It’s becoming an issue, mostly in film and TV, that all our top-rated content is either an adaptation, sequel or remake (how many King Kong stories do we need? 8 apparently). Even fiction, to an extent seems to be relying heavily on remade content. Although thankfully this is done with different angles and edges making the stories feel fresh, new content seems to be lacking in today’s spotlight. Sometimes it can feel as if we’re all absorbing the same things, over and over again. The top TV series are often based on something else too, Game of Thrones anyone? Spiderman has had three different films series in 15 years, and how many times can we really watch Uncle Ben die just because the industry knows that consumers will often go back to the things they love? Save that man from his Groundhog Day, please, somebody. We need to give stories time to rest before they are refreshed.
Most of these remakes, prequels and sequels are not horrible. Most are actually pretty good, some are brilliant, but it leaves me wondering if people are simply giving up and sticking to their tried and tested ways, or if they are running out of ideas.
There is one place however, that seems to be overflowing with original content; independent publishers. I was not aware of how many, nor how successful these publishers were within the industry before MSc Publishing. Most of the independents I have encountered since September are all dedicated to introducing new viewpoints and stories into our lives, something sorely needed to keep the industry fresh and interesting.
What was also surprising was how these smaller companies are so much more willing to take risks on newer content than the bigger household names are. Well-loved series are great, and often a large source of income (something that was not a surprise), but some of the best sellers that come from publishing are the standalone thrillers. The books that are fresh and new and risky are the ones that stick in the mind, the ones that you can’t stop thinking about long after you’ve finished. Independents are giving a voice to the often ignored, and giving consumers much more choice when it comes to content.
The publishing pool is much larger, deeper, and richer than I ever knew it was. Not just in Edinburgh and London, there are publishers spread across the country if only you know where to look, and now I’ve learnt how to find them. Independents are an exciting part of the publishing world because they are all so closely involved with the content they produce; every job links, and the books become the love of the whole company not just the author. Maybe this is the reason that their part of the storytelling industry is flooding with new content, because they care so much about the stories they tell they are more open to the new stories that have yet to be told.