- You are a writer.
- You are an editor.
- You are a publisher.
- You are a living organism.
As regular readers know, Richard is putting together a start-up called Cursor. I believe this venture is the right idea at the right time, and I hope Richard makes a go of it precisely because Cursor is not simply another publishing vanity. It is, rather, a proof-of-concept for a new, internet-age publishing model that emphasizes the reader-writer relationship.
That’s precisely why I’m here. Because I can write these words and you can read them without anybody else getting in the way or taking a cut or telling me I need to spice up my dialogue or throw in a torture scene or a vampire. And Richard Nash knows this:
The way I sort of think about this philosophically is that the reader pays a certain price for something. And everybody who takes a piece of that on route back to the author has to justify it. A lot of us have been failing to justify that big chunk of the reader’s money. It’s partly the reader’s money and partly the writer’s money. It’s the money the reader wants to give the writer for that experience. And typically, 10 to 15 percent of it actually makes it there.
The new reality is that writers do not need publishers in order to connect with readers. Publishers may be helpful in scaling up a writer’s readership, or in providing editing and publishing services, but they are no longer necessary intermediaries between writer and reader. And I know that’s true because this blog doesn’t have a publisher. Or rather, I’m the publisher.
This change is so great, so complete, that what everyone is looking for right now is a compass heading. Even if the destination is beyond the horizon, even if it’s going to be hell getting there, what everyone wants to know is that they’re at least on the right course. Maybe not the exact course, but headed in the right direction.
Richard Nash is headed in the right direction. You won’t agree with everything Richard says, but when you’re done reading the interview you’ll have a much better sense of where you are, and where you should be going.
— Mark Barrett