Legacy Books and My “Agenda” [CC]

Legacy Books and My “Agenda” [CC]

Hello Rebel, and welcome back to my life. It occurs to me that I don’t know if I’ve
ever explicitly talked about the goals of Legacy Books. Granted, a few weeks ago I made a video telling
you about my goals for 2020. But in terms of, like, the BIG, BROAD, overall
goals of Legacy Books as a company, I haven’t talked all that much about it specifically. And having your goals clearly set out and
defined is important, because it helps you check whether you’re on track for what you
want to achieve, or whether you’re drifting away from what you really want. There’s an old piece of advice that you
have to keep your eye on the mountain to stay on course, even when you’re getting lost
in the wilderness. But to keep your eye on the mountain, you
have to HAVE a mountain. And that’s what a goal is. It’s the big, broad, long-term thing you’re
keeping your eye on. As opposed to, like, a “Target,” which
is a short term step you’re taking on the road to achieving your goal. So normally when you hear me talking about
things I’m trying to achieve, they’re usually expressed in terms of numbers. I want to produce this amount of hours this
year, or I want to write this many words per day, or I want to publish this many books. Those are targets, and that’s why they’re
expressed in numbers. A goal is usually a bit more nebulous. It’s more of a state of being than a tangible
thing that you can have and quantity. So with that laid out as a framework, let’s
look at the goals of Legacy Books. The first goal is to create an ever-expanding
fantasy universe that readers love to visit and authors love to write in. Underrealm isn’t a book series. It’s a WORLD. And it’s a world that I want to keep growing
and expanding upon for the rest of my life. But I want it to last even longer than that. I want Underrealm to be around long after
I die. I DO mean “ever-expanding.” Which is why it’s so important to get other
people involved in the creation of Underrealm. Like bringing it back down to the level of
specific targets, it would be perfectly acceptable to me to come out with a new Underrealm book
every month. It would be great to have one every week. It would be great to have MULTIPLE new books
every week. No, I cannot write that much. And yes, that would mean that most people couldn’t read every new Underrealm book that comes out. And that’s actually great. It’s totally in alignment with my goal. I always want there to be MORE Underrealm
for people to explore. MORE new stories and MORE awesome characters
for them to fall in love with. I want different people to have different favorite series and different favorite characters, and like, “Oh no, I haven’t read that series yet, because I’ve really been focused on this one or these two, but I’m gonna get to it one day, and then I want to read that one,” and all that sort of stuff. That’s the only way to take a single book
series and turn it into a WORLD. It has to feel bigger than any one person
can reasonably expect to experience in their lifetime. Because that’s the way the real world is! If you’re someone who wants to create fantasy,
then one day I want to talk to you about it. I want YOU to feel welcome in this world,
and I want YOU to get to the point where we can work together and you can tell awesome
stories in this awesome fantasy universe we’re creating together. Goal Number Two: I honestly and unironically
want the creations of Legacy Books to make the world a better place. Okay, to be clear: there’s nothing wrong
with entertainment. Many things exist JUST to be entertaining,
and that’s fine. I enjoy a lot of it. And I certainly hope that everything Legacy
Books ever creates is entertaining in its own right. But I ALSO want everything Legacy Books creates
to be more than JUST entertaining. I want it to MEAN something and I want it
to be a step towards making the world a better place. I want Legacy to do its own small part to
help a revolution in media that improves representation and actually stands for something when it
comes to issues of social justice and equality. And I want it to make people’s lives better by making them happier. And I am fully conscious that this goal might
be the one thing that holds Legacy back from growing as big as a company like Disney or
Marvel Studios. But you’ll notice that I have not and will
not list that as a goal of Legacy Books. I don’t have a goal for the company to get
so incredibly large and accumulate so much money that it becomes more powerful than many
nations across the world. Trust me, I have experienced firsthand how
this goal, all by itself, can restrict growth. Every day I get nasty comments on my social
justice videos here on YouTube from people who promise that they’ll never read anything
I write. And every day I get horrible reviews on Amazon
and Facebook from people who say that I’m just pushing an agenda or virtue signaling
(whatever that means this week)— —and trying desperately to convince anyone
who will listen that I am evil and a major player in the downfall of “The West.” Those people will never read my books, but
they WILL read more mainstream things like Marvel and Star Wars that either don’t care
about these issues, or keep it well hidden behind what they hope is a neutral face. A neutral face that I don’t want to wear. That’s just not a life I’m willing
to live. I want to be doing as much as I can to improve
the world around me, and I never want to feel like I withheld myself from making the world
better in order to make just a little bit more money. Which brings us neatly to Goal Number Three:
I want Legacy Books as a company to also make the world a better place. It’s all well and good for the actual books
to improve things in the world, but that doesn’t mean much if Legacy Books isn’t doing the
same thing as a company. I want Legacy to be as fair and generous to
its employees and creators as it possibly can be. I don’t ever want it to be about putting
as much money in my pocket as possible. I want Legacy to provide good jobs and a fulfilling
creative outlet to as many people as I can. Including myself. And no matter how successful the company gets,
I want everyone involved to share in that success. Obviously, in this respect, it’s a long
road. There’s no harmless consumption under capitalism,
and there’s no harmless creation, either. I mean, as the most obvious example of this,
right now Legacy has to work with Amazon. Just to accomplish ANY of its aims in the
world. And that’s not ideal. But you know what? That won’t always be the case. If we can stick the road, we can keep improving
