Feeling tired? Feeling sleepy? Just listen to this relaxing city lullaby to wash away the cares of the day and get you or your little ones in the mood for snuggling down and going to sleep.
Hush now my child, Hush now my baby child, What keeps you awake tonight? Do you hear the cars? Do you hear the people talking in the late-night bars? It’s the sound of the city It’s the beat of the night And you should be asleep by now, baby (night night baby) Yes, you should be asleep by now, baby (sleep tight baby) While the city plays on.
I heard Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones being interviewed the other day, about their new documentary that is going to be shown at Cannes Film Festival. It’s about the time they made the album, Exile On Main Street At the end of the interview, I think it was John Humphreys, asked him, as a businessman, what he thought of downloading. “Oh, I’m pretty relaxed about it,” said Jagger.
He can afford to be. I imagine he’s pretty well set up by now. But Jagger then went on to point out something that has been dawning on me for a little while now. He said he was just lucky to have been making music during a short period of time from 1971-1999, when it was possible to make oodles of money from record sales. We’ll look back on that period as a blip in time. What we have now is going to be the norm in the future – as it was the norm in the past – Make your living with live music, if you can – recorded music is just a marketing tool.
The Internet is about to blow the writing world apart too.
In future, some musicians will become superstars, but they will never earn that kind of money again and neither will their record companies. I’m really beginning to think that this may be true for authors too. Never mind Exile on Main Street, we are all being exiled from Easy Street – not that it was ever easy or profitable for your average children’s author – but there was always the dream.
We are all more educated now, and people know how to write stuff now like they never did before. Authors spend a lot of their time, and earn most of their income, teaching others how to do it, thus increasing the competition and driving down the rewards for each book they write. From a business point of view, there are probably too many authors chasing an ever-decreasing market. The last twenty years will likely be looked back on as the boom times.
New ways of reading. New ways of earning.
Already, I often read blogs on my iPhone, in bed, before I go to sleep. It’s not a good experience, but it will get better with an iPad or one of its descendants. That’s why they are selling so well.
Authors have to be paid somehow. There has to be a whole new business paradigm coming along to support authors and journalists or we will all be doomed to reading free downloadable classics or amateur, unedited stuff on blogs! Someone will probably make a good living aggregating the good stuff on their site. But the authors won’t see a penny of it.
“What to do?”
Hoping it will all go away won’t help. I’ve been fiddling about on the internet for thirteen years now and have barely made a penny. I think it’s time to change all that. Authors are self-employed business people. We like to pretend that we aren’t – Authors hate getting their hands dirty doing deals. That will have to change. We need to start learning new marketing skills and understanding business and where we fit into it all. The change we have managed to put off for so long is coming and it is coming fast.