My Future is Imaginary

As I get further and further into my (damned damned damned) thesis, and closer to the end of my comfort zone student-ness, I find myself questioning where I am and where I want to go within publishing. I’m reaching and grasping in the air for this thing that doesn’t exist anymore, or at least… it feels like it doesn’t exist anymore. A… figment, if you will. [Insert cheeky grin here.]

It used to be, you had a track. Overly simplified, it was  Editorial intern –> Editorial Assistant –> Editor.

Alas, this is not necessarily the case anymore. In an industry rife with nepotism and aging management, it is tough for a kid to get a break. (/whining).

Beyond just the things working against us, there’s also the constant change that’s happening within the industry (UM HAI iPAD!), and the pundits opinions as to what it all means or where it will take us. Obviously, no one really knows.

Stop just saying whether or not a device will fix us, and how about hey, come up with some new models or ideas. Stop waiting for tech companies to do all the revolutionalizing you poor shmucks*. … That was probably uncalled for and kind of really mean. But you know what I’m saying.
*(When I say “shmucks” I mean everyone who has ever said anything about the topic ever. Not the participants in that video, I don’t even know them.)

Instead of jumping on every bandwagon you see, or stealing and slightly altering someone else’s AMAZING INCREDIBLE SPECTACULAR-SPECTACULAR idea for the future, how about doing a little brain storming and coming up with something new and improved and (dare I suggest it?) unique.

… Yes, yes, I’m ranting. What else is new?

It might be said that now’s not the time for one person to be doing anything. Everything that can be owned is already owned, and someone’s already done everything that could possibly be done. (… maybe). Not that we’ll ever really know when everyone who can actually make a real difference in publishing is too scared to actually do anything interesting.

(I will note here that HarperStudio was new and interesting and done by a company that was big enough to make a difference. Of course, the imprint is now defunct, but the thought was there! The potential was there! Yay Harper! … Now just get rid of that ole’ dinosaur you call Dad, and we’ll be good to go.)

In an example of the ridiculous end of the spectrum: I went to a luncheon a few weeks ago to see a group of industry bigwigs talk about the future of publishing. First of all: HA. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.

… Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system.

So, a question was posed to the two people representing traditional book publishing. The question centered around the consumer who will actually be purchasing the book. The representatives fumbled a bit before noting that, well yes, they didn’t really have a lot of contact with the actual consumer and so couldn’t really answer the question.

And people think the issue is that no one is reading anymore and there are too many venues for content and entertainment.

I say: LOL.

But I digress, this isn’t a post about what people are doing wrong. Not really. This is a post about not knowing where we fit in. We, the young, hopeful, bright eyed interns and assistants who want so badly for the book to never go away. We’re not being used to our potential, and that is so, so depressing.  Use us! We have pep and vitality!*
*In no way do I condone using crystal meth to make Book Publishing better. Unless it proves to work. In which case: Bring on the meth labs. I am so in.

So where do we go now? It’s never been more difficult to get into this industry. And once you’re in, it’s never been more difficult to move around. The thought of the future makes me want to vom a little. I can’t lie. It’s a big question, I know. And one that currently has no answer.

I am where I am, and I be where I be.

Teh End.

But not really! (Fooled you, suckas!)

I’m gon’ take this here future into my own hands (which will be full and complete because no matter what emails I get today, I will not cut my own fingers off in protest).

… I am a cocky little bastard, aren’t I?

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9 Comments

Filed under Life, Things I Find Interesting

9 responses to “My Future is Imaginary

  1. Frances

    ok, that’s an insane fucking non-answer to that question, mr. traditional publishing man. especially considering there’s a huge market research report done by…..PW? every like 4 years or something. I read through it last year…how can they not even know what type of customers they *want* even if they can’t seem to identify the customers they *have*? crazy.

    • gah agreed. you should have seen my face. I was like “… are you fucking serious?!”

      the entire panel was actually a joke. i had asked how they thought things like the iPad could impact independents, and they blew me off for asking a non-question. it was ridic.

  2. Hey! Wait up!

    not you, i don’t even know you!!

  3. ヒーラル

    未来に関して話さないでよ~。根さんはちょうどういい未来もちろんあるからこわくないけど私のことはぜんぜんないから、このトピックについて読みたくないわ。冗談冗談。。。かしら。ハハハ。でもほんねにいうと、ここに日本語が書きたいと思ったので、なんとなく答えを作って書いた。

    でも、その説明会は何のことだったの。どうして根さんがそこに行って質問が聞けた??皆ができた?ふとくていたすうでも?

    あああああああ~日本語楽しいわ。何とか間違ったはずだけど。

      • heeeeeeeralralralral

        Hey, no future talk. Your future’s a bloomin’ and uh…I’m uh…scared of mine, so uh…don’t wanna read about the future, eh? bahhhh, jokin’. Maybe :]. ha ha ha. Actually… honestly, I actually just wanted to write japanese here so I kind of just made up some kind of a response to write that was somewhat relevant. hey-ooo.

        But how’d you get into that meeting? You were able to ask questions?? Who all was allowed to? The general public??

        aaaaah, japanese is fun. though I’m sure I messed up somewhere or the other here.

        That’s a translation. Not direct, but how i woulda worded it were it in English.

  4. Bhairavi

    Hey Kid-
    U bright eyed younguns-if the system is old and wrong, go with your gut – get together and change the staus quo! Enough of your numbers out there? Create your own, intelligent, new trend publishing house- bend the river a bit! -Never know- may flow into dangerously new but exciting territory!

  5. Pingback: Just Call Me Master IJDGAF « Hurling Words

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