The audience supports an author/illustrator when they ‘buy’ their work, either in monetary terms or in terms of attention.
So what, then, is the role of a publisher? To connect the author/illustrator with an audience? To polish their work for an audience?
What if technology disrupts this? What if a platform could replace a publisher? What if a platform connected content creators to their audience? What if the platform allowed niche content to find a market and allowed the market to fill the niches? What if it permitted consumer to consumer interactions and permeability between consumers and content creators and above all, innovation and imagination because of small overheads and deep community support?
To quote Seth Godin:
And courier services hate fax machines
And monks hate Gutenberg.
Apparently, technology doesn’t care who you hate.
What’s a publisher to do? What’s an author to do? What’s an illustrator to do?
Picture via kokjebalder