, pricing, formatting, producing, marketing, advertising, and taking part in social-networks online.

Has the eBook revolution become the new pipe dream for the millennial generation? Slaving away and making less than the poor Chinese who manufacture probably 95% of the techno-gadgetry on planet Earth. So let me get this straight; they make the eReaders for pennies, we produce the digital product for pennies, but Amazon and Apple make hundreds of billions of dollars?! Have the eBook authors in the west become our equivalent to the eastern economic slaves?

The reason I decided to give it a go was because I already had a bunch of manuscripts laying around. What I see now are people slaving away like me behind computer screens for upwards of 10 hours a day trying to make a few quarters.

Once the majority wakes from this dream to find out they are no better off and the economy outside their door is even worse…what then?

Mike Daisey’s “The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” is funny, forceful agitprop

This man has been trying to shine a light on this for years. It has gone through the stratosphere recently.

An Angle On The Ebook Self-Publishing Experience

A conversation between myself and the frustrating aspects of being an eBook author.

Thanks for listening Greenewaver’s and be brave.



Damien is an eBook author, web content provider, blogger, libertarian, organic eating, fan of resource based economic models, a proud American, and a student of all things currents affairs, politics, and international events. Cheers!

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2 CommentsAdd yours

  • Sarah - February 11, 2012

    Yes I agree ebooks are nice. However, once the internet goes down for 10 years, and your wanting to study spirit teaching (Aside from the Bible), then your going to need to find a way to study it outside of the internet. Through print books specifically. Sure you could find your local Buddhist group to teach you how to meditate, but its still caught up in sectarian delusion. So I think there is still a place for instructional print books.

  • DamienD - February 12, 2012

    I see your premise but can think of no scenario where the net goes down for a decade. Care to expand on that?

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