It might be late for you, Gena. Not for me. My juices just start flowing this time of night.
And you bet, I do indeed look forward to James’ comments. I fully expect him to explain how none of what I suggest is really feasible. I am reminded of Bill Gates’ statement that nobody would ever need more than 640 kilobytes of computer RAM. What does your computer have now for memory — in order to run his own *blinking* operating system! 1 gig? 2 gigs?
I would remind everyone how technology has turned the recording business on its ear and almost caused it to collapse. Even now, artists have decentralized. It is pathetically easy to set up your own music publishing company and recording company. And then you can invest a few thousand bucks in recording gear that is, thanks to today’s tech, the equivalent of million dollar studios just a few short years ago. Cut your own records. Set up your own distribution systems. Make enough money in large local markets where you don’t even worry about going national. Hey, the quality may not be the same, but do these people who are making serious money hand over fist doing this really care?
The publishing business is not immune from this. Print media is already being stung by electronic media. But what I’m suggesting is different: print media being stung by myriads of small presses who can crank out product equal to the big guys, and who can plug into the same distribution systems that they do. Never forget: the Big Guys were little guys themselves once. Far as I’m concerned? They’re living on borrowed time.
The fact that a writer needs an agent to protect his own rights against publishers’ predatory practices is unfortunate. But when the agent essentially becomes a part of the publishing elite, constantly in bed with the foe, it has really gone too far. Sure, s/he may be representing a writer’s interests — one hopes. But when a writer must wait 90 days or longer just to find out where s/he stands? That is inexcusable. Unacceptable.
Goodbye Simon & Schuster, hello Little Workshop Press and thousand of others just like it.