"In short, book-writing is a worse-than-ever means to a livelihood, and mass-market renown is disappearing as a concept, fractioning into a million niches. Ultimately the only good reason to write books remains what it probably always was: The compulsion to try to entertain, persuade or make meaning is irresistible, and the process absorbs you like nothing else. If it doesn't, there's no reason to bother." - Elisabeth Eaves, Forbes magazine editor
Eaves said this after attending BookExpo America last weekend. Sadly, she is describing a continuing trend in two different worlds with which I am somewhat familiar, books and music. I've come to know quite a few writers and musicians over the last decade, and I've seen how hard they have to work to create their own "big breaks." Record labels and book publishers are not spending the money, nor are they willing to allow the time, that it takes to nurture the next generation of author and musician superstars. Rather, they are milking the same old stuff as long as it sells and are placing the burden of breaking into either industry entirely on those who, in the past, counted on publishers and record labels to provide publicity and advertising.
These days, many of my favorite writers and musicians have "day jobs" and they continue to do what they love only because its who they are. They are writers and they are singers first - and they always will be.
I salute them and, more importantly, I thank them for giving me so much pleasure by sharing their talents despite all the obstacles they face in today's economy.