Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is There a Solution?

The supply/demand situation I sketch in the post below is a pessimistic one. There's really no point in being a writer. The set-up, if you want a meaningful number of people reading your work, is close to hopeless.

There is a solution-- but it takes the will to abandon everything about the status quo. It's what I was getting at with "pop." Everything would have to be done to distinguish new writers from the huge mass of the status quo. Not books-- but, Zeens-- or something. (Give me a name.) Not writers-- but popsters. (Or something.) Everything about the new art and the new practicioners of that art has to scream, "We're different!" Otherwise there's no chance.

For myself, I sense some strategic changes coming in society, so I'm changing, shifting, going more "populist" than before. Change or die! That's what the working class long has been told.


Wred Fright said...

The iPad/Kindle stuff is an opportunity at the moment. It should cut out printing costs (as publishing on the Web does) and keep costs no to low but they still smell enough like "product" that people might actually buy/read it if marketed right. One could even chuck up a pdf or something and just ask for donations if the reader liked it. If I can't find a publisher for the next novel (and I don't think I will, it's just too long for anybody currently in publishing to think they could sell it--even though of course they could; they just don't realize that), then that's the route I'll go. No more printed books for me. Love 'em, but they're too expensive to deal with. As always, the problem is getting the stuff to the public at the same time, the marketing piques their interest. The ULA didn't have product when there was interest and by the time there was product, there wasn't the interest.

Wred Fright said...

Ignore that comma between "time" and "the"--it snuck in there.

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

I don't see how you get around the supply situation, in that the congloms are going to put their thousands of titles onto Kindle. The question then becomes: how do you stand out? How do you let the reading public know that you're on there, get them to look for you??
As always, marketing/publicity is the crux of the problem.
I've said it's 90% of the game. Nowadays it's more like 99.999% of the game.
It CAN be done, though. It would be tricky but also mucho fun.

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

p.s Right now there's a jam on the game board. I'm searching for ways to move around that. I'll be experimenting with various tactics, don't know if I'll find one that works.
I know one thing: too many writers exist in the 10% of media mainstream. It's where all writers try to work. One needs to instead look ahead of the curb, to realize that dinosaur media is truly that, and even giants like Time magazine are shrinking. The Franzen splash is a flexing of power-- but will it be possible once a print-version of Time no longer exists??
This brings up a couple things to think about.
1.) You're right, Wred, in that everything now seems to be online.
2.) In a way that means the only way to go is offline!
I've got a great idea as to how to sell offline, person-to-person. The best selling I've done with books was at the table Jeff had at the Detroit street fair in '08. Once I got in front of the table and began interacting with people it got easy-- I did fine for the short time I was there, and could've done better with a more diverse product line! (Jeff could never get that you need some women and people of color in the game as well as old or middle-aged white guys.)
Such experiences will be the basis of my new plan should I ever get it off the ground. I can't say more until I do it.

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

p.p.s. Make that ahead of the curve, not curb! (But being ahead of the curb is probably a good thing when driving.)