Category Archives: 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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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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The Damage Has Already Been Done In Book Publishing

Book publishers are incentivizing midlist authors to abandon them for Amazon

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.

Just ask — and here’s Exhibit B for the win — the McDonald brothers who met Ray Kroc!

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Filed under Books: General, Digital Overthrow, Writers, Writing