Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What The Artist can (silently) teach us all about writing and publishing.

A few months ago I saw The Artist. It was a great film (if you haven't seen it, SPOILERS AHEAD!) and it got me thinking. It is a great parallel to the state of writing and publishing today. 
The character George Valentin is the biggest star in 1927's Hollywood at the film's start. He loves the spotlight and easily pushes aside those who seem to not share his vision of his greatness. As the silent films give way to talkies, he maintains that they are just a fad and will fall by the wayside.
George is sorely mistaken.
He clings to his beliefs, even as a young starlet he helped give a break to becomes more famous and successful. His career crashes and burns while she rises to the skies. 
It immediately reminded me of the state of writing and publishing today. Most book publishers and writers still cling to the idea that independent publishing is just a passing phase and will eventually go away or flood itself in a deluge of poorly written books and cheap quality printing.
Not so fast, George. I mean, Big Houses. It's true that some poor quality books will come, but the freshness of the independent movement is today's version of the 'talkies.' New ideas and approaches will eventually push aside giants. Books will always be there, but the acceptance of the new publishing and ebook models have to be accepted or the George's of the publishing world will lose.
Just like George, good decisions can be made and art (no matter in what venue) will survive. 

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