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Toiling in Obscurity? Take Comfort Online

“Everyone is an author these days… authorship, far from dying, is spreading like a rhizome fed Supergro,” says anthropologist Keith Hart in an email quoted on Bruce Sterling‘s blog. “The problem is if anyone out there is reading or listening and, if they are in a formal sense, how much of it they actually get.” From there, Hart’s thoughts are deliberately fragmented, but basically he seems to be offering up some encouragement for all those authors who find themselves at the far end of the long tail. The audiences are out there, often where you least expect them to be, he writes, and by helping to put readers in contact with writers, the Internet can also make writers feel a little less isolated. And thanks to “Amazon’s discovery that they make as much money for a million books that sell less than 100 copies as they do from blockbusters,” he adds, “our books never go out of print and every now and then one of them takes off unexpectedly, not yours or mine, but often enough to keep us in the game against all the evidence that there is no audience for what we write.”

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