Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Publishing 2017

One of my favorite Billy Joel songs is "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Down on Broadway)." Written in 1976 and released on the Turnstiles album, this song reflects some of the issues going on in New York City at the time. Billy Joel considers this a science fiction song. I've been lucky enough to hear him perform this song in concert. (If you're not familiar with this song, you can watch a video of it here.)

Now that we're in 2017, I thought it would be fun to share with you my parody lyrics to this song. These are inspired by actual news stories about independent publishing, though some of them are a few years old by now. I've linked to what stories I could find and even changed a line when I couldn't find enough evidence to support it. Ultimately, though, this was a lyric rewrite I did for the challenge and my own personal enjoyment.

I saw the big publishers laid low,
But books went on without Manhattan.
We all joined KDP
And left there long ago.
But this revolt will never end.

I've seen the lights go out at Borders
I saw the ruins at my feet
You know we almost didn't notice it
Cause Kindle Countdowns make indie books so cheap.
They took an ad out in the paper
To spark an author civil war.
The flames were everywhere
But readers didn’t care.
They had more choice than before.

I've seen the lights go out at Borders.
I've watched the smaller houses fall
Thanks to Data Guy and Hugh Howey
The newbies went on strike
They never subbed at all.
They sent a blog post out from Kris Rusch
To switch the midlist over for free.
They said the hybrids could stay,
They blew the suits away,
And sank the pundits out at sea

You know those lights were bright at Borders
That was so many years ago
Now B&N lost so much shelf space
That indie publishing’s the safest way to go.
There are not many who remember;
They say a handful still survive
To tell the world about
The way the lights went out
And keep storytelling alive.


Pat Dilloway said...

Funny. I don't really remember that song.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not a fan of Billy Joel, so I've never heard it either.
Glad my small publisher hasn't failed. Things have changed though. The most successful author I know personally is a hybrid author and she is killing it.

Sandra Almazan said...

It's a good song, Pat. Hope you gave it a listen.

Hope your publisher continues to do well, Alex!

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