Category Archives: Writing

More Troubling Signs

ReCode To Vox

Walt Mossberg, one of America’s two most famous tech columnists, shot himself in the foot. He left the “Wall Street Journal.” They’re finding out in news what we already know in music, you can go it alone, the internet allows you to do this, but in a chaotic world he with the established presence wins, the major record labels figured out the internet and the big news sites still rule.

And:

And then you’ve got David Pogue, Mossberg’s nemesis, who left the “Times” for Yahoo and was promptly buried in the tsunami of bogus information on that site. He went from being one of the two experts to a nobody.

And:

Bottom line… ReCode had the best tech news in the business. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher built a team of experts. But nobody cared, nobody went to the site, they thought their minions would follow them but it turned out they were aligned more with the “Wall Street Journal,” their former home, than the writers themselves.

He didn’t even mention Katie Couric, who is supposed to have gone to Yahoo too (did she? Bueller? Bueller?).

I should have seen all of this coming. When the two biggest mouths of book publishing — who touted self-publishing — quickly sold themselves out to Amazon, that was the warning sign.

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Filed under Reference, Writers, Writing

Quote: Steven Moffat

Sherlock season 4: ‘Frightening, tough, emotional upheaval’

People want to be mocking of that [Fifty Shades of Grey]. But bloody hell, that’s amazing—that [EL James] turned her fandom of something into something that’s an industry in itself. Why are we not applauding until our hands bleed? No, we mock her. We say, “Oh, it’s not very good.” Except she managed to write something that everybody wants to read. It’s “not very good”? By what standard is it not good if loads and loads of people love it? “Why don’t you f–k off!” It’s not for me, but I think she’s awfully clever.

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Grave-Robbing The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Sequel to Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy set for 35 countries

This is the world as remade by lawyers. This is why movies are shit reboot after shit reboot. This is why TV does shit reboot after shit reboot. Art becomes “property,” like fucking real estate. Those who can’t do, who can never understand, rape the dreams of creators and turn them into whores for all the world to see.

Previously here:

The Girl With The Bank Account Tattoo
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Book And Movie Versions
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Trailer Mashups
Shot By Shot: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Red Band Trailer
New Statesman – Girls, tattoos and men who hate women

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Filed under Collapse, Pottersville, Rights, Stupid, Writer, Writers, Writing

Our Bleak Turing Spambot Future

Persado Raises $21 Million to Replace Human Copywriters With Computers

Citi uses Persado for its credit card business and says the rate at which its emails are opened has increased by 70%. In addition, the rate at which recipients who open those emails go on to click on them has increased by 114%.

“We have never lost to a human,” Mr. Vratskides said. “I’m a mathematician , and I can guarantee you, it’s like a computer losing to a human on a chess game, even worse than that…It incorporates a lot of randomness to get there, it’s like getting a needle in a haystack. We built the haystack. The human brain does not work this way.”

Enjoy your Algorithmic Armageddon, asshole.

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Filed under Collapse, Stupid, Writing

Minimum Viable Writer Delusions

The Minimum Viable Product for self-publishing

It’s a hard truth to swallow that only a fraction of your supporters will pay up when you have a book on sale or a Kickstarter project going. In direct mail, it’s common for only 1%, or even less than 1%, of recipients to respond to an offer.

In social media, it’s common for that number to be much, much smaller, sometimes orders of magnitude smaller. Neil Gaiman once tweeted one of my projects, which I was very grateful for and also very excited about given that at the time he had about 1.5 million followers on Twitter. I got a grand total of three extra supporters. That wasn’t Neil’s fault, and it wasn’t his followers’ fault, it was entirely my fault for having a project that wasn’t compelling enough, wasn’t attractive enough. But it was a tough lesson to learn that having a big reach wasn’t any guarantee of success. It was humbling.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Any post that mentions direct-mail response rates is worth reading.

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Writer Frederic Van Rensselaer Dey

AmericanMagazine89Feb1920197

Frederic Van Rensselaer Dey

Who wrote a thousand “Nick Carter” detective stories, aggregating more than fifty million words. The first was written in 1890; and during a period of years he averaged one complete book of about 33,000 words each week. In addition to his “Nick Carter” stories he has written others under the signatures Ross Beekman, Dirk Van Doren, Varick Vanardy, and also under his true name, Frederic Van Rensselaer Dey.

Mr. Dey was born in 1865, in New York City. He now lives in Nyack, on the Hudson. His article, beginning on the opposite page, is a human document of extraordinary interest.

I decided to put the complete post at my other place which awaits my purchase of a tablet so I can continue it: iPeople.

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Wannabe Neverbe “Writers” Whine Against Amazon

Amazon Offers All-You-Can-Eat Books. Authors Turn Up Noses.

Let me fix the headline: Shitheads Who Have No Business Writing Whine Their Free Ride Is Ending

On Twitter, I railed against that article.

I’m publishing those tweets here. Because fuck you.

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Filed under Amazon Kindle, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, Friction, Marketing, Writers, Writing

What Ruined Your Life?

A hilarious story too!

The magazine is called Mass Movement. I hadn’t heard of it before.

It’s free and a PDF! Go to the site to download.

Along with Mitzi are Gregory Benford, Larry Niven, Joe Lansdale, and many others!

Put your tablet to some good use.

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Filed under Digital Periodicals, Writers, Writing

The Missing: Final Episode

TheMissings01e01001

No spoilers after the break.

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Filed under TV, Writing

Reference: Malcolm Gladwell

Tipping Points? Malcolm Gladwell Could Use A Few

Malcolm Gladwell Unmasked: A Look Into the Life & Work of America’s Most Successful Propagandist

Ouch.

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.)

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Filed under Fraud, Reference, Writer, Writing