Monday, July 5, 2010

Why PRINCE Lost His Crown...

Dear readers:

While browsing the internet and reading some of my favorite blogs (two things I need to do more of on a regular basis!), I came across this quote from Prince posted on

The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it. The internet’s like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.

Seriously? Did he really just say that?

Must confess: I snorted loudly and woke up Barron, my puppy who was nestled on a bed of pillows and dreaming of squirrel chasing, when I read his comment about the advance.

My father always told me that unrealistic expectations are what makes relationships fail. No wonder no one in our younger generations know who Prince is. Or have any respect for him.

The above quote sounds like the lamentations of a has-been who doesn't care to stay up on the trends but then wants to complain that his success is faltering.

Honestly, this is an attitude seen in the book industry EVERY day. We are just a few years behind the music industry when it comes to recognizing the role technology plays in our industry.

Things. Don't. Work. The. Same. They. Used. To.

Have you noticed that the only places to buy music in person these days are at the same places where you can buy literature in person? The music industry is piggy-backing on the book industry to hold on to the old retail method as long as possible.

But there aren't music stores opening left and right anymore, simply because there is no demand for it! [those who know about the book industry's current predicament know that this is where the book industry is headed]

My husband's favorite movie is HIGH FIDELITY with John Cusack. It's a charming movie, but each time I watch it I find the record shop Cusack runs is a bit depressing: it's entirely dependent upon a niche audience, and that niche audience dwindles every day.

Why should someone get in their car, drive to a store, spend 20 minutes looking for something and avoiding the underpaid salespersons, pay too much for a product, drive home, then upload it to their computer/music players-----when they could with one click purchase the entire album, or select songs, without tax, without leaving their comfy chair or finding their debit card?

"It's all about convenience, baby." [I'm imitating a Humphrey Bogart-esque accent here]

Let the Fireworks Fall Where They May
Okay, so what is the purpose of this *somewhat depressing* post?

It's just me listening to Bernadette Peters sing "Some People (Live)" on Pandora and contemplating the changes in store for all entertainment industries. Actors, musicians, producers, etc. all seem to be embracing it a bit better than authors do.

That's a shame.

I'm not advocating giving away rights or agreeing blindly to what consumers want.

But there is a balance, and the only way to find success is to master that balance.

With this every changing consumer-driven society, ANY creator, producer, writer, artist, business person, marketer, etc.---that is, anyone with something they want others to want---MUST embrace the consumer's demands and find a way to compromise, to make the consumers' wants fit into the producer's needs.

My challenge to you today is to learn. Find out what is going on within your industry.

If you are a writer, you should be researching and learning what new challenges the book industry is facing.

If you are an artist, you should be researching and learning what new challenges the music industry is facing.

If you are a chef, you should be researching and learning what new challenges the restaurant industry is facing.

If you are an actor/musical theater actor, you should be researching and learning what new challenges the performance industry is facing.

If you are a parent, you should be researching and learning what new challenges parents and your children are facing.

If you are a pastor, you should be researching and learning what new challenges church bodies are facing.

If you are a marketer, you should be researching and learning what new challenges the marketing industry is facing.

Best place to start is with google. Type in your industry and hit "news". You'll be amazed what new things you can learn.

Subscribe to newsletters, blog posts, etc., anything that will offer you a new perspective and information on what you have chosen to do with your life.

And keep in mind: if you don't agree, that doesn't change things. Your competition will adapt, and when they do so, they will take your target audiences' business, money, loyalty, and hearts.

But don't take my word for it. Find this out yourself, and you'll have a much better grasp of how to build your brand.

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