Beggars and Choosers

Just got a note from a friend of mine with a successful indie music career. He does very well with his live gigs and self-published CDs. Recently, he was approached by a small but significant music label that wants to publish his next album.

His question, "When will they pitch me on how they can help me get to the next level?"

My answer, which would be equally true for book publishing and one hundred and ten other industries is, "they won’t."

There are plenty of businesses that take for granted two thoughts:
1. our medium/approach is the best way to accomplish something
2. yes, we have competitors, but we’re all pretty similar and if we’re willing to work with you, you should say yes right away.

So, if you wanted to publish a book, or appear in a play or get a job writing or waittressing or doing telemarketing, it was a seller’s market. Hey, if we’re offering you something, we can argue about the price, but of course you’ll say yes.

But hey, Mr. MCI, now I can use Skype! Hey Mr. Warner, I can publish on iTunes and CDBaby!

Are you a beggar or a chooser? The people you want the most will be the very first people to choose the new alternatives.