Today, I came across this video and it really made me stop and think. Apparently, there has not been this dichotomy between the upper wage earners and the middle income earners in America since the twenties.
Right now, in the USA, the wealthiest 1% of Americans:
- Own 40% of the Nation’s Wealth
- Take Home 24% of the National Income
- Have Only 5% of the Nation’s Personal Debt
In 1976 the wealthiest 1% of Americans owned just 9% of the National Income. This figure has now tripled and the bottom 80% of wage earners now collectively own a mere 7% of the nation’s wealth.
My immediate reaction to hearing this information was that the internet today provides the means by which some of that income can be redistributed. The web is truly a golden opportunity for anyone with creative talent. For the first time in history, creators of original content (articles, books, music, videos) can bypass traditional production processes and exercise control over the means of distribution.
Recently, I attended a party at the company I for which used to work, as a guest. Two people who knew that I had left to pursue my writing career separately spoke with me about their aspirations. I hope I was able to offer them a little help, but what struck me was that neither of them had published anything.
Here we are with the Kindle platform completely revolutionising the publishing industry in a similar way that iTunes has revolutionised the music industry. This is happening in our own time and yet, so many people who want to become musicians and authors have not published their work online. Why should this be? Is it because they are not ready to publish or is it because they just don’t know how?
As a writer, I made it my business to learn about book publishing. So far, I have published four books to the Kindle platform. Nobody told me how to do it, but it was easy and it took just a few minutes to publish each book. The only difficulty I experienced was getting the formatting right – so it just took a bit of trial and error. But becoming a published author is easy. If you have your book written, get yourself an account setup and get it published.
Publishing your work, in itself, does not mean that you will become successful of course. That’s all down to your marketing and writing ability. But – and it is a big but – you would have had exactly that same difficulty with traditional publishing too. The difference is that now you don’t need to convince anyone that your work is worth publishing. You can publish and let the market decide if your work is worth reading.
So, if you are in the bottom 80% of wage earners and you are a writer or a musician, isn’t is about time you did something about it? The opportunity is there waiting for you.