every step of the way, and always try to provide more help while doing less harm. And the fourth and final goal is a simple
one: to make all the benefits of Legacy available to as many people as possible. This is an important one to me. Most publishers out there don’t seem to
care about people who are unable to access their books, for whatever reason. And I guess that makes sense if you’re a
publisher who is in the game to make money. If that’s your goal, then all you care about
is the people who can give you money for your product. I mean, that’s just sensible. But again, Legacy isn’t about making money. It’s about making the world better and improving
people’s lives, even if it only improves them by making them happy or making them feel
seen. Like, if we’re honestly trying to help people,
and if I honestly believe that what I’m doing and the projects I’m working on solo
and with other authors ARE helping people — literally, unironically — I just can’t turn around and say, “Okay,
but you can only have this if you can pay me enough.” (I mean, that’s how you get the American
“healthcare” system.) And you might be thinking, “Okay but Garrett,
you can’t just toss everything out there for free, because you’re going to starve
to death. And that’s not fair to your authors, either.” So first of all, my central business plan
is not to throw everything out there for free. Things cost money to make, and they deserve
money in exchange. And the simple transaction of money between
people does not even constitute capitalism, much less hyper-destructive late-stage capitalism. But beyond that, I do believe in the principle
and the model of selective community support. The model of companies like Patreon and other,
similar companies. I mean, I’ll tell you right now: if I was
receiving ten thousand dollars a month from Patreon, I would put all my books out for
free. I want as many people to enjoy them as possible. You know that my books are representative
and that I think that’s important. I’m not just saying that to encourage you
to give me money. Like, bottom line: that would be a terrible
marketing strategy. Because with the way our society treats marginalized
people, they’re usually the ones with the least disposable income to throw at artists
like myself. But if I think I can write a book that can
be a source of comfort and emotional support to trans people, for example, why should I
deny that support to a trans teenager who’s homeless right now because his shitty parents
kicked him out? I know he can’t pay for the book. That’s why he needs it. So he can have SOMETHING in his life that
isn’t as screwed up as his living situation. And I believe, and I HAVE to believe, that
I can find a way to use my work to help him and millions of people like him and millions
of people very different from him— —and that I can earn enough support from
others in my community, people who have enough to spare, that I don’t have to withhold
that help from him because society has already made his life hard enough. And as with most of these goals, I’m not
there yet. That’s why they’re goals. I do have to sell everything I make, in order to keep the house around me, to keep the lights on, to feed myself and my family. But these goals are what I’m always working towards. And when I achieve them, I hope I’m smart
enough to see the next goal that’s going to keep improving the way I work and the way
I interact with the world. So there are the goals of Legacy Books. They might sound a bit grandiose to you. And they probably are. It’s just that I would feel kind of crappy
if in my wildest dreams I was settling for less than what I thought I could one day achieve
to making the world better. I’m always working on these goals. I have been for four years. I’m usually imperfect in my pursuit of them. I have stumbled and I have badly messed up
more than once. Because I am just a person, and I am not some
special genius or some guy who has it all figured out. I don’t think those people exist. But I am pretty proud to say that, despite
my screw-ups, I have more or less stuck to my guns on what I want to achieve. And I have turned down many, many opportunities
when I felt like they would have steered me away from these goals. I have stopped working with people and with
companies who I thought were more concerned with profit than the effects they were having
on others. And I have turned down a REALLY good amount
of business connections and outright refused money from people who wanted me to feel beholden
to them and wanted me to “tone down” everything I was doing. Rebel, you probably don’t realize it, but
you help me achieve these goals every day. By being here, by watching my videos, by reading
my books. And I don’t want you to feel obligated to
do any more than that. But if you do want to help me get where I’m
trying to go, faster, there is always a Patreon link in the description of every one of my
videos. The support I receive from a small percentage
of this admittedly small community enables me to create so much more and do so much more
for others in the community who aren’t able to give that support. And if you’re one of those people: thank
you so much for being here. Thank you for letting me try to help you and
others. If you’re looking for a way to contribute
other than with dollar signs, maybe just share a book or a video with your friends every
once in a while. Not every video — I mean, let’s face it,
some of them kind of suck — Who goes on a rant for a total of twenty-five minutes about Discord? — but if you see a video that resonates
with you, or that you think is particularly important, maybe just post it for your friends
to see. You can share this video if you want. And I’d be grateful if you did. You really can’t imagine how little actions
like that can add up. If nothing else, they make my day. And that means everything, because that’s
what I’m always trying to do for you. So this is the part where I want to hear from
you, Rebel. And today I have a pretty specific question:
did you already know about these goals of Legacy Books? Have you heard me allude to these goals before,
so you were sort of aware of them? Did anything on this list surprise you? And most importantly: what do you think? Are there other things you think we should
be doing or you wish we were doing? Drop a comment and let me know. That’s all I’ve got for you today, Rebel. I want to thank my supporters on Patreon,
who are scrolling below my face. If you want to be one of those awesome and
incredibly attractive individuals, like I said: click the Patreon link in the description
of this and EVERY video. Thank you so much for watching, and I will
see you next Friday. Byyye!

