There it was, "Through the Eyes of a Teenager", a book of poetry offered to the world on a beautifully designed web page, a book of poetry graced by a lovely pink and pastel gray cover and draped in the gingerbread of gorgeous fonts. All for $.99. That's right, ninety-nine cents. Attention fellow writers! We are now engulfed in the insistent winds of change that have been stirred up for good or ill by that inexorable phenomenon of instant global communication, the Internet. No news to most of us, I know.
Ohhhhhh! The young ones are tight on our tails. What a smartie and harbinger of the future this teen is. . .she and her kind will walk on the graves of the great publishing houses of America who are now paying a high very price for attempting to keep their exclusivity and a very high standard for the writing products within their monopoly.
Did you know that Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, first offered the Kindle digital reader to several of the great Houses in the New York publishing cartel asking for the right in return for Amazon to exclusively sell any books they agreed to digitize??? Sensing the reading revolution that the Kindle portended, the Houses buried the idea deep in the vaults in the naive hope it would go away. I suppose they heard the death knell in the distance.
Bezos trumped their short sighted hubris by going independent. And that decision changed the known world of writers, readers and publishers forever. Being the spectacular capitalist that he was, Bezos decided to exploit the Kindle digital potential, Amazon marketing empire and unbeatably low prices to the entire world of readers and writers. This possibly leaves the college sponsored mags and rags with more limited and easily controlled budget models as the last independent hold out for traditional control of the quality of poetry, short stories. I wish them well.
In the meantime this doubty teen has the hutzpah to launch her career into this new writers's melee and offer her new book of poetry for just a dollar. . .hurrah for her and the parents and teachers who encourage her AND to the other many thousands of digital publishing pioneers like her. . .all for a dollar, if they wish to compete. . .and they will, and succeed.
So American literature readjusts itself to accommodate those who are tech savvy, enthusiastic and have a tale to tell as well as all those who join them in digi writer support, editors, reviewers, promoters, bloggers, site creators (myself, www.eonwriter.com ) and on and on throughout the writing minions that hover in the digi atmosphere of the internet writers' wonder world.
Now, for the crux of the matter. In this rush and tumble to be read and recognized among the millions of would be writers. . .what will be left for this brave teen writer when she grows up should she decide she wishes to make a living as a writer? We are going through a massive change in the ability of the arts to offer a true living wage for many in the future, I suspect. Perhaps even subjugating the writers' world to those who have mastered the art of creating connections throughout the internet web best. Yes, more will be published at more and more competitive prices by more and more writers and more readers (hopefully) at prices that surely will defeat the publishing empire that parented our marvelous writing heritage in America at the cost of muting much unrecognized writing talent along the way.
"It is what is" the street saying goes. . .once there was a bright and bold young teen who tossed her budding poetry to the digital winds, all for a dollar. . .and Amazon still made its cut at the current going rate. . . but why buy a book of poetry when there is so much more to see and read for free on this marvelous thing, the Internet?