I recently learned about how Netflix manages its creative content. If you look closely, you’ll see that no series ever goes beyond three seasons. (Stranger Things being the notable exception). The reason for this has to do with subscribers. Netflix isn’t concerned with keeping people loyal to a good series with stellar writing. No. Instead they want an ever increasing flow of subscribers.
In the mind of Netflix, subscribers want to be wowed with new things. Thus they create literally hundreds of new shows each year. All to hook potential viewers. Then inertia and laziness will keep the viewers there.
A recent example came with Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead. I was so jazzed to see this film. I signed back up to Netflix to watch it as it was released. Only to be summarily disappointed. I’m not blaming Snyder, after what he went through on Justice League, he deserves to let loose. But the writing was all over the place and the film didn’t really deliver on the initial premise (a heist in a zombie-filled city). But it completely fits the Netflix model. Just interesting enough to get me to join up again.
Yet Netflix isn’t the only one guilty of this mindset. Most publishers now invest almost nothing into marketing a new author’s book. I’ve been through the process once and it really did feel like the book was tossed out the window with the hopes that it might land in some reader’s lap.
I remember struggling to market the book, but my platform was non-existent, so who could I really reach? I remember my agent at the time had me read a book about marketing. The gist of it was this: You need to already be well known. Then marketing your book is simple.
It’s a catch 22. How do you become successful without some sort of hit story or film? Yet your creative endeavor won’t crawl out of the shadows unless you are a household name.
After much soul searching (and the creation of this blog) I came to the conclusion that it’s a rat race I don’t want to run. Yes, I would like a creative work of mine seen and enjoyed by readers. But I’m exhausted from second-guessing the market or publishers or agents.
In the end, the art has to be made for you and you alone. It has to satisfy the number one client, yourself. That’s the one reader who will never let you down.
So now I gladly toss my art out the digital window of the internet. I love when I see responses (via comments on the blog or in Instagram), but I make the art for my own sanity and well being.
I feel like I’m driving along a highway and littering the road with drawings and bits of writing. A creative litterbug.
Keep up the work and toss your art all over the place.