In the ongoing discussion about whether indie publishing is tenable, or even a thing, a lot of ugly business emerges. Most of it is discovered after some careful digging through sites like J.A. Konrath‘s and others in the field who have exposed life in the publishing tower’s secrets. Every year, it seems more of Big Publishing’s practices are exposed, and more and more, they remind me of Big Oil and other “Bigs” who are desperately struggling to understand life in this digital age, and failing.
I strongly believe that we are just as immersed in a technological revolution, that has really just started, by the way, as society was during the Industrial Revolution. Fists are being banged onto desks refusing to acknowledge new ways. Furious millionaires are determined to choke every last dollar from dying industries and practices before they draw their last breath. Men who rose to power with typewriters and letters in the mail scoff at those who dare to publish without them, and do their level best to crush their progress.
Don’t believe me? Read through Konrath. or read this:
I’ve written in the past about developments in the publishing field in the midst of all this; I find it fascinating to study. I also continue to describe my own journey through and around the barrage that is modern publishing. Note that I do separate that from writing; I don’t believe the two are necessarily connected, and for most people, shouldn’t be. (Same as self-publishing and indie-publishing are not necessarily the same thing).
Erica Verillo‘s not wrong. The chaos she describes is pretty plain to see; just look at your average bookstore chain’s shelves over a year and you’ll see it too.
I firmly believe the future is micro-economic. Small, cottage producers of content that grow organically to be sniffed at by Big Industry, prompting the creators of that content to decide to sell their wares to the machine, or not. And new, pioneering companies like Engen who take their drive and dreams and carve out a chunk using the current technology and craft relationships with their local writers who would never get a chance elsewhere. That is the future, friends.
This is not a new concept. See Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, Call of Cthulhu, and every other small project that eventually became a marketing powerhouse.
And how did they do that?
It always starts with quality.
I’m not saying I’m one of those. But I am saying I’m writing to write, small and in the dark every morning, shaping my stories, grooming them for the world that technology has finally made possible.
I’ve gone from coil-ring notebook, longhand writing to typing on paper, to blogging with clickable links, to printed copies in my hand and my amazon store of published novels and short stories.
And we are just getting started. But the journey, the process of this evolution, is really fascinating and worthy of recording. I really do see it as one of the greatest advancements of the arts in generations.
There was nothing like this for H.P. Lovecraft, or Charles Dickens, or Stephen King. Imagine if there had been! I’ve discussed such in The Write Podcast.
Society is quickly growing exhausted of reboots, and throwaway conclusions of stories because the writers had more lucrative things to do, and the endless mining of old material. They are starving for fresh stories, new worlds, and original ideas. There has never been a better time to have an idea. Everything you need to present it is literally at your fingertips.
And that’s me talking; the darkest, most jaded person I know. So, you know,…possibly relevant.