John F Waterman
The works of John F Waterman

Blog 04.25.17 April 26, 2017

Hello again, folks.

Change is an ineffable part of life. Part of that change for humans is growing older (with any luck at all). Aging isn’t all bad, no matter that in this culture–as in many others past and present–it is youth that is worshiped and celebrated while age is despised and often disparaged.

I’m of an age where I’ve probably seen a few more sunsets than I’ll see sunrises, barring some unforeseen advance in medicine, and there are some things I can’t do anymore (plus a few I ought not do any more, at that!). It’s not as big a deal as our society’s worship of youth and youthful exploits makes it out. ‘Every day above ground’, like we always said in the Army. Sometimes we forget what a simple and awesome joy it is to just walk upon the world and among its wonders (and people!) no matter how one believes they got here. The past informs us and the future draws us inexorably along the track of our lives, and both have great importance to any but the extremely young and old. Cherishing what we have in the present, though, is the most important thing we possess as thinking, conscious beings.

That being said, existential concerns tend to consume our attention and time to a great extent. Those of us who enjoy the fruits of a modern technically advanced civilization do not often have to worry about where our next meal comes from or where we’ll sleep tonight–but still we worry a lot. We share a certain feeling of powerlessness that has always been the lot of humans. Our distant ancestors (and some people today, certainly) had concerns that loomed right before them; hunger, safety, health, security, all of which had to be confronted personally on a daily basis lest they fail and perish. Many of these factors were intractable, forcing our fore-bearers to find workarounds and compromises and just plain accept their utter impotence to affect most of the forces at play in their lives.

Today, our problems–in the ‘developed’ world, at least–are different in detail if of exactly the same nature as our ancestors suffered. We worry about existential matters like the health and future of our society and the planet it lives on instead of the plot of land they tilled or the coming of the rains. We are gravely concerned about the actions of people who live thousands of kilometers away instead of those sketchy folks who live over the next ridge. Some of us look decades and even centuries into the future instead of next month, year, or the next generation. Humans will always worry, and should always worry. We should never forget, though, that we are mortals; our reach will always exceed our grasp in things both concrete and abstract.

The most important gift we have, however, is our ability to apprehend and experience what is happening now. Don’t forget that, especially today.

Keep striving, folks.


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Blog 04.03.17 April 4, 2017

Hello there.

It’s been almost a year since I began writing these Blogs. Not as often as I like or ought to, but it’s a hobby; I try to save writing them for when I have something to say that I feel is important.

Most of us (I’m guessing . . .) have friends. Many of us have close relationships with these people, who represent important relationships in our lives. Sometimes we see these people every day and sometimes years pass before we can sit down face-to-face and speak with them. Social media can be an important tool we use to stay in touch with people we otherwise wouldn’t contact very often. However, it can also serve to distance us from them as well.

Social media makes it easy to send a post to a friend and also comment on one of theirs, just as social media makes it easy to post something to the world at large and receive comments from hundreds or thousands of people, most of whom DON’T know you up close and personally. It’s too easy to just whip off a post or a comment, and then assume that you’ve maintained that key interaction that makes you friends . . .and more importantly reinforces and maintains it. You can remain friends with someone who lives on the other side of the planet that you haven’t seen in decades via social media; not impossible, but often difficult anyway. I keep in touch with a large group of folks via social media whom I spent months and years with in very trying circumstances. We share bonds forged during the most eventful periods of our lives, when we were young and impressionable and under a LOT of stress.

Other friends live just a few kilometers away, but we still don’t see one another as much as we’d like. We have lives, families, jobs, schedules; a whole host of ‘things’ that seem to conspire to keep us from spending the best-quality time together–which is TIME TOGETHER. They end up sounding like pretty sorry excuses to not hang out . . .but they all add up. The worst of it is that we’ll still use social media to ‘stay in touch’ with these folks who live a short car ride away, when we could just make a date to have coffee, or dinner, or just drop by and be face-to-face with one another. The Russians have a term for being together; ‘drug s drugom‘. It literally means ‘friend with friend’.

I haven’t been spending that sort of time with some of my closest friends. I will not offer excuses. Instead I’m just going to go and spend that time with them. I advise you all to do the same. Don’t make excuses; make (and keep) friends. Especially if they are literally a few thousand meters away from you. Be polite and solicitous of their personal space, but GO and BE with them; and do what humans do best and are at their best when doing it.

