Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

Today’s Brew:  More Pumpkin Spice.  I’m obsessed with the K cups, but I can’t stomach Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Too sweet.  I know, an angry mob of white girls is going to come take my yoga pants away.

by Kristen

There’s a new Bridget Jones book coming out.

While I applaud the idea of a 51 year old heroine, I’m kind of scratching my head why this series is being dusted off 10 years after the last movie was released.

Bridget Jones Diary

I’m not surprised.  Hollywood loves a remake, we know that.  Are any of them ever better than the original?  There’s a revamped Carrie coming out. The creepiest part of the original movie was Sissy Spacek. That cannot be recreated.  Ever.

You can’t out-creep this.

Entertainment is expensive to create.  Movies and TV shows cost millions of dollars to bring to you, books can cost thousands to launch.  Music videos and tours take an army to execute.  So anyone who’s funding these ventures obviously likes a sure bet.

But is this at the expense of the reader/watcher/listener?  Is there really nothing new worth investing in?

I can’t help but keep an eye on when agents and publishers say what they’re looking for on Twitter.  The #mswl (manuscript wishlist) tag on Twitter is always interesting. But Julie made an interesting and accurate observation.

Agents are looking for something fresh and new. Publishers are looking for something that will sell.

This means a lot of agented manuscripts will fall through the cracks. They might be different, but they’re risky. Again, I ask, what about the reader?

Fellow writer, Tammy Farrell watched a #mswl heavy day and remarked:  “I wouldn’t be interested in reading many of the books these agents are looking for.”

This should be eye opening for anyone working in publishing.  When I asked her more, Tammy said she wants to read adult books, and most of what she saw “wished” for was YA.  Did YA explode because publishing took away our other reading choices?  I gravitate to the YA section in Barnes and Noble, because the books are merchandised the best of any section in the store, and the covers draw me in.  I don’t get that luxury in the neglected Sci Fi section or even the Romance section (which is the top selling genre.)  I have to find those books on my own, through word of mouth and research.  Simply put, I have to work for what I really want.

I’ve had this same complaint about music for a long time.  If I don’t listen to the top 40 or country station, it’s hard to find a song that’s less that 20 years old on the radio.  So, by what the radio is telling me, that means there’s no rock music made in the last 20 years worth championing?  Bull. Shit. Top 40 and Country are sure bets right now.  Rock is risky.  I have to dig on Myspace Radio, Spotify, or simply just ask a teenager what’s good and new.  Think of all the great talent that’s getting neglected. What if the next Led Zepplin or Jimi Hendrix gave up because they just couldn’t financially justify pursuing their music anymore? That pisses me off.  Just as much as being forced to listen to ACDC for the ten thousandth time.

Artists and consumers are losing out.  Eventually, as consumers get more savvy, they will cut out the corporate, mainstream middle man to find what they are looking for. Finally, it will be the publishers and big music companies that will be missing out.

I’m excited about this.  We need to be looking forward for the next big thing, not backward.

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One thought on “Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

  1. Most of my favorite music these days is stuff you won’t find on the radio. I don’t know how I find it. I just stumble across it.

    I’ve stumbled across some great books I’ve never heard of, too. But I don’t know how I found them. So maybe part of the issue is how to market and advertise the good stuff better in order to reach your target audience.

So what do you think?

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