Stories as Real Estate: A New Paradigm for Writing and Publishing

Great Writing
Bangor, Wales, UK
18-20 June 2010

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The traditional publishing model is teetering under the weight of digital technology, as evidenced in legal battles over copyright and distribution schemes. These ongoing issues are driving a worried discourse surrounding questions of copyright infringement, the oft-predicted ‘death’ of the author, and the continued survival of the traditional publishing model.

But some artists are embracing this liquid phase in publishing, using digital technologies to not only increase their opportunities for selling their stories, but to cut out large chunks of the publishing chain. They offer their work directly to the reader, and invite the reader to collaborate. These mod-projects create stories as places rather than objects, as theme parks where readers can play.

This paper examines several case studies including Robin Sloan’s Annabel Scheme and Shelldrake projects. These examples serve as models for a new paradigm in storytelling: the story as an interactive and ongoing world, rather than a fixed text owned by a copyright-holder.

Cite as: Skains, R. Lyle. 2010. “Stories as Real Estate: A New Paradigm for Publishing.” In Great Writing, Bangor University, June 2010. Bangor, Wales, UK.

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