Answering the critical question for creators: "They'll be paid how?"

The following is my response to a posting on the PWAC BLOG.


At CopyCamp I hope to host a session with fellow creators to help creators help themself with the critical question of: "They'll be paid how?"

The trick behind all of the excitement with young authors is to separate all business expenses and pricing into two columns: fixed-costs and marginal costs.

No matter what the chosen business model, the marginal cost to the creator for their own creativity is always zero. There is always a fixed cost in terms of time and other resources, with that fixed cost sometimes being quite considerable.

Business models can then be divided into those that amortize the fixed cost over many units by charging a marginal cost (royalty fee), and those that focus entirely on the fixed costs alone and allow the marginal cost to users of their work to be zero.

There is obviously no "one size fits all" for all creators and all types of creativity, and we should never allow the government to mandate a "one size fits all" on us. With this background a full spectrum of business models will emerge, and the fear of change will be reduced as people realize that there are many new options being opened up to them.