Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mythos Media FAQ

I wrote this up today as a response to the many question that I've received about the site over the past year or two. This is a first draft, after a revision and some additions I'll put it up.



What kind of media do you publish?

The physical products that we presently sell are books, graphic novels, and CDs. The digital products that we sell or give away for free are mostly mp3s and PDFs. However, provided the right circumstances- and the right myth- we see no reason that we may not expand into animation, film, or even role playing games. The key here is creating myths, which oftentimes relate to each other. The issue is not the container. In fact, we are in early pre-production on a film at this time, which we cannot yet speak about publicly.

Why not just publish books? (Or albums. Or...)

It is no big secret that the old approaches to publishing are dying. In fact the only thing staving it off in many cases is a couple flagship titles, and a big pool of money to draw on. At the same time, the tools for media production have become increasingly accessible to the public. The very approach to publishing media in different "containers" (DVDs, CDs, paper books, PDFs for hand-held readers, etc) has changed so that it is unnecessary to have a seperate company managing these markets based on the "container." Instead, we focus on the content being contained. If we consider it is a myth worth sharing, why not produce it in the "container" that best suits the message?

Why do you give away a lot of your digital products for free? / Why use a Creative Commons license?

PDF versions of books, on the whole, serve as advertisements of them. For free, you can read some of the book, and if you like it, you can order the physical book, or make a donation. Are there going to be people who just squint and read the book on their screen? Sure. But we don't think those are people who would have bought the book in the first place. The same goes for other digital content. We just got a listener or reader for free. Remember, duplicating digital content is free for us as well. What costs money is printing books, CDs, DVDs, etc. The bottom line with all this RIAA lawsuit nonsense is that not one cent of those hundreds of millions won in lawsuits for "pirating music" has gone back to the artists. We're artists too, and that kind of nonsense makes us sick. By all means share our products, in digital format, or with your friends in print format. Just give the artists who produced that work their just due.

We use a Creative Commons 3.0 license for these releases because it represents how we want those materials to be used: you can share them with anyone, so long as you credit, don't change the contents of the work, and don't claim you're the author. The only exception to this is that, in the future, we will release some Mythos Media music along with "remix packs" Online that you are fully free to utilize in your own music, and even sell that music, so long as you give credit to Mythos Media, the original artists, and link back to our site.

I am an artist/author/film-maker. Why publish with Mythos Media?

For one, we are a group of artists, of authors, or producers ourselves. We understand the creative process and the difficulties of bringing that product to the market, as well as the conflicts that can be created between being true to the work, and trying to put food on your table. We work directly with our artists, and if you join us, it is a like joining the team. We will help you get your work in publishable form, help you market it, and as more of our artists market their work, through them new fans can be introduced to your work as well. You can expect us to be honest with you, and to put in our effort as you put in yours.

Notice, however, that we do not say "we will single-handedly market your work." We can help you with promotional tools, utilize our growing contacts, and help consult with you on marketing your work, but at the end of the day in this marketplace you have to take some of those steps, and you have to keep on it. Most publishers take the exact same stance: they just won't be honest with you about it. It is rare indeed for an author without tens of thousands of units sold on a past title to be able to sell off their manuscript, and then walk out, never to worry about it, thinking: "the publisher will market it for me." Think again. If your work isn't worth struggling to get into people's hands and hearts, it probably wasn't worth publishing in the first place.

An added benefit of joining the team is that we have a client-side subsidiary called Synchronicity Studios. The artists, musicians, etc. in our stable are the first that we will turn to when outsourcing client work.

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