Jane Yellowlees Douglas, PhD of the University of Florida

Jane has been researching and writing on hypertext from psychological, aesthetic, and sociological perspectives for a quarter century. She has also held positions in sociology, English, medicine, and management, in addition to working as a partner in advertising agencies with a long list of Fortune 500 clients. Unsurprisingly, given her exposure to so many disciplines, she sees the future of text from a variety of perspectives, from the speed with which Google Scholar algorithms enable more rapid research in formulating novel hypotheses in biomedical science to the successful stratagem organizations use to speed the adoption and widespread uptake of innovations into markets. Now a faculty member in the University of Florida’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, she is also Associate Professor of Management there. 

topic : Text as Currency: Business Models in Publishing Fiction from Print to E-books

Douglas will focus on the evolution of the author as a paid entity, with the rise of Mudie’s Select Libraries, which enabled authors for the first time to achieve lucrative (non-patronage-based) returns on their writing, via first serial exposure and subsequent subscription-based access to the published “Triple-Decker” completed works. Viewed along a historic continuum from the mid-Victorian era to the present, we can see the shift from our most recent bricks and mortar bookseller model as merely a stage in the evolution of the cycle that covers author-text-public. She will address what the coming years may hold for writers and readers alike, including the pending cloud-based services enabling readers to once more “share” digital text. 


 The 19th century was a hotbed of innovative models for making money out of publishing—most of it not to writers’ advantage. After fifty years of writers making a good living from writing, we’re now facing the same challenges Dickens and Thackeray grappled with: how to earn a living in an era where Apple and Amazon now have even more clout than the titans of Victorian publishing. Through engaging questions from the audience, Douglas’ talk also provides warnings about ‘free’ platforms for publishing that actually hold the rights to your own content, why you violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when you post your own published content from a magazine or journal, and possibilities for making a living off content many of us currently give away for free.