Keep striving, friends.


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Blog 03.10.17 March 11, 2017

Hi there, folks.

There’s a problem in our society. I’ll limit this statement to where I live, which is in the United States.

We have a nascent and on-going civil war in our nation, and it bothers me. I live here, so I’ll speak to it. Other nations might be suffering it to one extent or another, but I don’t live there- I live here. It’s partially cultural, and partially due to a trend many of you might also be seeing where you live. I’m not talking about the ‘news cycle’, or ‘echo chamber’ effect of social media, or even the changes in state-sponsored education of our youth. It does touch upon those things, though.

I promised you all that I would not talk about partisan politics when I embarked upon this series of blogs, and I’m going to hold myself to that promise. I will not name parties or political figures. You can read into my words what you will–I can’t stop you from assuming what you will. You should know already from reading these blogs roughly where I stand within the 2-D Pournelle Chart (Google it!) of political affiliation.

As members of a population, we US citizens can each say freely where we stand in politics and ideology. We vote for the political persons who we feel can best represent us in our legislative and executive needs at each level in the local, State and US governments. But here’s what we forgot about, no matter who we voted for (or didn’t bother to vote). We forgot that we have a morality and culture we all share, no matter how different we all are. The entity called the ‘United States’ is composed of a plurality; meaning we are many disparate peoples who nevertheless live under the same laws and (one hopes) governing principles upon which we all agree. ‘From many, ONE’. Not one religion, not one ethnic group, not one set of personal needs or particular desires; we have to be ONE and united in how we act within the ‘res publica’ we all live under in the US to give each of us and all of us as a whole a fair chance to live our lives as we see fit, under principles we can all agree to abide by. These governing principles, enshrined in our Constitution and its Amendments, dictate how the government we select can and cannot deal with our lives collectively and personally.

Seems like a lot of us have forgotten how the Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to us, our leaders, and our institutions.

No one can take legally take away the rights given us by our Creator, or Fate, or by dint of being a human. Don’t let any governmental institution or politician tell you he can ‘give them back’ or commensurately ‘take them away’ from you. The Constitution is not a suicide pact, nor is it something that ‘gives’ you rights or ‘takes them away’ from anyone else. It is a series of promises to the citizens, and (with some strictures like requiring citizenship to have the franchise to vote) anyone else residing in this nation, that the government WILL NOT infringe upon the innate rights of all human beings residing in this nation.

The only way you can lose your innate rights as a human is by letting someone take them away from you; conversely the only way you can keep them is by fighting to ensure that no one takes them away from you- or anyone else. Important point; those of you who do not live in the US, or are not citizens; you too have these same innate rights, though you might have to fight for them to be recognized where you live . . .

Note that NO ONE has the innate right to oppress others; or harm, enslave, or cheat them just because they don’t share your gender, ethnicity, birth status or football team affiliations . . . or religion.

Keep striving, folks.




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Blog 03.01.17 March 2, 2017

It’s been a long journey, but I finally got ‘there’.

I suppose I could have done it a while back, along any of several paths, beginning in the late 1990’s. But I’m the sort of person who does things his own way–call it being obstinate, or unwilling to rely on other people to make my personal dreams come true, or just an inability to engage in a process that up until recently was either extremely expensive to one of my limited means or too demanding of my patience with a process that has been (IMHO) needlessly complex.

In this case the technology to make my personal dream became available long before the ‘human’ mediated systems caught up to the technology’s innate possibilities. ‘Desktop publishing’ has been around in one fashion or another for over a generation; think of the first word processor software and computer-driven printers. It remained crude for much of that time, but bit by bit (pun intended) the technology improved to the point that there was no engineering-related reason for me not to have achieved my dream around the time I wrote my first novel-length work. What was lacking was the innate inadaptability of the human-based systems that ruled publishing for over four centuries.

Days gone by, an author (or his ‘agent’) sent a manuscript to a publisher. After a variable number of re-writes and editing iterations, the editor–an employee of the publisher–gave the go-ahead. Typesetters would do their jobs and press operators would run their huge machines  and books would get shipped to distributors, marketing agencies would launch a promotion campaign, bookstores would sign up and the author’s book would hit the shelves. Dozens of people would be involved in every step of the operation, as industrial a process as making a rifle, a boot, a baseball bat or a can of tuna.

