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Old 04-23-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
Randolphlalonde
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Creators Who Break Free From Market Direction

As a salute to out of the box thinkers and the music, film and literature indie scenes, I wrote an article called Creators Who Break Free From Market Direction.

The reason why I mention Market Direction instead of using an expression like "Out Of The Box Thinkers" is because, as a writer, I have heard "That doesn't fit in with the direction the market has taken" more than once. Now, I don't make many pitches and took a break from Querying over the last year, but fellow authors are hearing this more and more, then they tend to tell me about it.

I thought it was time to mention a few exceptions to the rule, since so many people seem to be talking about where the market is headed. Being a part of the Ebook scene, I see publishers on one side, vendors on another and indies stuck in between. The readers are often left to wander around and graze while all this is going on since the market is getting more and more confusing to early adopters of eBooks. That is, until someone decides to ignore the debate and just read, the wiser choice as far as I'm concerned for most readers.

So, I invite you to read the article and comment here or on the blog. Who do you think the modern trend breakers are? Do you have a favorite Indie artist (writer, director, musician, etc...), who has guided you outside of the box?

Here's the link: http://randolphlalonde.blogspot.com/...om-market.html
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:26 AM   #2
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Very insightful post. Added my comments there.

Thank you for throwing this out there.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:44 AM   #3
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Thanks for your comments!

I've actually known a few people who own The Essential Guide To Vehicles and Vessels. As a Star Wars fan (obviously), I could never just let it sit on the gaming/coffee table, always had to pick it up and have a look-see.

You wouldn't happen to have any copies you could sign and send over, would you? I'd pay for it, of course...
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:17 PM   #4
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@BillSmithBooks - I turned my 16yo son into a Star Wars geek. The first movies he saw in a theater were the re-releases of Episodes 4-5-6. I know I bought almost all the big Star Wars guides for him (and me). Even though son is a big tough football player who would never admit in public that he loves Star Wars, he still reads the graphic novels.

@Randolphalonde - Good blog, I agree that we need to always be looking for the different (and good). There is so much drek out there and it's tedious to wade through it. What is needed are editors who aren't tasked with searching out the next JK JRJowling, Dan Brown write alikes but editors who are looking for the next great (and readable) book. I love good space opera, it's the first SF my Dad gave me when I was a kid so I'll be looking at yours.
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:04 PM   #5
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Interesting post. I'm adding my comments here because white text on black background is physically painful to me!

What's interesting is how you make your point with movies like Star Wars and bands like Nirvana and Sonic Youth... when the reason those movies and bands reached their popularity (and made their money) was due to being picked up by media producers that were already in the "system" that is criticized as being stuck in an old or non-innovative direction. Would Star Wars have done as well if 20th Century Fox hadn't picked them up? Suppose it had been Republic Pictures, for instance, and the resulting significantly lower budget had created a very different (and less impressive-looking) movie? Suppose none of them picked it up, and Lucas made the movie in his basement?

Your examples seem less about the quality of the "new-direction" artists, and more about the ability of Big Media to occasionally pick an unexpected winner out of the indie throngs. And it doesn't address the indies that don't get that opportunity: For every Kevin Smith that finally got noticed, there are a hundred artists who have produced an entire movie on a single Sony Handcam, mortgaging themselves to the hilt in the process, and worked like hell to promote that work in local film festivals, on the web and at local community colleges and art houses. They haven't been picked up by Big Media... they won't make it to Cannes... should we assume, then, that they all suck?

Although we should all look for the "undiscovered gold" being produced out there, we need to look past the tidbits that Big Media will obligingly find (and profit from) for us. Fortunately, the web is providing us ways to find our gold by ourselves, whether Big Media finds it or not.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Interesting post. I'm adding my comments here because white text on black background is physically painful to me!

What's interesting is how you make your point with movies like Star Wars and bands like Nirvana and Sonic Youth... when the reason those movies and bands reached their popularity (and made their money) was due to being picked up by media producers that were already in the "system" that is criticized as being stuck in an old or non-innovative direction. Would Star Wars have done as well if 20th Century Fox hadn't picked them up? Suppose it had been Republic Pictures, for instance, and the resulting significantly lower budget had created a very different (and less impressive-looking) movie? Suppose none of them picked it up, and Lucas made the movie in his basement?

