The Production Revolution Isn’t For All: Money

I've been spending the last few columns on the Production Revolution, the changes in technology that let any of us produce media.  Specifically I've been bringing up the factors that limit people from taking advantage of the  tools and technologies available to them and making successful media careers or side businesses.  I've discussed the limiting factors of lack of time, the lack of technical skill, and the lack of marketing skill.

I'm not finished discussing the traumatic truths of the Production Revolution limits yet – I've got one more reason why the new tools and tech out there aren't going to turn everyone into a potential artist, musician, or popular author.


Yes, much of the Production Revolution is free or so low-cost it doesn't matter.  We can produce any number of media, from books to calendars to music, for little or no money, and sell it globally, with companies often making profits by taking a cut or by other means.  The cheapness and free opportunities are very heady, but the free options out there only let you do so much.

With money, you can do more, a lot more in the Production Revolution:

  • Want to promote your book?  Try a publicity release via – the advanced options are reasonably priced, but they are priced.
  • Register a domain and put up a website so you have a place to promote your book (and to tweak to get web hits).  That'll cost a few bucks here and there.
  • Maybe you want a web designer to get a professional site – or a piece of web design software.
  • Some of the publishers out there do charge for more advanced distribution options and other services.  Maybe you want to use those.
  • You may want to purchase some software for eBook or Kindle conversion, such as Jutoh – or Adobe InDesign.

If you want to promote, professionally format, and otherwise improve your title and its chances, you're going to probably have to pay for the extra edges you want.  If you can't pay, well, then your options for promotion, professional setup, and so on are decreased.  People that can pay for the services you can't have a chance to get ahead that you simply won't.

That's not to say that you need insanely expensive services, art, promotionals, and so forth.  Parallel to the freer parts of the Production Revolution have been many useful businesses whose services and tools cost the prospective artist/author/creator, but are far cheaper than they would have been a few years ago.  These cheaper services give people options they'd never have had, but they're still going to cost money.

I would note that I am not complaining – we have access to so many things independent authors and artists didn't have a decade ago or even five years ago.  It's important to realize the limits of what we have.

Free only goes so far.  Having the money to spend makes it easier to take advantage of the Production Revolution.

How much will you be willing to spend?

Steven Savage