Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mission Statement

I believe that the old models of publishing are becoming as obsolete in literature as they have become in music, journalism, film, and visual art.  

It is impossible to commodify a piece of art once the physical component has been antiquated. Once the record, magazine, book, film, print, etc is not necessary and the work is translated into easily replicated and distributed ones and zeros, our capitalist model fails. The model of supply and demand cannot be applied to an economy of ideas.  

If it will be possible to make a living as an artist in the future, we will not be able to make much money by "selling" our product.  Money will need to be made by corresponding appearances, commissions, and gigs booked around either free or very low-cost product.

Even most traditionally published writers have not made the bulk of their money from the books themselves, but from these appearances, commissions, and gigs, just like most traditionally signed bands don't make much money from the music itself, but from the whirlwind of opportunities that come with being a RockStar.  

We used to need publishers or record labels to generate these opportunities.  Now we do not. We've seen many indie musicians circumvent the record labels over the past five years. Publishing on the other hand is older and slower to let go of tradition. 

Regardless, the publishing industry as it stands will not be able to sustain itself for much longer. The modern reader lives half of his or her life in an abstract digital world.  Paper books alone cannot reflect this world accurately.  

If we look at it the right way, we are living in an extremely exciting time for artists.  It's almost like being the first generation with access to the printing press.  What we do with this magnificent gift from thousands of preceding generations is now up to us.  

I'm up for it.  Are you?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pike Hoses

Taking this abnormal psych class has brought up some interesting emotions.

The book is clearly geared toward young college students, for instance, I a lot of the case studies are "Steve is a 21-year-old college student," "Mary is obsessed with getting straight As," "Bilbo sought the advice of the campus counselor," and so on.  The book itself is bringing me back to when I was that age, not to mention the book is about abnormal psych, and college was the time when my depression and OCD were at their most incorrigible.

I can't help but think if I had been able to get those problems under control sooner how much farther along I'd be now.  Maybe I'd have a full-time job now, or I'd have made better writing connections earlier, or I'd have moved to the city when I was younger, or I'd just have gotten better grades.  

Now that I know I can live with these things without medication and maybe even channel them into positive outcomes, I am kicking myself that I didn't figure that out sooner.

I spent two hours on the phone crying to my mom last week after reading two chapters of my homework.  All the statistics of unemployed and financially dependent people with mental disorders may have gotten to me.  Or maybe it was just the memories.

All this pathos makes me think I'm moving in the right direction.

PS: I am apparently the last to know that Neil Gaiman is now dating Amanda Palmer.  I guess I have to start listening to her music.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Word is dead. Long live the Word.

Where do we go from here?

Is everything hopeless or is this just a new beginning?

I have been seriously considering serializing Backstage at the Caribou on a blog, since traditional publication doesn't seem to be throwing me any bones.

If anyone is out there, what are your thoughts?

Monday, June 1, 2009

I'm trying to book a tour in the fall, interviewing for new jobs, and today is the first day of my psych class. Posts have been sparse and they will most likely be for some time. I'll do my best not to completely drop off the face of the earth.

On Saturday we went to Split Signal at the Somerville Armory. Five or so bands played live scores to short, silent films. Free microbrews and wine brought to us by cute punky girls in black dresses and flapper hats. It was the place to be in Boston on Saturday. The crowd was a Who's Who of the Boston alternative arts scene. And it was finally warm. Everyone was in a remarkably good mood.