There's a great writeup at 2blowhards.com about legendary paperback publishing house Gold Medal Books. I've written, scrapped, and rewritten about five posts now trying to wrap my head around why there's nothing like Gold Medal around today. The truth is I can't figure it out. I just don't know why the gulf between works of artistic depth and works of mass appeal is so much wider now than it was then. There's no reason why that has to be the case.
But just when despair was about to set in, Speak Up pointed me to a great project from Penguin Books: My Penguin, which allows you to design your own covers for six classic books. Like Beck's The Information, which featured blank art and came with stickers allowing consumers to create their own cover, this is the kind of forward-thinking project that brings hope.
If the future means putting nearly everything in the hands of the consumer, come what may, then the best possible scenario is for that new model to come accompanied by a push for creativity, expression, and thought.