CAPITALISTIC BLAME GAME

Was reading a writing book earlier today (on my Kindle) and I got pretty perturbed. A writer seemed to be perpetuating the myth that big publishing deserved to be paid for each hardback/paperback sale that took place after the initial sale of the book. This type of attitude–whether it’s what she actually meant or not–has really gotten under my skin.

At this point, in this industry, I’m a nobody–but that doesn’t mean that my opinion doesn’t matter. I am, after all, a consumer. A reader/consumer of books. That alone is enough for my opinion to matter. Beyond that I’m a writer; which means I have to take a side. And maybe you’re inclined to think I’d be on the side of the writer. That I believe the writer should be paid each and every time their book is sold. But that’s just not the case.

Why should publishers–or writers–be paid any more after the first sale of the book?

They received monies from the sale. That’s where their part in the story ends.

They have passed the ownership/seller’s rights on to the big box store, and the big box has in turn passed those rights on to the consumer…

The consumer who has every right to re-sale a book that they purchased.

Though let’s think about this for a moment, focusing mainly on hardback books, as that’s where it matters most.

A hardback generally sells for anywhere around twenty to forty dollars depending on too many different factors to discuss here. And when any publisher/store sales that hardback to a consumer they in turn pass along those rights to the purchaser… well, at least they should. It is after all your item. You purchased it. And therefore you should have the right to do any old damn thing you want with it.

Which brings me to what actually does happen when a person sells a thirty dollar book, a book that they own.

First, if they’re lucky they get three bucks out of the thing when they trade it into the big box bookstores for cash (credit may be a bit more depending on the store). And if the book’s not in absolutely perfect condition most of the stores won’t accept it.

In the event they don’t accept it goes to several other venues for resale. Or the person passes it along to a friend/family member. Who is either then turned off/on to a writer–in most cases for life.

Where turned on to a writer they most definitely will want to pick up another of their books. It’s just the nature of the thing. If you like something you want more of it. Some get to the point where they can’t get enough (see addiction).

OR they’re turned off the author. In which case they choose not to purchase the author’s books. Well, what’s gonna happen to the money they don’t have to spend on an author’s book that they don’t like:

they’re going to spend that money on an author’s book they DO like.

When the big box store won’t accept the books, people, more often than not, take them to the mom an’ pop bookstores, who then give them usually a FAIR amount of credit, or a little bit of cash Which the person/people then use to purchase books.

The same is true of the credit/cash the person receives in the big box store. Nine out of ten times they use this money to purchase books.

The other venues I spoke of… there are too many avenues… but for our purposes I’ll just list a few. Yard sales, Flea Markets, Swap Meets, etc. All of which allows a person to purchase a book at a much reduced price, which eases their budgetary concerns; which makes allowances for other purchases. And what do book people usually purchase… if you guessed more books, you’re already ahead of me.

But there’s another part of the general story of books that most people don’t often think about:

The books that are considered too old (See Well Made, if a bit mitey/dusty);

those that  there are too many copies of,

and those that are just in too poor condition for sale (missing dust jackets, covers, pages, are  water-logged etc),

are then sold to BULK PURCHASING companies–who employ people: people who buy books.

And any books the bulk purchasers can re-sale, they do. They sell many of the old hardbacks that have decent exteriors to interior designers, and to Hollywood set designers, etc. What’s left over is usually recycled. And I’m gonna go out on a limb here (cause I’m not certain) but I imagine much  of that book pulp ends up being sold back to us in the form of books with their pages made of recycled paper.

The problem with the publishing industry is in no way unique.

It’s a problem WE THE CONSUMERS, THE CITIZEN’S OF THIS UNITED STATES  of AMERICA  have caused.

We have allowed Corporations, Book/Media/Music Publishers and most importantly: the Government to gain too much control. To completely dominate the people. The only choice we have in life is: how much, or how little (see becoming a criminal) to pay them.

All these industrious souls spend ninety-percent of their time pointing the finger at the very people who pay their salaries. Sadly, we’ve become too chicken-shit as a whole, as a civilization to ever stand against an entity larger than ourselves.

(Namely because we’ve been conditioned to not give a damn about each other, so we most definitely can’t care about the whole; which effectively keeps us separate, and not capable of standing together for the common good.)

This is a tool these people use to keep us in our place, so that our never-ending stream of money keeps flowing ever upward, and away from the very people who actually earned it. And god forbid you should want to take a little bit of that back for yourself. Or get over on them even the slightest little bit. They’ll hit you with top dollar lawyers and they’ve always got their threat of jail time if that’s not deterrent enough.