That paradigm doesn’t apply so much anymore. Processes are heavily automated now, whether they produce a rifle, a boot, a baseball bat or a can of tuna. Machines need a lot less human labor to operate anymore, and a lot of the steps that once required human attention no longer do. Paper, ink, printing, cutting, assembly and binding are a lot easier in the 21st century. The biggest difference, though, is in the jobs of the people who control content and the appearance of the final product. A lot of the folks once involved in the industrial operations like printing and binding are no longer involved, certainly, in our heavily automated world. The people I’m concerned with, though, are now almost totally absent from the process; the editor, the literary agent, the proofreader, the typesetter.

I performed the last four roles almost exclusively, albeit with help from a ton of software. I AM the middleman in that process. I paid no literary agent a percentage of my profits to get the work in front of an editor; no one from the publisher edited my work; no one proofread my copy, and software (plus a lot of fiddling work from me) set the type. I could have literally published a string of a random million characters that fit the overall guidelines of the typesetting software. No one would buy it, but that would be on me . . .since no single book is published unless someone purchases it from the Print-On-Demand publishing company. Only when a customer clicks ‘Buy Now’ on the publisher’s website is a book printed, bound, and delivered. Only that act sets in motion the wheels of 21st century publishing, pays the people who get paid to print the book, and eventually pays me a royalty based on the price I set for the book itself (which automatically includes the production costs).

Which all culminates in the fulfillment of a dream I’ve had since I first set pencil to paper as a small child . . .to have a printed, bound version of something that I wrote available for others to enjoy. Go see for yourself. You can even look at it online, read a few chapters of it . . .and if you’re so inclined, click ‘Buy Now’ and have it in your hands to read and enjoy. It’s called ‘Man From The East’, and it’s now a paperback on Amazon.

Keep striving, folks.



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Blog 02.13.17 February 14, 2017

Hello again, friends.

People tell themselves and one another stories about their history and their goals and their dreams (for better or for worse). It’s part of what makes us human. It helps confirm our identity, which is an ineffable part of being alive and conscious. I call these stories we tell ourselves and one another ‘narratives’.

We literally don’t know nor can we know who we are (as a person, a family, a group, or even a nation or species) without our narratives. These narratives change over time, naturally, as we change our lives, our histories, and our identity inexorably as our world changes around us. Change and adapt or die, right?

Narratives give us a very important thing besides the things who tell us who we are, because they also provide continuity. Continuity connects us to our pasts, which is an inseparable part of our identity. People without pasts have no identity. No one has ever manufactured themselves out of whole cloth, as it were, without establishing a narrative–which includes a past. Where you were born, who your parents were, where your people came from, what you value and why; it is all wrapped up in a narrative and the continuity it embodies.

When the world changes seemingly daily and large numbers of us have moved across the face of the world, sometimes many times in our lives–sometimes even daily–narratives are especially important because they lend us continuity. Without it we have no identity. They become even more tightly held because they tell us who we are in places where no one we know or no one we’ve grown up with are around anymore.

Narratives take on a new level of importance in this digitally interconnected world for two important reasons. First, we now can ‘hook into’ our narratives almost anyplace we go via telephone, texts and social media. Mind that last thing–social media–because it’s my supreme point. Second, a small group of people can take literal control of what you see on that social media, and overnight change the content you see on it. No, really. We do it ourselves to a certain extent–Google ‘echo chamber’–but those who know our ‘likes’ on Facebook and what Twitter feeds we follow can also put their tailored messages in front of us, 24/7. We’ve seen it during this last election in the United States, and it’s been happening before then.

Take care of noticing changes to your narratives. Analyze them, and then ask how you felt about a subject a month ago, or a year ago, or while you were still ‘at home’, growing up. It’s OK to change how you feel about things. We all learn and grow as people, and as societies. Just take care that your narratives change because you want them to, and for your own reasons after given your own due introspection. Don’t be a sheep; and if you’re a goat then at least know why.

Keep striving, friends.



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Blog 02.08.17 February 9, 2017

Hello again, friends.

I don’t know how you’re doing, but for me 2017 seems to be more of 2016, if just ‘SS, DD’. Bills, challenges, parenting, political madness. It’s different in details but seemingly the same level of stress though perhaps the background levels have increased a bit. I’m not going to tell you not to worry–in the words of Christopher Titus, ‘worrying about the rent is HOW the rent gets paid!’

