We are living through an incredible time in publishing/media history. I mean, for one thing you can't just call it publishing anymore. Things like book trailers are out there. Advanced software and marketing tools exist to promote a (fill in the blank) movie, book, blog, website, all of the above.
When I started learning the Communications field you had to choose which niche you wanted to specialize in. Back then my choices were broadcasting, journalism, drama/speech. I went journalism. I'm glad because the firm hand on writing has carried over to everything else I've ended up doing.
My significant other, Kerry, and I were talking this morning about living through a media revolution and how incredible it is. I was reading blog analysis and debate on the book industry with Google releasing their online book distribution, ereaders, and New York Times is saying they are going to do a best seller elist for ebooks next year. That's just books.
I talked to a friend last night in film school who is exploring documentaries. People after they make a couple of these that are moderately successful are making a living. Not a multi-million dollar living but with basic equipment and good ideas you can share your ideas with the world.
Another article I read about a maverick who is creating a hybrid media group that will team writers and ideas for no money up front but 30-50% of what eventually comes in for projects, books or movies or whatever they turn out to be. That is amazing -- traditional publishing for a traditional book is NOT paying that. The odd thing is they are trying on purpose to be the next Harry Potter phenomena. A book didn't sell to a publisher so they shopped it to DreamWorks who are releasing a movie next year almost before the publishers can get back in line to buy the book. Oh, and the screenplays of the book have now modified that about to be released book. This is radical stuff. The guy behind it is universally loved and hated. Read article here.
It's not to say I'm for or against any of this, it's just amazing to watch something that is going to be in text books unfold before your eyes. The software for movies is radicalizing too, shrinking and getting more accessible. It is truly "media" now because it all bleeds over onto each other and gets more accessible to the rabble masses rather than elites in ivory publishing, movie towers.