I’ve been tearing through a pile of books that I’ve been sitting on. A good one is Trust me I’m Lying.
It develops a compelling argument about the cyclical nature of various businesses. This includes drawing a parallel between now and the era of Yellow Journalism.
There’s more to it than this too. Our explosion of publishing in the form of books and ebooks has its own parallels. This goes right down to grumpy authors complaining about readers and hucksters making money off of fear.
It turns out, that this parallels the early days of our old friend print publishing.
There all sorts of people complained about the changing of the guard. Saying new generations of readers didn’t appreciate ‘proper’ writing. That they would never amount to the same things as previous generations. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
We have so many examples of how situations like this have happened before. If we bother to look for them.
Gaiman talks about his adoption of the traveling talks and stories from Mark Twain. about how short stories evolved and became a bigger option. Doctorow has talked about the change to a dandelion approach.
Unfortunately, so much of this work was pirated and sold without paying the author. Authors knew this, and they worked on finding other ways to monetize on their work. As is so often the case, goods ones both flourished and floundered. The adaptable were able to make due in one form or another.
That’s the case of the world today – whether you are good or not is only a part of the puzzle. So much of it is adapting to the state of the world and figuring out the best move forward.