A little back story. There is a guy I know. He sometimes can annoy me, but has helped me out in the past. So I try to help him out.
He's been asking me about my book business. I answer him. I didn't think he was a writer, just curious. That is the case. He wants to go the music route. Fine. But now that he has decided, he won't listen to anyone.
Case in point:
Him: I want to put a website up, but they cost money.
Me: Have you tried Blogger, or Wordpress?
Him: I don't know, everything cost money.
Me: No, all the sites I use are free. I only paid for my domain name.
Him: See it cost you money!
Him: I have to get my music out.
Me: There are a lot of good places to do that. What one do you like?
Him: What do you mean?
Me: Jamendo, Myspace, Soundclick...? Any of those.
Him: I heard of Myspace.
At this point I want to shake my head and walk away. But I figure he hasn't really looked at his options. I assume because he is a young guy, he knows how to find his way around the internet. WRONG.
Me: Why don't you do a search for those sites and see if they are what you need?
Him: How do you do that?
I give up. At this point, even if he knows his music. He has to learn some basic internet skills. But being the nice person I am, I decide to help him. Because when I was a newbie, the people that helped me were the best.
Me: Just go to google.
Him: Ok, but if I do it, what then?
Me: Upload your samples.
Him: Oh, no, no, no, no. I don't want anyone to steal my work.
Me: That's why you give some away for free and some you don't.
Him: Once it's on the internet, someone steals it.
At this point we get interrupted. I am thankful
This conversation with him made me see that there are some people that, no matter what, are going to always believe the horror stories of the internet. He wants to put his songs out there, but is too scared to use the internet for promotion. Very scared that he will loose his work. An understandable fear, but one that you can get some protection with. And if you look at it another way, if they liked your stuff enough to "steal" it, you got something there.
But I think the thing that really bothered me about this conversation, was the dilemma in his head. One that I am familiar with. You know you have something you can share, but you don't know how to do it.
When I started this writing insanity, I had no direction. Last year, I finally decided I wanted to get published. When I spoke to some people about it, I heard horror stories, both the traditional and the indie way. But I delved into it, research which option was best and made my decision.
I feel sorry for him. He wants to share, he wants the world to hear his music. But he is holding himself back. I tried to help, but sometimes you can't.