In today’s time, more and more individuals are finding alternative ways to becoming successful in the fields of music and writing. Many young people are using YouTube to promote their music while getting to know their fans early on in their careers. Creative Writers, Influencers, and stay at home moms are writing books and publishing them through popular bookstores, like Barnes and Nobles, without the need of a traditional publisher (Penguin House, or Fierce Reads). Social Media is growing at a rate to where individuals can become entrepreneurs and not work a normal nine-to-five job anymore.
Social media platforms can be either a distraction or an advantage. A person with a business-like mind will use social media for his or her benefits. For the fields of music and writing, there are advantages and disadvantages of using Social Media to launch a career versus going the traditional route. Let’s discuss both fields of music and writing:
- Traditional Music Industry vs. YouTubers
The Advantages to using the social media platform called, “YouTube” is control of creativity. Labeled-own artist have a design and art team that controls how the song should look like in a music video or posters and album cover of the song. Being a YouTuber, the artist is more creative like an independent artist. Posting on YouTube provides international distribution, advertisement, and creating a vlog page lets fans get to know the real you.
In contrast, the disadvantages of using YouTube is having a mature and wise group of people in the music industry to decide if a song will become a hit. This is where the comment section on YouTube comes into play. The majority of voices can encourage or discourage the artist. Everyone has their own style and listening to fans can become overwhelming at times. Yet, if the artist has a team, they can handle constructive criticism.
- Traditional Publishing vs. Self-publishing
Likewise, one of the advantages of self-publishing is the author earns more royalty money. The traditional route requires a team of people to do multiple jobs like publishing, advertising, and distribution for the author while taking a cut of the earnings. As a result, the author makes less money on royalties. Money is valuable, even as an independent writer.
However, a sad disadvantage to self-publishing is that a person will need to learn the ins and outs of publishing without having a traditional publisher. What I mean is the author must learn how to: convert their document (which the story is on) to an EPUB, create a front and back cover, consider getting an ISBN (barcode) for the book, and learn about copyrights for publishing. Traditionally, the author does not have to worry about the mechanics behind publishing, yet, the self-publish author needs to learn the whole process. For this reason, there are self-publishing distributors that help convert documents into EPUB (the self-publish format) for the author and distribute the book(s) in their connections to bookstores.
Secondly, I want to include pieces of information for someone whom might need if they are starting a business and have no idea what to do first. As a Library Aide, I’m learning about multiple online services that can help an individual become an entrepreneur. For example, I will explore two services that provide online courses, like business and marketing, for someone who does not want to go to college and spend amounts of money on these classes.
- Gale Courses: my local library offers this service to patrons so they can take online classes for free if they own a library card. They offer many business, marketing, technology classes, and more for people to learn new skills, while not feeling anxiety about finding information on the internet (Google searches). Please check with your local library to see if they offer this service, and if so, take advantage of this benefit. https://www.gale.com/c/gale-courses
- Coursera: a free online college course program for the general public. A person can even transfer courses that may count to a college degree, check with a school advisor for confirmation. https://www.coursera.org/
Therefore, traditional ways to success are dying out by the advantages of Social Media. People can argue and fuse about how negative social media is for millennials or the younger generation, yet, they ignore the positive goods and services to provide for the general public. Platforms like YouTube and Self-Publishing are allowing individuality and art to express naturally from the person and not the majority. Also, by conducting research and utilizing your local library can help someone not make common mistakes as a beginner would alone. As my father always said, “Someone is always willing to help you, regardless of experience and age, your talent will be noticed.”