Hey Ott,

I am in the West Virginia mountains working through the 3rd draft of a multi-volume book series.

There’s a particularly scary-story for amateur writers: “To prove how hard it is for new writers to break in, Jerzy Kosinski uses a pen name to submit his bestseller Steps to 13 literary agents and 14 publishers. All of them reject it, including Random House, who had published it.”

The music industry and publication industry are different, but they share a similar process: create -> consume (with some marketing and distribution in there).

How did your music catch on? How important was it to your career as a musician to be part of Twisted Records years back? How do you make money in a business that seems to have been abruptly dismembered? Independent production seems viable these days, if not a bit crowded with mediocrity—how do maintain yourself in public awareness? What outlets do you find most useful?

Is there hope for a meritocratic type of diffusion?

Ott responded on 02/26/2015

Firstly, I object to the word 'consume' when used in relation to art. People don't 'consume' music - they 'experience' it. I object in general to the way we have all been reduced to the role of dumb 'consumer' by those who seek to feed us 'product' and using that word in this context gives energy to this creeping tendency.

And I don't believe anyone has a right to be published. Ultimately the art world is meritocratic - being a writer or a musician is not just about writing or playing the ukelele. It is also about promotion and an artists who creates but does not disseminate is doomed to languish in obscurity.

Promotion of your work is infinitely easier in 2015 than it was in 1985: musicians have Soundcloud, BitTorrent, YouTube and Spotify and writers have the entire blogosphere and the option to self-publish via Amazon etc. I believe if your work appeals to enough people and you work hard enough to find them, you'll prevail.

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