Your examples seem less about the quality of the "new-direction" artists, and more about the ability of Big Media to occasionally pick an unexpected winner out of the indie throngs. And it doesn't address the indies that don't get that opportunity: For every Kevin Smith that finally got noticed, there are a hundred artists who have produced an entire movie on a single Sony Handcam, mortgaging themselves to the hilt in the process, and worked like hell to promote that work in local film festivals, on the web and at local community colleges and art houses. They haven't been picked up by Big Media... they won't make it to Cannes... should we assume, then, that they all suck?

Although we should all look for the "undiscovered gold" being produced out there, we need to look past the tidbits that Big Media will obligingly find (and profit from) for us. Fortunately, the web is providing us ways to find our gold by ourselves, whether Big Media finds it or not.
From the article:

I've started most of my examples by describing the early stirrings of change because that's what this article is really about. It's about the gold we haven't discovered yet. Independent musicians, film makers and authors bring us an unsupervised look at our world, adventures into fiction, and show us that the direction the market is taking shouldn't determine what kind of entertainment we enjoy or limit our ideas about the world as a whole. Most times it's the independent that shows us the way, and it's their viewers, listeners and readers who discover them first. They are an important part of the change, armed with the power of word of mouth.

--

That's what the article was about. The power people have over their media when they recognize something of quality that is different and tell each other about it so its audience can grow.

I could get caught up in the minutia and argue the validity of my examples, but that would take focus away form the point I made in the piece.

Thank you for visiting my site and reading the article, I'm very happy with the attention this is getting and the emails I'm receiving asking for advice on where to start looking for interesting, different content!

Last edited by Randolphlalonde; 04-27-2010 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:02 PM   #7
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Being a creator in the digital world is somewhat different from being one in the material world.

Nowadays it's quite easy and affordable to be digitally creative. In th material world you need ressources - to produce a movie, a CD, a book. This means you have to invest. Or convince people to invest. In you. Then you need to convince a distributor. Or you're doing the Robert Crumb stunt who sold his first comic books hand-stapled on the streets of San Francisco.

Which brings us to the integral part: devotion.

Believe me, I won't come up with "If you believe in your work, you'll eventually have success". That's nonsense. But if you're not devoted to your work, you won't ever have any chance for success.
And this is true for Indie as for mainstream, for digital as for material.

Next comics example: Dave Sim and Cerebus. Started as a funny animal Indie comics in the 1970s. Then he came up with the silly notion of publishing 300 issues, month after moth to complete a single storyline of 6000 pages. Unsurpassed until today. From funny animal to cult. Devotion. To his work, to his audience. Besides, he made quite a living ...
The reaction of Paul Levitz, then-director at DC Comics: "Self-publishing is good ... - for Dave Sim."

Never ask those who already direct the market. To them you're either an obscurity or a threat.
When I started "Talon", my jungle adventure series in 2002 as free eBooks, I was hoping for some 500 downloads. I wrote 18 episodes, one every other week, stopped for a short time, wrote another 7 episodes. Downloads up to now? Something above 250.000.
I stopped writing the (unfinished) series some years back. But when I lost my devotion, I lost the attention of my audience (except for some diehard fans, but they seem to remain loyal, after all those years). Though I still have a small press-publisher at hand who is willing to publish the series in print (he called last week again and asked ...). Why? Because he liked the idea of a modern jungle adventure series which is definitely way off mainstream.

You never know what exactly it is that grabs the attention of one "within" the market. Just make sure you'll stay around long enough to be noticed by someone. Even it means standing on the streets and selling photocopied issues to passers-by. Like Robert Crumb.

Last edited by K-Thom; 04-28-2010 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:30 AM   #8
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You make a good side point K-Thom. Without real dedication to their work, or at least the belief that it was something people needed to hear (in the case of Grunge, that's what it was), none of the people I mentioned in the article would have gotten anywhere either.

I can relate personally with my own Science Fiction series. I won't let it got until I feel I've told every good story about those characters, and I'm pretty sure the readers can tell.
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:41 AM   #9
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OK, I just have to ask...

I have seen the words 'Indie Author' many, many times... First I thought it was authors from India, but that just doesn't make sense, since there are no words like '[insert country] Author'..

I have wanted to ask this questions for a long time, so please put me out of my misery...
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by lene1949 View Post
OK, I just have to ask...

I have seen the words 'Indie Author' many, many times... First I thought it was authors from India, but that just doesn't make sense, since there are no words like '[insert country] Author'..

I have wanted to ask this questions for a long time, so please put me out of my misery...
I found out... Google search... I was so frustrated by this term, I didn't know..

So I found this:

http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/news/2217/

just in case someone else out there doesn't know the meaning...
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