[Reposted from old comment system, from Matt on Sun, 18 Oct 2009 19:46:50 0000]
Writers want a paycheck, so they can pay the bills and move on to the next project. Online readers like free stuff, and are willing to put up with some on-screen advertising to get it. Right now (right here) some writers are capable of and willing to manage the mess of microdonations, clickcounts, etc. Over at another publisher they've taken the next step of paying the writer and handling the headaches of epublishing a pay-for magazine. What's next? Connecting 'paycheck' to 'free.'
I imagine a suite of apps, from submission through presentation.
Customers would read free, using the proprietary presentation manager. The presentation manager would display targetted ads, force a brief windowed ad between chapters, run an extended presentation at mid-book, and every other trick we can think of to attract advertiser cash. On the other hand, customers could earn black-out tags to drop on least-liked ads, ad-free minutes, chapters, even entire sessions by participating in pre-reading surveys and presentations.
Submitting authors would face a similar system, participating in ads and rating other submissions to earn permission to submit. Volunteer Assistant Online Editors would earn value by rating submissions and ads. Highest rating submissions would get an editorial read, the rest 'returned unconsidered' after a reasonable period.
Print publishers, TV networks, and film producers could pay a fee to view and opt on the highest rated submissions. Even competitor publications could pay to search unconsidered or rejected submissions and opt on those that 'fit' their publishing profile.
And all this would be automated, allowing the editor/publisher to go about the business of choosing and buying content that attracts more customers. Sounds like a quite a bit of work building the system, and no guarantee it would work, but who knows?