But you can’t let it get to you.

You still have to do the things you know you’re supposed to do. Pay those bills, work for someone (the Corporate ‘person’ or that damned Boss) who seems bent on crushing your soul, manage your schedule, take care of your loved ones, take care of your self both physically and spiritually. 2017 is a number on a calendar, not a thing. Time passes either slowly or quickly depending on how much fun you’re having. We tally off the dragging few minutes of an unpleasant task and the years off the Wheel of Time differently, though. One seems to last forever, while the other sneaks away from us until we look back upon some liminal event in our lives and it appears that years have slid away when we hadn’t noticed.

I interact with (to me) a surprising number of people on various social media. Some of them I haven’t seen in 25+ years. Some I see every day. I don’t consider myself a very social or popular person, and I seem to have a limit on the number of social interactions I can effectively engage upon in a given day. It’s not you–I’m by nature an introvert. This is the way I’m put together, although I have learned coping skills and I actually do prize social interaction for it’s own sake. A beer and a quiet place to read a novel are often as good to me as a party. I know there are people that if they had the opportunity would FB or IM Chat all day long until they fell into a coma, and I know people who would be fine just dealing with family–or no one at all–unless under duress. I fall somewhere in the middle of the ‘normal’ (in the statistical sense) distribution, though towards the right side of the Bell curve in favor of solitude.

Time, for me at least, tends to pass oddly when I’m dealing with people. Time spent chatting or socializing with friends seems like it passes quickly, until I look at the clock and see that my lunch break has purely vanished or that I’ve spent an hour running down old FB posts while waiting on a process to finish. Part of me worries about ‘lost time’, but time spent with friends really isn’t, is it?

Just be careful. Social media is a ‘good thing’ in the world; it connects people who would have otherwise never been in touch with one another. It conquers distance and to a certain extent time. I’ve reconnected, at least in fashion, with a lot of people who were my best friends during our shared military service. However, don’t let the Internet Revolution annihilate the simple pleasure of hanging out with people living in your house, your neighborhood, or your town. Or just having some time to be you, and examine your own thoughts. Listen to the wind. Converse with the rain. Remember who YOU are.

Keep striving, friends.

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Blog 02.02.17 February 3, 2017

Hello, folks.

It’s Groundhog Day . . . again.

I think many of us feel that the world has settled into a rut, even with the tumultuous ‘changes’ happening with the new Administration in the United States. This isn’t a political blog by any stretch, and I’m not going to belabor the obvious here. Especially because nothing is as obvious as we’re told to assume it is.

History often looks like it repeats itself. I know it doesn’t, but it often rhymes . . . We can identify events and situations that look very similar to things that have happened before. I take a longer and more coarse-grained view of history. For example, I see the current state of our economy and political milieu similar to that in the Roman Republic just prior to the Social Wars of the Second Century BCE, and also to events of the mid-Fourth Century CE in the Roman Empire. There seem to be a lot of parallels with our current situation as a nation and as a culture.

People like to draw parallels. It lets us use our memories and our pattern-recognition faculties to identify situations like those we have known or heard about and thus feel we have some ability to predict the future. This has kept our species alive, along with our other talents, for a couple of hundred thousand years. However, that which has served us well for 95% of our existence may be reaching the upper end of its ability to serve us now in the Modern world. Remembering where to find oases and recounting changes in animal migrations over the course of generations is what used to keep us alive when we wandered the Earth as hunter-gatherers, and remembering how to plant different crops and use other strategies to weather a change in climate served us well as Neolithic agriculturists.

I wonder how well our vaunted talents at drawing parallels serve us now, though. We don’t tend to remember the finicky details of political alliances involving nations of millions of people, nor are our brains geared to accept technological changes that happen in a timescale not of millennia or centuries but mere decades. Individuals seem to adapt well enough (well, most of us!) but our cultural institutions do not. We think in terms of changes to them on larger timescales than we ourselves see the changes in our own lives. Rapid changes to our own lifestyles are easier to manage than changes to our traditions or our traditional methods of governance.

I’ll leave you with two quotes that may add some perspective.

