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In China, e-publishing platforms have become a multibillion-dollar industry, attracting more than 1 million authors and over 300 million readers. Authors tend to produce commercially popular fare, such as romance novels, mysteries, crime fiction, and books about science fiction and martial arts.
Some novelists are paid a fixed price, similar to the way that Charles Dickens was paid for each installment of The Pickwick Papers in the 1800s. With this model, authors receive the same payment for their books regardless of how popular the books may become.
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Book contracts that give authors a share of sales rather than paying them by output alone through a flat fee also propel them to produce more interesting content.
The findings may prompt publishers to consider changing their pay structure in ways that reward writers for originality. Beyond ...
The researchers discovered that as competition intensified, authors who were paid a fixed price for their work did not appear to change their productivity, whereas those authors who received a cut not only produced more but were more likely to write creatively than those paid a fixed amount.
Writers may lament the uncertainties of the digital age, as many turn to online markets to distribute their work with no promises of fame or fortune.
But when authors are guaranteed a cut of their own book sales, they tend to work harder and...
The most important implication of the research may be for the powerful platforms that act as gatekeepers to the creative content we consume: Without an incentive structure allowing content providers to reap the rewards for their efforts, workers may have low incentives to boost the quantity or no...
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