May 6th, 2013The barriers to entry to publishing a book, or distributing music or any other creative endeavor used to be so high that artists had to spend much of their time trying to get in front of those decision makers. Now the internet has placed all the tools of distribution and marketing into the hands of the entrepreneur. But there is a catch.
Not only are the tools of marketing and distribution in your hands, they are now your only option. It’s not a matter of choosing between a third party label or publisher or DIY, going DIY is now the only way to go.
There are plenty of writers, musicians and entrepreneurs that would rather just do the work of creating their art and not maintain a Facebook and Twitter account, post images to their Instagram, encourage engagement on their website or create a fan club. After all, these people are artists, not social media mavens. But alas, this is the new game that needs to be played. But at the end of the day, I prefer this new normal over the old for a few reasons.
1. People buy the experience not the product. This is now more true than ever. Your art is no longer a simple transaction about money, people want to buy a story. You have a better chance at successfully selling your story than any third party does.
2. If you didn’t have to spend all your time doing social media then you would have to spend all your time doing the demeaning work of trying to be picked anyway – casting calls, headshots, following leads, trying to get in with the tastemakers who could care less about you.
3. When you accept doing the marketing and distribution on your own terms you unlock your ability to make an impact, removing all the excuses between your current place and the art you want to make. You choose to be judged not by the tastemaker who picks you, but by the audience that you will find instead.