‘A custom is the solution to a problem the reason for which we have forgotten.’ -Donald Kingsbury, Courtship Rites

‘Today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions.’ – Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline

We ought never ignore the past, and always let its lessons inform us; but we should never seek to live there, or let it make us fear the future. The past is its own country, and it belongs there. The future belongs to us.

Keep striving.


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Blog 01.16.17 January 17, 2017

Hello again, and Happy New Year!

It’s been a while, and I’ll save the excuses. I’ve missed writing this blog. Like any other electronic communication over the internet it gives me a chance to express myself openly and freely. Anyone who knows me also knows how much I like to express myself. I imagine many of you do as well.

Self-expression is very important, especially in these days where many people are feeling frightened and others feel that they might lose their right to express themselves in the most fundamental fashion–by losing their ability to live their lives the way they see fit.

I will not turn this blog into a tool to express my political views pro or con any particular group or politician. There’s plenty of that going around. I will however, address the matter of fear. Here are some of my thoughts on fear, and what to do about it.

Fear is one of the primal human emotions. It has driven us all at one time or another. I won’t claim that I have any special insights on fear even given my military service or other events in my life (none of which are any more terrifying than anyone else’s, and probably have been less so than those in others’ lives). I have learned that absent a few truly psychopathic individuals we all feel fear.

The people that others call ‘fearless’ instead manifest the ability, at that particular moment, to acknowledge their fear and operate despite it, to do what they feel they must do. We all feel fear, but any of us can do what we feel is right in the face of it. Sometimes the ‘right thing’ is to continue to live our lives and behave normally even though the dread of the future fills our soul. ‘Take no counsel of your fears’, advised Andrew Jackson and many since. In this current era where facts are fiction and the most important thing is considered how we feel about situations, base persons seek to engender gut emotional reactions through appealing to our fear (and its handmaiden, hate) at the expense of reason.

It doesn’t have to be that way, people.

Live your life the way you want to, albeit always remembering that your freedom ends where someone else’s begins. Americans, please exercise your civil rights, secured (but neither issued to nor given you) by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. You are citizens, not subjects. To my other friends across the world–and you are my friends, if you too love freedom–do the things you need to be free.

I do not advocate violence. Rioting, looting and other anti-social behaviors do not hurt your perceived enemies as much as they erode your own goodness. Speak out against injustice, loudly but with restraint. Act against oppression decisively, but not precipitously. Cooperate with one another, but be wary of the demagogues who would subvert your actions to their benefit.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ —Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Blog 07.03.16 July 3, 2016

Hello again, folks.

It’s Independence Day here in the US of A, the 240th birthday of a nation unlike any others on this planet. Besides the fireworks and grilling and beer, we citizens of this nation celebrate the peculiarities that mark this nation as something fundamentally different. Whether they make the US of A ‘better’ than other nations is open to opinion and debate, naturally. I think there are many things that make this nation better, for all of its warts and blemishes. I am biased, of course, but here’s one reason I think the experiment of the United States is both different and better.

I’m not going to argue politics; I promised that I wouldn’t. ‘Democrat’, ‘Republican’, ‘Libertarian’, ‘Green’, ‘Socialist’; ‘left’ and ‘right’, ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’; these are all just tags, and they’re all the same to me for the purposes of this discussion. There is one thing that unites all of the people who use them self-referentially or as descriptions of a particular political camp in this nation.

Almost every nation, the US of A included, describes the people who belong to it as their ‘citizens’. This term is inaccurate for every nation except the US. Most nations have a governing document or documents that describe the relation between the government and its citizens; things the government can and cannot do, or at least promises that it will or will not do, as well as the duties, responsibilities, and rights its citizens enjoy under its purview.

Let’s talk about ‘rights’. Without disappearing down the rabbit-hole of legalistic descriptions of what a ‘right’ actually amounts to, the US of A’s governing documents – the Constitution and the later Bill of Rights – delineates what the government is allowed to do to the people and for the people, on the behalf of the people; and the powers that government can use to enforce the people’s rights, both as a res publica and those rights of the individual citizen. It might seem like splitting hairs, but in no place do either of these documents ‘allow’ citizens their rights. It’s not a statement of what the government allows people to do, by its good graces, if everyone behaves themselves–but a statement that the government exists solely to keep the citizens from being denied those rights by its actions or through its inaction.

