Get with the Times!



bestselling author Jeff RiveraIt amazes me on my 35th birthday as I think back to what I’ve learned and accomplished and want to accomplish in my life and as I strip back everything to its core, to see what I really want, I realize now more than ever it’s easier to achieve what I want.


At the core, strip away from the celebrity interviews I do, the powerful people I know in entertainment, publishing, media and business and at the core, all I want to do is just write my damn books for my fans to enjoy. Now, with eReaders, all I have to do it write it, upload it on Kindle, Nook or Smashwords and in hours its available for my fans to purchase.


Marketing, I can do that myself.  Been doing it for years. In fact, one of my clients, we just helped him sell an addition 5000 eBooks in the last few months on Kindle alone. And that was a book that was sitting around since 2007.


I don’t need a publisher or an agent unless I want to sell foreign or film rights and that’s scary for a lot of people.  For one, forget about the indie bookstore owners whose employees have lost their jobs, the publishing companies whose houses have downsized, the literary agents who have transitioned into coaches or completely shuttered their doors. For those people, many of whom are my friends, my heart goes out to them as we all transition into this new marketplace.  But for the authors, who no longer need the validation of “the powers that be” to tell them they’re good enough, it’s a very empowering time in history.


And it goes beyond just authors, what about musicians who can record their records in their closet upload them on TuneCore for less than $50 and have it distributed across iTunes and a gazillion other platforms? What about budding filmmakers and TV producers who can just use their prosumer cameras to upload their webseries on Youtube or Netflix and instantly compete head to head with the Big Boys?  It all comes down to content because marketing doesn’t require the big billboards people ignore any more, nor the banner ads we’ve trained ourselves to not see.  Marketing is all social media marketing now, which is 100% free and many Fortune 500 companies haven’t a clue how to use effectively yet. Not. A. Clue.


So now, content creation is next to nothing, marketing is next to nothing. There are no excuses not to succeed.


Want your movie in theaters?  Won’t be long before they’ll have a Youtube-like service to upload your film and select which theater across the country you want it to display at for a flat fee will pop up.  Want your songs on the radio?  (Why bother? Internet radio is easy to get on) but I’m sure for a fee, they’ll have the same for broadcast radio and the same for cable or network television. You can already buy airtime via infomercials.


My point is, the barrier to entry is so much easier for people and yes, there’s a lot of shit to go through to get through to the good stuff but who cares?  There’s a lot of shit to get through now with the “powers that be”. Over 1000 channels and I still can’t find anything good on to watch.  That’s why we need more curators/gatekeepers but the definition of a gatekeeper has evolved to include bloggers, and reviewers and other leaders.


The last barrier is your own. It’s a mental barrier wondering if you’re a “real artist” if the Mommy/Daddy figure of agents, editors, publishers, producers, managers, directors, no longer required.  Do I mean those mentioned are no longer necessary?  They still have an important role in the new system, should they choose to evolve.  Not surprisingly, the very forward thinking pioneers many of whom who have decades of experience have evolved with the times.  They have either removed their former labels or expanded what their labels meant and those are the individuals that will survive. The others, I only pray for them because they are a dying yet important breed.


We can fight the system and say it’s not going to rain but umbrella or not, raincoat or not we’re getting soaked. When it rains it pours and you better like the rain cause even Noah couldn’t have built an ark big enough for this flood coming.