I am kind of an idealistic guy. I look out there into the world and see mostly good people trying to do good things (instead of attacking some sort of postmodern, relativistic interpretation of what “good” is, we’ll just leave it at that).
That being said, we’re looking at some crazy economic stuff going on (did sensationalizm start it? Did corporate greed? Is this some sort of necessary maintenance of the overall market equilibrium? What’s the chicken and what’s the egg?), but for those of us looking to get into the publishing business after graduation, take heart.
I think about Kent Watson sometimes and how he attempted to differentiate “evil” marketing from book marketing. After all, they’re books, right? And we all love books. It’s not like we’re trying to sell some pyramid scheme to a poor single mother or some hyper-inflated mortgage to some poor schmuck who believes the media when they say that the housing market is just going to go up, up, up.
But, the big boys aren’t hiring right now. Unemployment is on the rise. People are buying less books.
But people are buying more ebooks.
And you people can help your friends self-publish.
People will give their penny-pinched money to an ethical company (and to casinos, so I guess it’s just to honest ones, I mean who honestly thinks they can walk out of a casino with a lot of money on a consistent basis? [Besides me, of course]), because of the immeasurable value that comes from honesty. It’s the one thing that doesn’t come up on those stock reports in the mornings. But I have a friend that started a fair-trade certified chocolate syrup company out of his house a few months ago, not in the hopes of making tons of money (he had a waiting job to pay the bills), but in the hopes of helping people receive a quality product that was good for them. Another friend started a community acupuncture clinic in Tucson (even though he could have worked at a boutique and made more money), deciding it was better to have a sliding scale payment system (ranging from 15-30 dollars, depending on what the patient thought they could afford) as opposed to the traditional upwards-of-a-hundred-dollar treatments where you only take care of rich people who have really great insurance.
Both of them are doing really well, even though they started less than a year ago.
The market is screaming for ethical businesses to replace the raping, pillaging, selfish bastards stealing from the poor to make themselves even richer. And ebooks are cheaper than books.