UContent’s chapter on Project Gutenberg (aka PG) focused on the procedure the user must follow to contribute content to Gutenberg’s large depository of works in the public domain (PG now holds 40,000 titles including free eBooks for Kindle). The contributed content, however, is rarely the original work of the contributor.
Self-published authors are able to upload their works as PDFs (or MP3s for spoken word), and share them. Moreover, authors retain all rights (e.g., they may withdraw their works if, for instance, a commercial publisher takes an interest) and, of course, true to PG’s generous mission, the authors can use the Portal for free. On July 20 the Portal held 693 works, and as of August 16, 2012 it contains 768 books. That is an 11% increase in one month. In light of this, the pundits writing for Advertising Age and The Daily Beast, who have declared that user-generated content has seen its day, may want to revisit their appraisals.