Can you write and pay the rent in the digital age?

I recently submitted a satirical piece about bibliomania, literary criticism, publishing fads and the purpose of literature to a short story competition; these topics have interested me for over a decade. The recent media coverage about the Man Booker Prize, book bloggers and J.K. Rowling’s new book has made me feel as though I’m living in a theatrical adaptation of my own story, although I’m glad no blood has been shed in this version!

Apart from the Man Booker hoopla, making time to write fiction and settling on a book to read (Finish Kate Summerscale’s Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace, Belinda Jack’s The Woman Reader or Martin Amis’ Money? Switch to James Woods’ How Fiction Works?), the other topic foremost in my mind is how a writer can afford to eat or protect her rights in the age of digital piracy. The September edition of Australian Book Review features an article on copyright law and enforcement in the age of the electronic book and The Sydney Morning Herald has drawn my attention to Hampress.com’s mission to “[make] content sell”. I’d be interested in hearing about any other publishing models you think will lead the way.

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