In effect–and this is a point that might escape a lot of US citizens these days–the government is truly the servant of the citizens; the public as a whole, and of each individual citizen. The fact that citizens have the rights protected by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is accepted as a given; the government is not the source of those rights, and it does not issue them to each citizen through its goodwill, good graces, or from the goodness of its being. People are born possessing these rights, and the government can only restrict them or take them away from an individual–and only then on a case-by-case basis–as administered by law. I know that this concept has not been nor is today completely and honestly applied in this nation to each and every one of its citizens, and even the definition of citizen is rather haphazard and on occasion unlawfully denied to some of the people living here . . . but the concept is part of our culture, and the birthright of every human residing here. I won’t get into weaselly interpretations. There’s still a lot of stuff that needs fixed around here, no lie; this nation is still an experiment, not the finished article.

It’s a fundamentally different case from the rights of the citizen in almost any other nation in the world. I don’t have rights because the US government tells me I have them, and it is not up to any organ of the US government to take them from me under any circumstances save due process of law because of being convicted of a criminal offense. Changes in rulers, changes in political representation, changes in the interpretation of laws; none of these matters obtain to my rights, and the fact that I retain them has, does and shall not ever be affected by any act of the government. I live in a society governed by the rule of law; not the whims of a despot, agency, bureaucracy, political party or movement. It’s hard to see some days, but we–you and I–have the only true liberty guaranteed though not granted by a government. We are citizens; not subjects, not thralls, and not beggars subsisting on the good will of a benevolent tyrant or soulless bureaucracy.

To all my fellow citizens of the United States of America, I wish you a happy Independence Day. Be safe. Keep striving, and read good stuff.


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Blog 05.20.16 May 21, 2016

Hi there, folks.

There’s been a lot of discussion about ‘fairness’ in our society of late. Honestly, since long before today, since long before the founding of this nation, people have been talking about it. Everyone comes to the discussion with some preconceived notions about fairness. Sure, everyone can tell almost instantly if a given situation is ‘fair’ or not to its participants. Ask any group of small children, and any of them knows if it’s fair or not if one child out of the group gets two pieces of candy and the rest only get one each.

‘That’s not fair,’ each will cry out – except the one who got two pieces.

The ‘haves’ vs. the ‘have nots’; the eternal question about the human condition. Both groups will argue that there is something inherent in the ‘haves’ (or missing from the ‘have nots’) that got them where they are. Both groups will also argue that there is something inherent in the system they live under that places each member in their respective position; a virtue, a vice, a bias, a selection process of some sort. Here’s where the innate human talent for narrative comes into its own.

I refuse to argue politics in this blog. So let’s approach the concept of ‘fairness’ from the point of view of a writer who wants to sell his works. The writer has poured his effort (and one would hope some talent and skill) into producing his work. He hopes people will purchase his work, to in some fashion repay him for that effort. He may also desire recognition as well, but let us focus on recompense of a financial nature. How does he ‘sell’ his work?

In days not so long past, the writer would engage an agent to work on his behalf to offer his work for money to a publisher. The agent gets a percentage of what the writer might get paid by a publisher; the publisher undertakes the expense of physically printing the work as a book and then offering it for sale to customers. ‘The value of a thing is what the thing will bring’. This is a pure market transaction. The publisher bears the costs and financial risk of producing the printed book, as well as paying for the marketing used to promote what is now its product and trying to get as many customers to buy it as possible. The writer (and his agent) aren’t on the hook for all that, but they have to convince the publisher that it’s worth his while to do so.

Here’s where ‘fairness’ rears its head in this straightforward affair. There were a limited number of publishers for any particular work of fiction, each with a limited amount of ‘product’ (books) it could afford to move onto the market for its customers at any one time, books being an economic ‘want’ and not a ‘need’. The well of potential customers is not bottomless, and they remain fickle. Publishers had to make critical decisions related to assumptions made about the customer’s desires. Agents helped them make these decisions, both by promoting their writers’ works, but also decisions based upon what they felt would sell well.

My question about fairness; is it better when a few people (publishers, as represented by their editors, as well as agents, who ostensibly represent their writers) make decisions about what customers are offered to purchase? Let me know what you think. Next time I’ll discuss what the market for writers – and readers – looks like today, and how it affects ‘fairness’.

Stay safe, and read good stuff.

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