Another is the opportunity it presents to participate in a bold new global publishing platform, Freed Reads, based in Australia. The 2016 launch of the Freed Reads initiative represents one of the many options now available to readers, authors, and publishers. The business model is a very socially responsible one with an aim to make literature more accessible to readers and thereby help increase literacy rates around the world.
The Dangerous Costs of Illiteracy
“Globally, more than 796 million people in the world cannot read and write. About 67 million children do not have access to primary school education and another 72 million miss out on secondary school education.”
“The cost of illiteracy to the global economy is estimated at USD $1.2 trillion.
The effects of illiteracy are very similar in developing and developed countries. This includes illiterates trapped in a cycle of poverty with limited opportunities for employment or income generation and higher chances of poor health, turning to crime and dependence on social welfare or charity (if available).”
(Download the pdf for the report)
Creative Digital Thinkers
“…We promote the benefits of reading to audiences who would never usually buy or read books. Thereby doing our bit for global literacy and advocating for the rights of authors and other creative artists… By 'rendering' book pages and serving them out to readers on-demand via their web-browsers we provide readers with lossless textual quality, high-definition character integrity and natively supported data-compression.”
(from company press release: Making Books Free & Supporting Authors with Ad-Royalties)
Traditional publishers may respond to the launch of Freed Reads with skepticism, precisely as traditional organizations tend to do in the face of potentially revolutionary enterprises. Any number of authors will look past possible financial benefits and consider investing one or more titles in the new catalog to make their own contribution to combating illiteracy.
For Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player, the initiative allows readers to experience a story that some industry gatekeepers found too “avant garde,” “controversial,” or “experimental” when first presented for publication under its former title. Just as importantly, it makes it possible to participate in an active dialogue concerning what works best not only for those who market books, but those who actually write and read them. That's the kind of #ValentinesDay present book lovers on both sides of the page, printed or digital, can truly appreciate.
Valentine’s Day Weekend 2016
© Bright Skylark Literary Productions