The Royals Scheme To Rebuild Their Castle & Return Readers To Captivity

Once upon a time, the Royals ruled the Publishing Kingdom.  They employed Agents to deal directly with the Creator Minions who produced the books that built the castle, for the Minions were heathen beasts, unworthy of the Royals consideration.  The trained Agents brought the Royals only that which the Royals deemed worthy - manuscripts that met traditional guidelines of acceptability.  Stability was vital to the Kingdom.

The Royals dwelt in their Castle and grew rich from the hard-earned coins of Captive Citizens who could buy only the books printed by the Royals.  The Citizen Readers did not protest their captivity, for they lived in ignorance of their state.  The choices they had were all they knew, and they knew nothing of the multitude of rejected work that could have enlarged their world, showing them the world outside the Kingdom walls.  And then came The Change.

Portable tablets appeared, bringing them communication and entertainment of their choosing, consumable when and where and how they chose. And enterprising groups of Citizens formed businesses and went amongst the rejected Creator Citizens, urging them to publish their work without Royal approval and distribute it to the Citizen Readers through the businesses giving the tablets all the choices the Citizens were coming to expect and adore.

At first the Royals scoffed.  The Creator Citizens work was not screened and pruned by the Agents.  Work that violated every traditional rule was soon released in frantic freedom.  But it meant nothing, the Royals knew, for the Citizens wanted only that which came from the Royals.  And for a time, that remained true.  But the enterprising Business and Creator Citizens produced their independent work without the burden of paying for the Castle, so they priced it within the means of the Reader Citizens.

Soon, the Royals had to release their books for the tablets, because the Reader Citizens demanded that their libraries be as portable as their music and their videos. For a time, the Business Citizens only allowed the Royals to publish on the tablets if the Royals priced their work within the means of the Reader Citizens.  This threw open the gates of the world to the Reader Citizens, but the dangerous winds of equality began to blow, shaking and finally shattering the Castle walls.

And the Royals saw that this was not good.  Along with their Castle, they were losing dominion over the Kingdom. Order must be restored. The Creator Citizens must be brought back to heel, trained again to beg for the scraps tossed to them from the Castle.  And the Reader Citizens must be dragged back inside the Kingdom gates, allowed to think and experience only that approved by the Royals. But how could a freed populace be enslaved again?

The Royals must begin by battling the Tablet rebels.  Business Citizens that supplied books to the rebels were issued a new edict - allow the Royals to price their work as they chose or lose the right to publish all Royal-approved work.  This edict terrified the Business Citizens, for amongst the Reader Citizens were many addicted to the work of Royally-approved Creators and if they lost access to their work then they risked losing the coins of the addicted Citizen Readers.  The trembling Business Citizens bowed to the Royals and accepted the edict.

All across the Tablets, the prices of Royally-approved work rose and rose and rose. The Royals knew that soon, the Reader Citizens would realize they were paying more for the convenience of having books on their Tablets than they'd paid for buying the books in traditional form.  Surely they would then return to buying traditional books, and the revolution would die.

Today, the Publishing Kingdom stands at the point of decision.  Are the Royals right? Will Reader Citizens pick up their chains and shackle themselves, returning to the slavery  of selecting from only the few books they are allowed to consider?

The Royals scheme to re-build their Castle could be destroyed by Business Citizens named Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple, if those Business Citizens were brave enough and bold enough to refuse to carry Royal work priced above a reasonable value.  The Royals believe that Businesses are too cowed to refuse to carry their work and that Readers do not value their freedom or their independence.

What do I believe?  I believe that there is enough AMAZING independent work to feed the appetite of every reader.  I also believe that if the revolution continues, the still-enslaved Royal authors will break their chains, and release their work independently.

I believe that free thought and free expression are important enough and powerful enough to overcome any scheme the Royals may concoct.