A nice little intro via Salon to the work David Byrne has been doing about how artists–whether musicians like Byrne, or writers, painters, what have you–need to better understand the basic means by which their work is produced, distributed and sold, especially as these means change so rapidly.
Byrne’s message resonates here at Agate. Every six months, I spend a few hours talking to our interns about the basic business structures of publishing and how they function, and why they (and everyone involved in this work) should care. This has a lot to do with my interest in the wonderful Elaine Grogan Luttrull’s extremely useful book Arts and Numbers: A Financial Guide for Artists, Writers, Performers, and Other Members of the Creative Class, which Agate B2 published in the spring.
Anyone hoping to make a living out of their art should pay attention to these kinds of basic information resources. Here at Agate, I feel the more writers know and understand about the businesses of agenting, publishing, bookselling, and the like, the better off they’ll be in navigating their careers.