Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Net- and self-publishing and other hyphenated words

Even if you’re not a musician, artist or writer, I recommend that you read this article (or at least items 5 and 4). Mostly because, if you don’t, you’re not going to have any idea what this blog post is about.

5 Common Anti-Internet Arguments (That are Statistically BS) (new window)

In case you have trouble following directions, the long of the short of that article discusses how the internet is fundamentally changing the way that artists have to create, market and distribute their media in the digital age.

I have to admit, I’m a little torn on the issue. On the one hand, paper books are all I really know. I don’t own an e-reader, and all of my favorite books I still own in physical form. On the other hand, the vast majority of things I read (articles, news, blog posts, even the Bible) are done on my phone and on my computer. Not to mention the fact that I maintain and post to this blog fairly often. In fact, my hundredth post snuck up on me before I even realized it. I threw myself a tiny parade in celebration.

 Anyway, back to the topic at hand. How does the digital world affect hopeful artists/writers/musicians like me? I’ve been effectively distributing my creative media for free on this blog for years, after all. Why should I expect to ever be able to make a living on my writing?

Well, if the above article is to be believed, I only have to have faith in the internet populace at large. That’s right- you, dear reader. The idea is that people don’t steal from their friends, and if content is good enough, they’ll gladly pay something for it, rather than steal it. But try to make readers (or listeners or viewers as the case may be) pay an exorbitant price for crap, and they’ll bury you alive. I really, REALLY want this to be true; if it is, it will only make artists strive to create better and better content. I’m just not sure I believe it.

 I’m currently trying to get published the old fashioned way- writing agent letters, sending queries, following up with media publishing companies. So far I haven’t had any luck. Should I begin self-publishing my work, selling it online for a pence and, if it’s well received, continuing as such? If any writers (or readers of such work) are out there, what are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

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