No spoilers after the break.
Category Archives: Writing
And I’ll rat myself out. I mentioned Gladwell in several posts here.
(In my weak defense, I was thoroughly unimpressed with his David and Goliath and wouldn’t even waste time on a post damning it.)
So when you’re a company that’s dealing with revenues in the billions (with a B), suddenly a product that can only sell a few thousand units and is ultimately “unscalable,” isn’t worthy of investment. So instead they invest in products that have the potential to not only sell millions of units, but also spawn spin-off merchandise and movie deals.
This has been happening for quite some time. It was evident way back in the early 1980s. Alarms were sounded back in the 1970s.
And here’s something the publishers haven’t taken into account. Even books that can grow into the kind of scale they seek don’t need them.
Exhibit A, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in an American comic book published by Mirage Studios in 1984 in Dover, New Hampshire. The concept arose from a humorous drawing sketched out by Eastman during a casual evening of brainstorming and bad television with Laird. Using money from a tax refund, together with a loan from Eastman’s uncle, the young artists self-published a single-issue comic intended to parody four of the most popular comics of the early 1980s: Marvel Comics’ Daredevil and New Mutants, Dave Sim’s Cerebus, and Frank Miller’s Ronin. The TMNT comic series has been published in various incarnations by various comic book companies since 1984.
The Turtles started their rise to mainstream success when a licensing agent, Mark Freedman, sought out Eastman and Laird to propose wider merchandising opportunities for the franchise. In 1986, Dark Horse Miniatures produced a set of 15 mm lead figurines. In January 1987, Eastman and Laird visited the offices of Playmates Toys Inc, a small California toy company that wanted to expand into the action figure market. Development was undertaken by a creative team of companies and individuals: Jerry Sachs, ad man of Sachs-Finley Agency, brought together the animators at Murakami-Wolf-Swenson headed by Fred Wolf. Wolf and his team combined concepts and ideas with the Playmates marketing crew, headed by Karl Aaronian, VP of sales Richard Sallis and VP of Playmates Bill Carlson.
The established publishers can never, ever be as hungry as an individual who can see an opportunity and pounce on it.
Sweet’N Low appears several times in the 356-page story, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. In one scene, Mags, a Sweet’N Low devotee, shows off her nails, which she has painted to resemble the product’s pink packets. In another, she gets teased by a co-worker for putting Sweet’N Low in her coffee.
“Hellooo, isn’t it bad for you?” the friend asks. Mags replies that she has researched the claims online and found studies showing that the product is safe: “They fed lab rats twenty-five hundred packets of Sweet’N Low a day … And still the F.D.A. or E.P.A., or whatevs agency, couldn’t connect the dots from any kind of cancer in humans to my party in a packet.”
The scene was brought to you by the Cumberland Packing Corporation, the Brooklyn-based company that makes Sweet’N Low. Cumberland Packing invested about $1.3 million in “Find Me I’m Yours.”
Product placement in a novel might strike some as unseemly. But “Find Me, I’m Yours” is not like most novels. It’s an e-book, a series of websites and web TV shows, and a vehicle for content sponsored by companies. And if it succeeds, it could usher in a new business model for publishers, one that blurs the lines between art and commerce in ways that are routine in TV shows and movies but rare in books.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
You fucking whores.
This is important and will remain a Sticky post for three days. Scroll down one for new posts.
Basically, a pioneer in eBooks for women let the money go to her head and she has been screwing her writers out of their earnings. The publisher is suing the blogger — Jane Litte of Dear Author — because her site is prominent in the field. The suit is intended to intimidate everyone.
(Sidebar to that publisher: HA! HA! HA! Fuck you. Discovery will bury you.)
There’s a formal term for this kind of lawsuit: SLAPP.
I would like everyone reading this to slap back.
Idly thinking about how I could never turn to crime. I lack the feral cunning crooks have. In other words, I’m too stupid.
So why should Batman be so smart, unlike real people?
Rooftop. Night. Batman watching the city.
There’s some kind of sound.
Batman turns towards it.
However, the court threw out her argument that the book … “fraudulently exploited her name, her image and her celebrity” and should not be translated or made into a film, as planned. Instead of the €50,000 (£40,000) in damages Johansson claimed, the court awarded her just €2,500, plus €2,500 in legal costs, saying she had already talked about her private life in interviews.
She got just €2,500. She spends more than that on facials!
Scarlett Johansson is suing for €50,000 (£41,000) in damages the author and publisher of a novel that features a character who closely resembles her.
The American actress claims that La Première Chose qu’On Regarde (The First Thing We Look At) violates her privacy and constitutes a “fraudulent and illicit use of her name, her fame and her image” for commercial gain – allegations the book’s publisher has dismissed as “crazy”.
According to Vincent Toledano, the 28-year old actress’s lawyer, the bestselling work by Grégoire Delacourt, published in March last year, also contains “defamatory claims about her private life”.
I really like the work that Scarlett Johansson does. Just her voice alone in the movie Her was brilliant.
But this lawsuit shows that she has zero understanding of creative rights, a greed beyond bounds, and is destined to be a transient footnote in what could have otherwise been a lasting career.
Because she is a rank amateur at heart.
What’s the difference between a shitty little child amateur and an adult professional who lasts?