It Just Kind of Sneaks Up On You . . .

This was going to be a different post, but I decided to focus on Amazon's publishing deals with authors – sans publishers.

I'm still chewing it over, but one thing struck me about this deal.

Let's take a look at what's changed over the years with technology and publishing:

  • Print on Demand.
  • Common Word Processing formats.
  • A series of wide-ranging sales networks (Amazon being the most famous).
  • Outsourceable marketing (what are all those agencies)
  • The ability to get talent easy (like, say, editors) freelance.

Now all of those things were remarkable separately.  Bring them together and is it any surprise that Amazon could offer authors a sweet deal – and that anyone else could take the above innovtions and do something similar?

No surprise.  None.  This is something some of us saw coming (I'd like to think we kinda did here, though I didn't expect Amazon to leapfrog like this).  I'm actually disappointed the many publishers out there didn't see this coming and make some kind of pre-emptive run – disappointed, but not surprised.

So a bunch of us progeeks saw it coming at whole or in part.  Fine.  No surprise.

So what are we missing?

What are we missing in gaming?  Gaming's had a lot of changes, we're in the age of DLC and indie games which surprised a few people – so what is going on with all the innovations we've missed?

What's missing in comics?  It's easy to be overwhelmed with the films or the multimedia out there, but a lot of changes in publishing affects comics.  So what are we missing?

What are we missing in technology?  Hell, we know the answer to that – EVERYTHING. 

In this incredible age of technology and media, we're missing things because we miss how things combine.  Easy to develop game engines and tools combine with easy DLC to change gaming.  Freelance sites let future writers find editors cheap, thus going around the limits of a publisher.

Change seems to sneak up on us because we miss how things come together.  If you want to start predicting the future with any kind of accuracy, start asking how things come together.

Let me close with a little game I find helps – pick any two pieces of technology, social change, etc.  Ask what happens when they combine.  Then pick another area of change and combine it with one of those elements – or both of them.

Go on, give it a whirl . . .

Steven Savage