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There's Nothing New In "The Business"

"The Business" of promoting art isn't remotely new. Artists have always had to hustle to market their art. So it's silly to keep talking about the current music business as if it's a radically new web 2.0, crowdsourced, fan engagement monster.

The goal of engaging people has always been the same. Only the tools have changed.

Check out this New York Times book review for The Sinner's Grand Tour, a book about how famous writers have promoted themselves through the years.
"Crowdsourcing" isn't new:

"Perhaps the most astonishing P.R. stunt — one that must inspire awe among authors today — was plotted in Paris in 1927 by Georges Simenon, the Belgian-born author of the Inspector Maigret novels. For 100,000 francs, the wildly prolific Simenon agreed to write an entire novel while suspended in a glass cage outside the Moulin Rouge nightclub for 72 hours. Members of the public would be invited to choose the novel’s characters, subject matter and title, while Simenon hammered out the pages on a typewriter. A newspaper advertisement promised the result would be “a record novel: record speed, record endurance and, dare we add, record talent!” It was a marketing coup. As Pierre Assouline notes in “Simenon: A Biography,” journalists in Paris “talked of nothing else.”

As it happens, Simenon never went through with the glass-cage stunt, because the newspaper financing it went bankrupt. Still, he achieved huge publicity (and got to pocket 25,000 francs of the advance), and the idea took on a life of its own. It was simply too good a story for Parisians to drop. For decades, French journalists would describe the Moulin Rouge event in elaborate detail, as if they had actually attended it. (The British essayist Alain de Botton matched Simenon’s chutzpah, if not quite his glamour, a few years ago when he set up shop in Heathrow for a week and became the airport’s first “writer in residence.” But then he actually got a book out of it, along with prime placement in Heathrow’s bookshops.) "
Now that's some groovy promotion.

You don't need to be a "Social Media Guru" to understand that No one cares more about your music than you.

There's nothing new in "The Business".

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