Tuesday, March 9, 2010
When Does the Artist End and the Businessman Begin?
Writing in today's fast pace world has lost the art of the science or should I say the science of the art. When I began writing, I did so because I had a story I needed to tell. The story was a part of my imagination that I opened up for the world to see, touch and feel. I bore my soul and heart to strangers in hopes that something I wrote stirred them…moved them…provoked them…or just plain entertained them. But somewhere along the way, the artist that put words to paper has to become someone else in order to get the story out.
The artist must decipher demographics, marketing strategies and business plans. The artist must learn how to promote, sale and spin words and ideas into 30 second sound bites. The artist must tailor the work for another purpose. In short, the artist must stop being an artist and become a businessman.
Becoming something other than an artist is something that most artists cannot do without pain. Under a traditional publishing arrangement, the artist gives up control to the businessman. That businessman changes, edits and reshapes the artist project…normally after much consternation; but now the project sells. The artist may lose part of his or her voice in the process, but royalty checks can soothe the hurt somewhat of a lost voice.
What about the self-publisher? Can the lack of another person running the business end of your project hurt your chances to push your project? There are people cut out to sale and there are people cut out to create. Self-publishers must do both, and they must do both extraordinarily well.
For the self-publishers out there…how is your journey from artist to businessman?
Malcolm Dylan Petteway
Rage Books LLC