Novel Futures

Link: I am offering 60% of the U.S. royalties of my second novel to “the public”

Shareholders will receive checks (and copies of the royalty statement from my publisher) in the mail every 6 months after the book’s publication (probably Fall, 2009 or Spring 2010). Shares can be resold at any price at any time, I will facilitate trading and promote it on my blog if that is what a shareholder wants. I accept Paypal.

I think this is a terrific idea but I fear the novelist (Tao Lin) won’t get the outcome he expects because of the execution. Selling 6 shares at $2,000 each locks out a significant portion of the market; why not sell 60 shares at $200 each or 600 shares at $20 each? (If the answer is “bookkeeping” then it would seem as if there’s an opportunity here for a technology entrepreneur, cough cough, to create an online marketplace to facilitate this kind of transaction.) In general it would seem like having an honest broker (not the content creator, and not the publisher) to manage these kinds of investments would be better all around; one of the things that would facilitate is the secondary market (investors reselling their shares to other investors) that the author alludes to in his post.

I also wonder if a more general-purpose media futures marketplace would facilitate the creation of other kinds of media. I know that The Guild funded itself this way, are there others?