Publishing and Media Companies Continue to Run the Way They Were Designed to

Publishing and Media Companies Continue to Run the Way They Were Designed to

Spring-heeled Jack, Mike Gagnon, 2020, Mixed Media

Spring-heeled Jack, Mike Gagnon, 2020, Mixed Media

 

Publishing and media companies, those towering beacons of cultural distribution, are in the business of, well, business. While they gallantly present themselves as the stewards of creativity and the arts, let's not kid ourselves — their primary aim is to fill their own coffers, often with a less-than-generous afterthought for the content creators and independent artists who are the actual backbone of their glossy products.

Picture this: a bright-eyed artist or writer, bursting with creativity, hands over their brainchild to a publishing giant. The company, with a pat on the back and a smile that doesn't quite reach their eyes, promises fame, recognition, and the vague prospect of royalties. Fast forward, and our creative hero is left squinting at the fine print of their contract, wondering how their magnum opus turned into a golden goose for everyone but them.

It's not entirely a scene from a dystopian novel. The model is simple: acquire content at a bargain, add a dash of marketing, and sell it at a premium. While the creators are paid a fixed amount or a charmingly optimistic percentage of the profits, the company skates away with the lion's share of the revenue. The fun part? This revenue often comes garnished with rights and licenses, ensuring the company's gift that keeps on giving, while the creator's bank account echoes with the hollow sound of 'exposure' and 'opportunity'.

Let’s not forget how these media magnates often hold the keys to the kingdom of public reach and recognition. They stand like benevolent gatekeepers, deciding who gets to be the next big thing. This puts creators in a bit of a pickle: dance to the tune of the publishing overlords or risk obscurity in the vast wilderness of the independent market.

In the end, the narrative is clear. Publishing and media companies are in it to win it — for themselves. While they ride the waves of content brought to them by a myriad of talented, often underappreciated creators, they ensure their own ships are laden with gold. Meanwhile, the artists and writers are left crafting paper boats, hoping to stay afloat in the sea of 'exposure' they've been so generously thrown into. Welcome to the glamorous world of publishing, where the house always wins!

Yours Truly,
Mike

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