But book publishing is the same is it not - major houses repackaging the classics, not investing in new writers, churning out tired genres like 'chic lit', applying disproportionate muscle on distributors, friends in the broadsheet review sections etc etc.
Well then, as far as I am concerned, for those reasons alone I hope we soon see the end of 'books' and people getting paid to write.
Let me just see if I've got this right.
The commercial activities of various companies (books or music) can be described as nefarious and not primarily in the cause of 'art' ... and therefore the artists who provide the content that these people sell - and who have little to no control over the various practices used to sell it - shouldn't get paid for what they do.
I think that's it.
And somehow this is supposed to produce 'better' art, and generally be A Good Thing ?
On the one hand, we have a model where an artist goes to someone who has money, and says, 'excuse me, I'd like some, so I can give up the day job and devote more time to producing this stuff which I think you could probably sell'. Money= time= more time to spend writing, revising, whatever = usually better art. In the case of publishers, the process usually involves an editor (in music, a producer) who has a look/listen and often makes suggestions which in most cases improves the artwork further. Once it's finished, there's further money available to manufacture it and promote it. With any luck, enough of it sells to pay back the folk who've invested in it, who then give the artist more money so they can spend some time writing/composing another artwork.
On the other hand, we have a model where the artist will not receive any back-up, either financial or advisory, and will be responsible not only for creating the artwork, but manufacturing it and promoting it as well, presumably paying for all this out of their own pocket. There won't be any editors or producers to give them a helping hand, and they'll be doing it all in the only time left to them after slaving for 8 hours a day at some shitty job. They'll be getting grief from their partners for spending all this time and money on something which won't make any, and if they have kids, won't be giving them anything like the care, time, and attention they need, because they'll be spending all their spare time creating the artwork. Eventually, they'll upload the artwork to some website where anyone can take it, enjoy it, and have their lives enhanced by it, for free.....
..... if anyone has noticed it's there in the first place- which they probably won't- because the artist will have no money for promotion and won't get any reviews, anywhere, since no-one will know it exists. In the meantime, the wife and kids have moved out ... and the artwork will probably not be very good, because there's been no-one to say 'whoops, geezer, don't you think that's a bit self indulgent/long-winded/lacking in focus/ badly played/badly recorded and maybe you should go back and take another shot?' The artist then ends up with no money, no partner, and probably no job either, since he/she may well have taken a few too many sickies trying to get the damn thing finished. The chances of them ever creating another will be slim indeed.
Yeah, sure, I really like that second model. I can really see how that's going to improve the quality of books and music, make it really easy for everyone to find it, and the artist is going to find it really easy to go on making the art, and his/her partner is really going to love the fact that all their spare time is spent on something that doesn't involve them, and chews up all the family savings and/or mortgage money. Yeah, lovely, let's do it ....
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