September 9, 2011

Declaration of Independents and Self-Publishing

I'm probably revealing my political leanings for the all to see, but I recently finished the new book from my two favorite journalists/commentators: Nick Gillespie & Matt Welch. Aside from a terribly high price of $11.50 at Amazon's Kindle store (but marked down from $25.99!), the book is quite enjoyable, regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum.

One thing that is interesting about the book is how it applies to the self-publishing and indie author community. The book discusses how people's interests are falling into more niches. Rather than the DC/NYC axis telling us how to get our news, MTV telling us what to listen to, and the Big 6 telling us what to read, people are free to peruse their own interests with the dawn of the information age. This is a boon for indie authors, because the possibilities of people interested in what you write are limitless. Even if you're scribbling stories about lesbian elves traipsing through a steampunk universe, someone probably wants to read it.

Here is my review on Amazon (4-stars):
I've been a long-time fan of Nick Gillespie & Matt Welch, and a reader of Reason for over a decade. The way they characterize what is going well in the world (e.g. decentralized culture, mistrust of the elites, savvy entrepreneurs) is somewhat inspiring in these rather depressing times. Even if you aren't libertarian, you will probably be able to appreciate their criticism of the US Government's boneheaded policies over the years, rampant corruption in Washington, and the fact that politicians are often the last to catch up with the modern era. However, I was mildly disappointed with some of the prescriptions to the ongoing malaise. If you've read Reason or Hit & Run, none of it will come as a surprise to you (i.e. reduce the size of the government, eliminate spending, etc.). From two muckrakers like Matt and Nick, I guess I had really high expectations. Heaven knows we need it now.

I respectfully disagree with some of the reviews here that Nick & Matt are being too snarky and hipsterish. That's the only way that US politics is even remotely interesting in my humble opinion. Their style of writing has paved the way for bloggers everywhere to hold our politicians accountable and with no mercy.

Declaration of Independents is a good book if you're interested in the libertarian point of view and why freedom in everything is important. However, don't expect a Jeffersonian silver bullet to our problems as the title implies. Politics is just too complicated and entrenched in every aspect of our lives to cover all the solutions in one book.
Even though the American political system is a joke, it's comforting to know that people are freed from the shackles of how they should partake in culture.

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