This shitâ€™s beenÂ around, my friends. Itâ€™s been around forÂ decades, and writers groups and others who make it their business to warn aspiring authors about scams and pitfalls have been raising flags about it all that time. The idea that that because itâ€™s now attached to electronic publishing, that somehow makes itÂ differentÂ (and, more to the point,Â better) is highly specious, to say the least.
Sprinkling the Internet on a bad business model does not magically make it a good business model.Â It merely means that the people who are pursuing a bad business model are hoping you are credulous enough to believe that beingÂ electronicÂ is space-age zoomy and awesome and there is no possible way this brilliant business plan could ever fail. Or even worse, thatÂ theyÂ believe that being electronic means all these things, which meansÂ theyÂ are credulous. Which is not a very good thing to have as the basis of oneâ€™s business model.
Scalzi’s post is relevant to most kinds of creative job, not just books.Â Creative industries are often seen as glamorous, and that glamour often blinds people to the reality of what’s happening when money’s being discussed. How many times have you heard musicians moan about their terrible record deals, the contracts that they signed not just willingly, but happily?
you canâ€™t blame the publisher for then taking you for every single thing they can. Because, remember, thatâ€™s their job. They donâ€™t even need to beÂ evilÂ to do it; they just have to be willing to take every advantageÂ you let them have. Thatâ€™s business. This is a business negotiation.