A week ago Sunday, Scott Turow published "The slow death of the American author" as an op-ed contribution to the New York Times. Life is too short to write yet another post refuting Turow's views of the publishing world, so I'll point you to a response Mike Masnick wrote for Techdirt. It covers the waterfront beautifully.
Coincidentally, three days earlier, the Times had run an interview with the comedian Louis C.K. O'Reilly Media's Kat Meyer sent me a link. If you're not familiar with Louis C.K., you should read the interview. If you are familiar with Louis C.K., you should read the interview. Go .. read the interview.
In thinking about Louis C.K. and Scott Turow, Kat and I were struck by how much changing your frame of mind opens up a world of possibilities. Unhappy with the terms he would have gotten if he'd tried to release a comedy DVD through traditional channels, Louis C.K. made and sold his own video. Dissatisfied with the way that companies like Ticketmaster handle sales at various venues, he staged a national tour that skipped venues that had commitments to the ticket vendors.
Asked about his "overnight" success, he pushes back until the interviewer (Dave Itzkoff) agrees "At this point you've put in the time". Louis C.K. responds:
There you go. There’s no way around that. There’s people that say: “It’s not fair. You have all that stuff.” I wasn’t born with it. It was a horrible process to get to this. It took me my whole life. If you’re new at this — and by “new at it,” I mean 15 years in, or even 20 — you’re just starting to get traction. Young musicians believe they should be able to throw a band together and be famous, and anything that’s in their way is unfair and evil. What are you, in your 20s, you picked up a guitar? Give it a minute.
Facing an environment in which the world is changing and the deal isn't what it used to be, he decided to try something different. Louis C.K. has his opinions about the business, but he isn't looking to have the rules bent to suit his view of the world.
The comedian could have done what he did and failed – that happens. But Louis C.K. didn't argue to put everything back the way it once was. On that front, it's "Scott Turow vs. The World".