The Three Laws of Indienomics

writer indienomicsI’d like to introduce the Three Laws of Indienomics which all indie authors should acknowledge. I’d like to lay claim to the word indienomics but I can’t. It follows in the footsteps of wikinomics, cloudonomics and freakonomics and is the new economics of independent publishing.

Others have used the term including: a theory for calming consumer-related chaosa blog that sits at the intersection of culture, commerce and copyright and indienomics as it applies to pay what you want games. I note that these are all from 2009 / 2010 and the blog most matches my sense of the term indienomics. The final piece brings to mind Humble Bundle a website that offers digital products where the buyer sets the price. What I like about Humble Bundle is the model of ‘pay more then the average to get extra goods’ – a great use of positive feedback!

The Three Laws

If you are an indie author you are creating in a new, digital age. You have a lot in common with other indie creatives – music, art and games being obvious examples. This is a set of important principles that will guide you through the business of being an indie author. They will be a series of posts over the next few weeks so do check back.

Here is a freebie for you now – The Zeroth Law of Indienomics.

The Zeroth Law of Indienomics

This is almost a meta-Law, a Law that sits above all the others.

Being an indie-author is not just about being a writer; it is about being a complete business in and of yourself

If you don’t understand this, or just want to write and let it all happen then these posts aren’t for you. The topic of indienomics is for those seeking to take a business-like approach to their writing. This might be for the simple fact of making money or just to promote your brand for other reasons (eg to promote a cause or get a job).

The science part

The idea of Three Laws comes from Thermodynamics – many years ago I studied Theoretical Physics and one of the best books I ever read is the 1957 book by Prof Pippard The Elements of Classical ThermodynamicsThe Three Laws of Thermodynamics are a work of genius and have deep philosophical and scientific consequences. The so-called Zeroth Law acts as an over-arching principle (and is not always taught with the others).

The culture part

The most noted use of Three Laws is in science fiction: Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. These underpinned a large part of Asimov’s work: who knows I may end up produce a whole tranche of articles and books on Indienomics – this is the first post of what could become… anything! Just like anything else a writer produces. Asimov even added a Zeroth Law as he joined all his work together in the 1980s.

The Three Laws of Robotics also inspired a Hawkwind track – Robot!


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