I understand that concept… though the demise of many independents has tarnished the luster of the published book as physical artifact. My real issue is that, for that privelege of having a physical book, writers give away all but a small percentage of their rights to the work.
Seems that with Medium I can potentially take the work on or off the platform at any time and retain full rights. They may not curate or market or value good writing, but at least they take nothing of intrinsic value.
Now the money earned behind the Medium paywall may be minimal at best. But so is earning single digits on each physical book sold (toward an advance) unless you really hit it big. And if the book published online does ultimately gain readers, the writer is in a better place to negotiate publishing terms?