The writing industry will fail. There's no doubt about it. Unlike the tobacco farms or liquor refineries, there will be a time when people will get over the addiction of 'intellectualized escape' and the publishing brothels will be shut down for good.
Writing Industry at its basic form has three parts - The Writer, The Publisher, The Market. (There's much more to the working components and interior threading to these parts like the agents, content manager, analytics, editors, distributor...and many more)
The failure of this industry can be easily explained with the Domino effect. The three blocks of the domino, they all stands in a row. And the first domino block to fall is - The Market. In simpler terms, the market has three major cogs - 'the reader', 'the retailer', and 'the distributor'.
First block falls as follows - World is a nice place with a lots of nicer elements. As a human, we tend to never appreciate the elements of world that has no relevance to our life (or the world that manifests in our subconscious), People deal with things and interact mostly with those elements which find a relevance in their cause. Consumerism 101 (kind of). Every consumer ask self in relation to the product whether it is required or not.
For example - You will not be interest to buy a sextant unless you are a sailor. Why? Because it serves no purpose to a person who doesn't have to deal with directions on a normal level. Hence, it won't be sold in a district filled with dancers.
What's most relevant to a person, only that gets a place on their shelf. Books that connect to people either through incidents, emotions or characters only tend to do if they really share a similarity. Pretentious similarity will not do the work. The written work has to act as a medicine to their head.
Readers wish for more self-appreciating drug that makes them feel connected to the journey in the book.
People choose the escape that feels most relevant. A book is sold. Soon, it gains a momentum among the targeted audience.
Retailers note this down and pass it down to the distributor. Hence, the fall of the first domino.
Second Domino Falls as follows - The content sold out because of its relevance to the targeted audience brings a positive result to the team. A positive feedback from the consumers. Now, to compete in the savage market, the publishing company needs to put out more content that will bring out similar results. It will put out a safe front for the fortress like company to succeed against the mass media companies. So, they start delivering content that either provided the most relevant escapes or a generic tone to the on going public narrative. This is not bad...I don't dislike this. It is actually logical and beneficial for the print media to exist. Acutely speaking, the survival of this form of escapism is very needed.
A scope for publishing relevant content for different faces of world or for the uniqueness shared by individuals would have been pretty interesting. However, the profit produced by publishing such content is neither effective on paper nor profitable in practical life. The distributors and retailers would have to suffer badly to make sales if the scope of relevance is narrowed down.
Therefore, to enjoy bundles of cash and no complaints from their consumers, Publishers came out with a mid way solution. They expanded the endpoints of the 'so-called-relevance'. Now, the content that would be published has to push out a generic tone of connection with the same audience. The target audience will remain the same and will be treated as 'group identity'. The escapism that they should have published would have to appreciate everyone's unique cause; instead they formulated to push a relevance in a form in a very bigger and opaque picture (treating every one as one and targeting the most common parts of life shared, as in social trends or world events).
It is undeniably a smart move. As it makes marketing easier, hence generating more sales. However, I feel this blocks down the way for vividness printed over the paper. The bright colors shone by the current strategy has many grey edges. And I very firmly believe that the whole picture will soon turn grayscale in a decade or two.
Hence, the fall of second domino.
Third domino falls as follows - Publishers don't have only one consumer. It has two consumers i.e. readers and the writer. Yes, in the case of writing industry the writer acts as a consumer, rather than being the supplier and the root deliverer of the narrative.
A consumer that has to follow the demands of Publisher. A gullible consumer that has no other way but to bow to the guidelines of the Godzilla sized printing machine. Nonetheless, they hope to get established as a known name in the industry with being a little humble with these publishing houses.
Now, with the scope of content supplied by the publisher narrowed down (as per the demands of the audience) gradually it gets tougher for the writer to deliver something that will find relevance to audience and a place in his own heart.
Forgive me if my sentiments get in the way of your opinion. But nowadays for the sake of publishing and conformity, writers have stopped engraving the most important part in their work. They forget to put their soul into it.
Anything that is written heartlessly is either a filler or a trash.
It is very obvious that the narrowed down scope of publishable content harshly effects amateurs but it also finds a piercing way into a professionals' mind. It pierces through his soul and forces to quit being creative and pick up an objectively harsher job of writing publishable content to satisfy the suppliers and demanders.
Deviant creativity and path breaking narratives will suffer due to this selective policy. So will their creators. All leading to a frustrated consumer, i.e. the writer. Even if they opt for hybrid or self mode of publishing. The writer with a content deviating from the current trend will suffer poor reception, both at the ends of retailers and distributors. With an end result of a broken writer. A demotivated consumer with no hopes of ever attempting to write.
Hence, falls the third and the last domino.
Humans get bored easily with their stable state. So, they look for a way to escape and make their minds work a little with imagining. The grade of escape will dither with this closed attitude of demand and supply. Sooner, with the downgraded product of print media; there will be an obvious shift of the remaining readers to the category of watchers and screen junkies.
The current strategy of proving a connected escape to people has a very melodic tone, but believe me. It will fade away soon. And it will go out in such a way, the industry will suffer another century of hustle to get it back to flesh and moving.
Safety & Peace