The Publetariat Vault, a new database of authors and the rights they want to sell is launching. After a 90-day free trial for the first 300 participants, and a 30-day free trial for all who register after that, authors will pay $10 monthly to have their works listed. The idea is to let author who have built some traction in the marketplace connect with publishers who can accelerate their sales. It will aggregate reviews and sales data, among other information in authors’ listings.
I would strongly suggest Publetariat Vault’s creators consider reversing the model, so that searchers who want to contact an author pay a small fee to Publetariat. Or make the transfer of rights the pay service. Anything other than paid listings, which is the old classifieds model.
Craigslist killed the paid listing business, making revenue on a small percentage of its listings. That allowed people to populate the listing database with enough free ads, which drove traffic, that it became self-supporting from fees for real estate and job listings. There’s no reason Craigslist couldn’t offer these same kinds of listing free to authors (think about it, Craig).
This database seems to be aiming to compete with writers’ agents, who normally shop rights to works new and old, as necessary for a share of the author’s income from the resulting deals. It could also help agents find new authors with finished works. But I am skeptical of any service for authors that costs $120 a year up front. Interesting idea, though, if the economics are made right. Will be interesting to see what comes of this.