The center of power is shifting. We don't have to prowl the streets of ancient Rome in threadbare, filthy togas, begging for crumbs from a patron--or fearing, like Virgil and Horace, the loss of our heads if we ticked The Man off. (Yes, Augustus, you are a god!) Today the public is the patron. And from 50 Cent to Justin Bieber to authors Michael Prescott, Amanda Hocking, E. Lynn Harris, Jack (Chicken Soup) Canfield...musicians and authors have made their cases, and won, with the ultimate court of appeals.
The great news is better than the fact that writers can reach the public directly, more quickly and cheaply than ever. It's better even than the fact that Direct Publishing has lost its stigma and is beginning to acquire a certain cachet. The great news is that, finally, we get the one thing no writer has ever been able to get without getting into print: coast-to-coast feedback from readers who aren't at all shy about voting in their Amazon reviews. We may not always like the votes, but that isn't the point: we are now getting votes that empower us to grow and write better and still better books. We get the chance to roll the dice, and even go for broke, on getting our Happy Feet onto that stage to prove that we know how to boogie.
And it doesn't get any better than that.