Elance Blog

New Book Outlines The Future of Work

Occasionally we invite Elancers to discuss issues of importance to businesses and freelancers who use our online work marketplace.  Here are some thoughts from Bas van de Haterd, who has just published a new book, (R)evolution of Work: Social Capital in Organizations. It's about a new mentality, social change, upcoming markets, sustainability and finding meaning in our work.

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There is a revolution going on in the workplace. Of course, Elance users know this already. But recently mainstream media has been writing about it a lot. Oxford University, one of the most prestigious in the world, published a paper stating that 40% of all American jobs might disappear in the next 20 years or so.

This isn't really news for those following the revolution that's going on in the workspace. Many books have been published on this topic, including my own (note that Elance VP Kjetil Olsen wrote part of the preface). However, there is another, positive, side of the revolution as well.

My book, called (R)evolution of Work is now available in English. That's something pretty rare for a Dutch author. To give you some numbers, about 10% of all books published in the U.S. have a non-U.S. writer. This includes native English writers from the UK (like J.K. Rowling and Tolkien) and Australia. Translated books are rare, because most publishers don't even dare try.

Yet in this revolution in the workplace, having a book translated, is a lot more affordable and easier than it ever was. Writing about a revolution of the workplace, I of course use tools I write about in my book as well.

The cost of translating my own book was cut in half, because I used Elance.

Dutch, my native language and the language that the book was originally written in, isn't spoken much outside the Netherlands (except for a part of Belgium). Yet when I posted the translation job online I got offers from South Africa, Egypt and Morocco. All from Dutch individuals who had moved away. The editing was done by a native English speaker from the United States.

The publishing itself was done on Kindle. Amazon also offers this service, making it possible to write and publish a book without a publisher. This offers great opportunities for writers.

Part of this revolution in the workspace is the creation of opportunities. Without Elance my book would have never “left” the Netherlands. Translation and editing would have been too expensive and publishing impossible. Now it's available on Kindle for everyone to read.