Hang with me for a series of seemingly unrelated factoids.
- Y’all know who Doc McGhee is, right? He was Mötley Crüe‘s manager way back in the day and pretty much made them rich and famous. (Oh, shut up. You know I’m a Mötley Crüe fangrrrrl. But Mick Mars does look a little, um, ready for a nursing home, doesn’t he?)
- In early November, Amazon “suck[ed] up to literary agents” in a bid to kill its monsterly image. Really? They need literary agents to kill its monsterly image? Who’d’a thunk it?
- Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette all announced they would be holding off releasing ebooks of new (hardcover) titles by six months. The brilliance never ends.
- Stephen Covey just told Simon & Schuster to fuck off. Well. I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly what he said.
- There is one thing an unknown or midlist self-published author can’t get that s/he needs most.
- There is only one thing a bestselling name-brand author has but doesn’t need at all.
I’m not going to explain any of this stuff. The graphic should make it, well, graphically obvious. Take the above seemingly unrelated items, throw it in with this, and see what you come up with. Assume the writer has not himself arranged for the actual production of his manuscript into print and electronic:
Pop quiz: What word is nowhere to be found in the above flowchart?
I think there’s one agent out there who already knows all this and is slowly, steadily—over weeks, months, years—training his blog readers to start thinking this way.
The difference between how agents work now and how this could work is that a writer would interview agents and hire one (as s/he would an attorney or CPA), as opposed to becoming a supplicant for the agent’s approbation/validation. Agents who now work as if they’re doing writers a favor may not deal with this system well.
On the other hand, even though this is my own plan, I can see that it could land us right back where we are now if writers won’t let go of the thought that they’re powerless and/or only incidental to the book creation process.
Writers, listen up: You’re the creator. There’s power in being the originator of content. Use that power and take control of your own destiny. It’s your work. Take responsibility for its dissemination.