One other speaker who really caught my interest was Genevieve Shore, Penguin’s digital director. She made some great comments about the importance of creative talent. As someone who gets paid to be creative with writing, it was music to my ears.

Regardless of what medium you use to publish - good old books, ebooks, web, mobile devices - it doesn't matter how clever your technology is if the content it delivers doesn't do the job it's supposed to do. That requires thought, composition, creativity - stuff that is unique. Genevieve refered to Kevin Kelly's excellent commentary about how content in the world of the web needs to be 'better than free.' Kevin's stuff is fascinating.

It frustrates me a great deal that due to a few early philanthropic souls - those pioneers of the web deciding to share everything for free - we are now stuck with this perception that if it's on-line it must be free. I don't get this. Both I and Genevieve commented on the importance going forward of micropayments. People are prepared to pay for stuff even online (I really believe this) if it really fulfills a need for them. Take the example of Lonely Planet which I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago. It offers downloadable PDF files of chapters  from some of its books for relatively modest payments. If that encourages exponential numbers of people to buy then ultimately it will be more lucrative than selling the complete guidebook at a far higher price to far fewer people.

Joel Brandon Bravo from What's On When threw in a useful observation later in the afternoon about this too. He pointed out that whilst people expect to get stuff on-ine for free, they are very familar with paying for stuff on their mobiles (think ringtones, games etc) and of course there's a ready made billing platform in the phone bill. Maybe the short term future for paid for content is on mobile devices?

3 thoughts on “Travel Publishing Seminar learnings 3 – Content is STILL king (and one day people will pay for it!)

  1. Hi Lisa

    Could you explain how copyright works in this context? If I put content on the Oronjo server can Orono then use it too and derive income from selling it elsewhere?

    Also: I find it a bit strange that you offer this service for free when your whole reason for being is about encouraging people to pay for content on-line. It kind of suggests you don't have faith in the idea yourselves?

    I look forward with interest to your comments and thanks for reading my blog


  2. Hi Jeremy,

    If you own the copyright of the content offered for sale with Oronjo, then you will continue to do so. We will not offer your content for sale anywhere else.

    In the future, we might make the content available on a central Oronjo marketplace, but wont do this without the permission of the content owner and we will use the same fee structure as for content published on your own site (in other words, this marketplace will only be initiated as a service to our users).

    For the exact terms, see:

    Article 6C (etc.) - the 'non-exclusive license' (etc) means that we are allowed to put your content on our server and can distribute it to people who bought the content.

    About our fee: please check the following link:

    In short: we are free now, to promote our service and obtain a large user base. Just like the first challenge of a blog is to get visitors by offering free content.

    Later (think about +1 year), we will start thinking about charging for certain premium services, just like you can do with premium content on your blog. We feel for both a blog owner and our proposition a 80/20 approach will work best (80% for free, 20% for a small, friendly fee).

    Hope this answers your question, if not, please let me know.



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