Take the music industry, and all that illegal downloading nonsense: THE GREAT AND DEVASTATING PLIGHT OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.

Only that’s not at all what’s caused the music industry to see steadily declining numbers.

Since the first dub of an album was made (likely on a phonograph type recording device) people have been making copies of music and selling/distributing them to their friends and family with relative ease. I’d venture that the number is pretty close to the same amount of people taking part in this dubbing/copying process.

The amount of people illegally downloading music in any one country isn’t really all that much increased from the amount of people who EVER copied/sold/loaned music. It’s just that technology has made it easier to do/see/track.

What they always fail to take into account (SEE DIVULGE) is the fact that our populations have grown by leaps and bounds.

I’d bet that if there was a way to obtain a true accurate measure of the amount of people distributing music, through the sale/ or lending to other people throughout musical history, we’d find that the numbers weren’t in actuality much increased at all.

But rather  “they” have used scare tactics to increase their ability to litigate, gain monies that were never their’s to start with, and most importantly: TO EXPLAIN AWAY THEIR OWN FAILURES.

They fail great musicians, and the consumers (who’re no longer demanding quality music/albums) every single day. Mainly because they only care if the artist is a one hit wonder. Or has one good album. They want all their profits up front so they can move along to the next artist and make their instant millions; rather than working in the manner that always worked for the industry:

Which was to grow artists who they believed had the potential for greatness, and longevity. And to use the album covers as a great medium unto themselves; which by proxy fed/grew great numbers of cover artists.

Because laziness and entitlement is run rampant very few people have the ability to even judge which artist does/does not have the right stuff.

NO, they just look for the sex. The sex sells. The sex always sells.

Only, the sex doesn’t have staying power. It excites in the beginning and once people realize there’s nothing more to the artist, they move on.

It’s the same all over. Even in the publishing industry. Especially in the publishing industry. Look at all the generic books out there. Written by authors who’re failing themselves.

Oh, they’re making their living. Good for them. But if making your living means selling your creative soul… I want no part of it. With a career path as I’ve chosen “I feel” it’s more important to be able to look back on your life and realize you did what you wanted to do with it.

That’s the very reason WE writers take up this craft in the first place. Because nothing else suits. The fabric of being an automaton just doesn’t clothe us well. We’re always trying to shed those weighty robes. And because we’re by our very nature creative people.

But so many are so afraid that they’ll never succeed, and have a flawed perception of what a successful writer’s life is, that they allow their own priorities to be superseded by the fastly churning generic book mill.

I believe the very reason all these industries operate in this manner is:

Because our very main example for how to operate in business, operates this way. I’m once again referring to the Government. They lay back and take money while providing little to no service. And then they point the finger at consumers who’re so screwed over by the failing system that they have to consistently live on unemployment and welfare.

I’m not saying that there isn’t a minority out there just looking to take advantage of the system. But I AM saying WHY SHOULDN’T THEY WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE? of a system designed in every way imaginable to take advantage of them?

What makes their actions so criminal?

Is it because our governments, our corporations, all our institutions have set such a high standard to follow, and these low lifes of society have just chosen NOT to follow their good example?? I THINK NOT.

THEY’RE JUST DOING AS THEY’VE BEEN TAUGHT TO DO. JUST HAVING A NATURAL REACTION TO BEING TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF IN ALMOST EVERY WAY/ FACET OF THEIR LIVES.

If things are ever going to change. If this Entitlement World Attitude is ever going to change, it’s going to have to happen from the top down. And WE ALL KNOW THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Because the POWERS THAT BE are having way too much fun spending our hard-won monies. In essence taking welfare from us. But what are they doing with their welfare money? They’re certainly not paying bills. They’re certainly not increasing their meager living standards.

Unless you count  all the Mansions, and Yachts, and Elitist Clubs they’re partaking of.

Oh, and they’re consistently spending all OUR money on all the best drugs.

Only the lavish existence must do. That’s why we toil, why we labor. To keep these FAT CATS FAT.

Isn’t about time someone hold them accountable? How ’bout we start by giving every member of this upper crust society drug tests performed by an incorruptable firm (oh wait, that doesn’t exist)?

If it did, when the greater majority of them failed, we could revoke their funding. We could fire them from their jobs. Cause them to spend so much of their time struggling to feed their families.

It’d be a nice start and a new way to trim the FAT. It works for them. Why can’t WE put it to work for us??

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