Quick tip for those of you aspiring to create things for a living.
Maybe you’re writing the next great American novel, or cutting together a masterpiece destined for Oscar greatness. Or you simply make jewelry at home and sell it on Etsy. Whatever. Now this may sting a little, but regardless how great your product turns out, some people will hate it and state their opinions very publicly. Yes, even you, guy over there with the ventriloquist dummy. Especially you. But I digress.
My first book was meant as a humor parody mashup of military manuals and fatherhood books. It was intentionally goofy with a few real nuggets of wisdom thrown in just to prove I actually pro-created. It even states so in the preface pages. However, certain readers took the book as gospel and blasted it (and me) very publicly across various sites, including Amazon and Good Reads. And I made the mistake of rebutting the criticism. I should have let it go and accepted the fact that most readers, those that got the humor, loved it. But no, I had to get my hillbilly on and kick off a flame war, which did nothing but fire up the other haters and make me look like a defensive, over-sensitive kook.
So here’s my advice: Let it go. Engage with your audience but stay away from the Crazy Screechy Monkeys.
Here’s a great post by my buddy John Scalzi, who’s sold a couple of books. (Actually a couple of million.):
Beware the Crazy Screechy Monkeys
We had some database issues over the summer that have since been repaired. The archives are once again searchable, and I hope to have a new custom WordPress theme installed in the very near future.
Stand by for heavy rolls.
I’ve always been fascinated by WordPress.
It’s an open source platform, and the brightest minds in technology constantly improve and expand its functionality and uses.
The WordPress team recently released Twenty Ten, a new theme that’s included with every new installation. It’s highly customizable with a wide variety of bells and whistles (called plug-ins and widgets,) and it can also be stripped down and used for ecommerce when combined with a shopping cart solution, such as Mal’s cart.
A great example of a slick online store built on the theme is Hamagram.
The first draft of SEAL of Honor is complete, and we’re now lining up strategic partnerships with an eye toward production in Spring 2011.
From Publishers Weekly:
After a lengthy holdout, John Grisham is allowing his books to become available electronically. One of the most notable bestseller authors to withhold his titles from being converted into e-books, Grisham’s entire backlist–23 titles in all–is now available in the format. Grisham’s publisher, Random House, made the announcement this morning, noting that the prolific author has written one book per year since 1988, each of which has gone on to become a national bestseller. Grisham’s latest title is Ford County, which came out in November, and he has a forthcoming thriller due out in October.
John has been holding out for some time on principle; he believes digital downloads will hurt small bookstores.
For those of you who track such things, Publishers Weekly has a new set of deals listed here.
I find book deals fascinating, especially in the literary fiction and young adult categories. These genres are driven by cultural trends, to wit: zombies. If you write tight zombie fiction for teens these days, get yourself an agent, pronto. Vampires were recently hot thing, and still continue to generate sweet deals for new twists on a very old (and overplayed) theme.
What’s the next hot genre? If I knew I wouldn’t tell you. Heh.