As a writer of novella’s my competition is every piece of media in existence, not just other books or movies, video games and YouTube as well, and even online click-bait articles from twitter or the FaceBook and fanfic hosted by WattPad. I am selling an hour and a half of entertainment after all.
A market theorist should argue that “With increased competition, the quality of the goods and services provided will increase as well.”
My starving artist friends argue that getting endorsed by an industry titan will provide financial success and legitimacy of their talents. My comic artist friends want contracts with Marvel or DC. My painters want their art on display and endorsed through high art circulations. Writers want a publishing deal with the Big 5. Musicians a record deal.
The current market is not a meritocracy. It looks that way on the surface and as long as people believe it’s operating fairly, my artist friends (you included) will not upset the institutions they seek validation from.
The current market is still an aristocracy but that is about to change.
If you want to skip the three narratives that I have based this theory on then skip ahead to these marks
Our story starts in the 1920s when newsstands became filled with pulp magazines. Competition was high. It bread Robert E. Howard. Competition was so high in fact that even the greats like the creator of Conan could not support themselves off of writing alone. Even being paid $0.01 a penny a word for a short story or serial part ($20 for 2k/ 4 pages), which is $0.15 in 2019 money (a 2k story would pay $300).
Competition was high on the newsstands, but there was no TV, no internet, no Facebook.
The 30s came around and a new beast started attacking the pulps dominance.
By the 40s only a few Titans of pulp were left, comparable to today’s BIG 5 publishers. They would only accept the best the likes of Issac Asimov, but by the 1960s Competition was to high and what even the big magazines could afford to pay was too low to attract talent. The pulp magazine industry died somewhere in the early seventies a quite death.
Forty years is a good run but what happened to pulp magazines is what’s killing Comics.
In the 90s comics were still in every grocery store. A cheap impulse buy was the only barrier to keep up with the adventures of the Amazing Spider-Man. Accessible to everyone. Until one day they weren’t, the comic shops had opened and the speculator market was booming. Image Comics forced innovation from the big 2. This single extra step of going to a comics store prevented “normies” from buying comics, or the brands from attracting new fans. Licensing characters to Saturday morning TV (IMO) is responsible for creating the next generation of fans eager to watch batman/spider-man/MCU films.
Competition, since the 90s, is high but the inconvenience barrier of the comic book stores prevents access to a casual audience. The direct market, comic bookstores, continue to lose customers. Sept 2019’s number 1 comic was Spawn 300 which sold an est 262,599 units while the number 10 sold Harleen issue 1 sold 84,785. For point of reference, keep in mind that Wonder Woman was the reworked in the late 60s because it was selling only around 200,000 copies a month for an average issue. (known as the Mod ERA)
Sales are so low that Disney owned Marvel is considering shutting down the comics book division.
Disney sits at the top of the market place right now. They want to leverage this position to run Disney+ and make that sweet Netflix money. Competition in the streaming service center is now high. Access is also getting harder.
Lets go back to before cable, Disney use to air it’s movies on regular television. Then once cable came along and VHS, Disney switched to a direct to customer model. Selling it’s classic films for limited time to customers who didn’t have cable and locking their films behind the cable pay wall. They turned away 80s children who now didn’t have access to their films. Then in the 90s when they became dependent on those same 80s children to watch their films, no one showed up to the theatre. Disney almost went bankrupt before the Pirates franchise saved them in the early 2000s.
Disney+ will do the same for the Disney corporation, when they depend on the adults and parents of 2030 to show up to the theatre.
Now the short answer as to why Harry Potter will be the last great original IP.
Harry Potter books came out in the 90s. Where was there audience exposed to them? What was there competition?
Scholastic Book Fairs
90s children had little internet, no cell phones, comic books were in comic stores.
Before the movies were released, this series of books was able build a hardcore base over the course of four years then it’s movie releases brought more people into the books. Growing each year as children aged up and were exposed to the books at the book fair and the movies all over television. In 2005 cable became mandatory as the FCC demanded that all TV convert to HD by 2005. Which meant that more people had access to catch the first three Harry Potter films on marathon every other week.
Children today and for the foreseeable future will have unlimited access, to everything. Clint Eastwood’s man with no name trilogy, the death of superman, The entire discography of Prince. Whatever they, or you want, is just a couple of taps away from the palm of your hand. And that’s if they are in the mood to spend or search pirate bay. YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Reddit, Wattpad all provide free alternatives to keep you entertained.
Competition could not be higher.
Access by everyone for everything is high.
Convenience of Access is being limited only by the Titans themselves.
I have a plan, a theory, and a mission. But I can not do this alone.
The Future is not individual artist competing against each other.
The Future is small groups of artists functioning as one for each other.
The larger and more unified the artist group the more effective they will be as individuals.
I’m bringing together seven independent authors whose target audience is men ages 18-25+.
As the Magnificent Seven remarks.
“Men are Cheaper than Rifles.”
Right Now there are two requirements for a seat on this council
You must have at least one professionally edited publish work for sale. (one mistake per 10k words)
You are willing to spent at least 2 hours a week for the promotion and success of the council.
E-mail me at email@example.com
The first applicant to meet the requirements will be accepted immediately. Then applicants will be approved through an interview process and by a majority vote of the sitting members of the council until all seven positions have been filled. The last approved member of the council will get amazon and goodreads reviews from the sitting six members, As the first order of the council’s business.
Whether first or last you’ll be a winner, if you join a winning team.
I also want to make this clear. I don’t want your money. I want to help you sell books. I want to sell more books. I want to use the skills I have to best serve the other members of the council, in exchange for promotion, legitimacy and audience sharing. If you want these things as well and you’re willing to spend two hours of your time each week trading support for support.
Then let’s work together.
Send these to anyone author you know might be interested.
You can reach me on Twitter at @HppoTweeter