7 thoughts on “Legacy Books and My “Agenda” [CC]

  1. 1) you gotta call us Underfolk now 😜. Don't worry, it will take some work
    2) you certainly alluded to these goals which was the first thing that really drew me to your books and they proved to be excellent
    3) having this outlined makes me incredibly happy. If I were to own a company or work for a company, these would be my goals to a general extent. Your desire to do well without the hidden million dollar goal lurking in the background is so amazingly beautiful and relatable. I wish there were so many more that would have this mindset and work so hard as you do.
    4) you are awesome.

  2. I was definitely aware of your desire to have an inclusive and expansive world for readers to explore with great character diversity (I appreciated you talking about doing your due diligence with character research and getting feedback from various communities, which I really appreciate!)

    And I had been aware of it before, but this video reminded me how exciting it would be to have a whole host of other writers playing in the same sandbox. New writing styles! Fresh perspectives! Epic crossover opportunities! Opportunities for writers who are struggling to go it alone. I think that's what excited me most about this video.

  3. This definitely wasn’t a surprise, but I haven’t seen you directly state it. While I don’t remember any specific instances I feel you’ve alluded to it in the past. I fully support this goal and should do more to help because it is a goal I have as well even if with a slightly or possibly majorly differing perspective.

  4. I haven't been able to purchase and read any of the under realm books, but I definitely want to, because it's one of the very few places I know lgbtq+ representation and other rep of minorities that get irased in main stream media, exists in a fantasy setting. I'm litteraly writing fantasy just because there's so few books like I want to read. So i haven't been able to read yet, but litteraly the "agenda" is making it so I deffo want to read some under realm books. ✨✨

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