Sanctuary is a Canadian made (science fiction with a dash of paranormal steampunk) TV show that began life as a series of bi-weekly episodes released only on the internet through its own website. It did so well that it was picked up by a traditional TV station and is now in it’s third season and still going strong.
The reason I mention this is not because the show is the first broadcast quality show to migrate from one media to another, (although that feat is nothing to sneeze at) nor that I enjoy watching it (I do) and would like to spread the joy, but because it illustrates what’s possible in the wild frontier of the digital world.
And its happening all over the place. James Cameron was instrumental in bringing ‘motion capture’ into mainstream movie making with ‘Avatar’. iPods revolutionized the way we purchase and listen to music. (I do admit though that I like putting an actual cd into my player and turning the volume way up, ‘specially to do housework. I do love me some vintage Tina Turner! – never thought I’d type those words in the same sentence – ‘Tina Turner’, and ‘vintage’ that is – oh hell, the woman’ll be 72 this year and like a fine wine, she just keeps getting better!)
I read quite a few blogs that have to do with the publishing/marketing side of this writing gig, and sometimes they have commenters who ask them to predict what is happening or will happen next in the industry. Their answers are as varied as the options out there. They might as well consult an oracle, because no-one knows for sure, and don’t believe ‘em if they tell you different.
One thing is certain, the trailblazers are in this revolution are us, the writers. We’re throwing off the domestication of an antiquated system and rewriting the rules as we go. The internet has proven that although publishers need writers in order to survive, writers don’t need publishers the same way. And that, all by itself, is a revolution.
I am NOT advocating either do-it-yourself or traditional publishing. What I am saying is let’s not limit ourselves to the sum of our fears. Who knows what horizons we may blaze beyond like a comet on its way to glory.
“I heard stories from my mother’s mother who was an American Indian. She was spiritual, although she did not go to church, but she had the hum. She used to tell me stories of the rivers – Tina Turner