Writers and artists are in the information production and distribution business. Regardless, if the product is a work of fiction, a novel, short-story, procedural manual, textbook, family history, or abstract art the ultimate goal is the conveyance of information - as abstracted through the eyes of the writer or artist - to the ultimate consumer.
Like any worthwhile effort, the information creator should engage in a production strategy, or a mix of strategies) that minimizes the cost of their effort while maximizing its benefit to the ultimate consumer.
In general, such products are produced for three reasons: public consumption, intra-organizational use, or to be bartered or shared by a consumer.
An individual wishing to offer their works for public consumption need to consider: 1) if they wish to make money by holding onto their rights (rights based exclusion, 2) make money by not exercising their exclusive rights (non-exclusion marketing), or 3) giving away their products in return for status (non-exclusion, non-market strategy).
Rights based exclusion: Those wishing to make money in the public domain hold onto their rights through copyrights and licensing and by offering their work directly to consumers or through traditional or digital publishers or both. They can also hold onto their rights and merge their products with others in an intra-firm collaboration effort. Or, they can hold onto their rights in order to block a similar product from entering the market place.
Non-exclusion marketing: This strategy is used in the public domain when an individual wishes to benefit by using their product as an advertising teaser for other product that is priced, customizing a product without consideration for rights, or the production of training material in support of an on-site consulting business. When collaborating with another firm, or individual, the non-exclusion marketing strategy is used to build cheaper or better products based upon collaborative research efforts or improve another's information product to lower collaborative costs of both products. Further this strategy benefits the producer when one wishes to benefit from share information in return for access to another's product, or when building social networks to diffuse knowledge.
Non-exclusion-non marketing: This strategy is used when one wishes to give away information in return for status, benefits to reputation or one simply wishes to share something that is of non-monetary but nonetheless of value to themselves and potentially others. Sharing genealogy information falls into this strategy. This strategy is also used to provide input to another's work in order to secure funding and status. Bloggers often use this strategy in order to share information in small groups in order to get comments and improve ideas before distribution of a broader product. Sometimes this strategy is used to delay products for wider distribution or to obtain “copy-lift” conditions on derivative works for distribution thus avoiding plagiarism issues.
The matrix below outlines these strategies, domains and benefits/