Tag Archives: publishers

We are living in exciting times

28 Nov

While I was reading René Goscinny’s biography 1, some ideas popped up in my head. I first put them on Twitter, but someone asked me to put them on my blog, for easy reference. So here they are.

When I read how powerful publishers were in rejecting books and other publications in the past, I can understand how powerless they must feel now. They still cling to the old beliefs that allowed a few individuals to determine what the masses got to read, under guise of “culture”.

Not that everything that is published now is suited for everyone, but that is just the point. It is meant for a few readers, not the masses. It’s a bit like the early days of publishing, where books where made for a handful of people, because they were the only ones able to read. Nowadays as a creator you still want your publications to go to a handful of people, those who want to read your works, because they like it.

Why not make works that are suitable for the masses? Answer: lowest common denominator. Mass appeal means less specific content. There are those who believe that in a few years the good stuff will be established and the bad stuff will go away. That is old school think.

No, I believe the true explosion of creativity is still to come, after which everyone will create some kind of content, all 6+ billion people. This will wash away the old structures of publishing, based on scarcity. New structures will emerge, based on individual preference.

Until then we’re in this gray area, which we call the World Wide Web, forefront of things to come. We are writing history here!

That is all.

1 French: Goscinny (1926 – 1977) : La Liberté d’en rire (Amazon.fr link),
Dutch: Goscinny : Bedenker van Asterix’ avonturen (bol.com link).