Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Not like a lion, but more like a ninja

I look up, and all of a sudden it’s March. How did that happen?
Work on the new piece is coming along. As I keep saying; the hardest part is that the first of the two sections focuses on two young people who are happy together. I’m not trying to get sympathy, but my relationship experiences have never been that great. This makes that first section hard. The back half, where all hell breaks loose? That’s easy. So, plugging away on that.
Reading a lot of nonfiction. Right now, for some reason, I’m finding that I enjoy it a lot. Just finished Carr’s The Shallows (as you can see in the Goodreads bar over to the right). I appreciated that it didn’t devolve into the standard litany of transgressions that basically amounts to “these darn kids these days.” He even included a portion on the Turing test, and how that has some effect on our over-social-anxiety-d lives. He all but predicts Spike Jonze’s film, “Her
As research for something I’m also working on, I’ve fallen into the hole that is daily vloggers on Youtube. I would never start one—not a terribly photogenic guy—but they are fascinating. If you’re interested, check out Shep689 or Neil McNeil or Matthew Lush.
I wish I could get into it, though—it certainly hasn’t hurt John Green’s sales, that’s for sure.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about how lots of the “old ways” in publishing are dying out. Some of these die-offs I consider a good thing. For instance, I saw someone going off on a tear the other day about how unprofessional it is for authors to leave thank-you messages to reviewers. I admit, I’ve done it. Why the hell shouldn’t we, as authors (or any kind of artists) be thankful for people taking time out of their lives to not only read our work, but to then take more time and review it? That sort of thinking comes from a time that is passing, where it was somehow considered cool for there to be a distance between the artist and the audience. That’s all bullshit.
I think the only major problem that I can see with the massive changes that self-publishing of novels (or any other art form via the web) is that of discovery. With music, film, writing—anything you do creatively can now instantly be uploaded and consumed, and that creates an amazing opportunity for people who create work that would normally not make it past the tastemakers. We now have a great variety of art to consume. The problem, though, is this—now that there is a huge variety in any art form you want to consume, how do you discover new work? Time was there were so few who made it past the tastemakers and actually got your work published/shown that people could relatively easily discover what was new, and choose what they wanted from among those new things. Now, though, daily there are hundreds (if not thousands) of new titles/albums/blogs/etc. published.
How do you, as artist, get your work to stand out so that people who might want to read it can see it? Especially if there is absolutely no budget for advertising?
This is why I’m thankful for all of you who have discovered my books so far and the word of mouth campaign you have launched to get others to read them, too. I appreciate it. John Mulaney, one of my favorite comedians, thanks his audience for showing up to his special because he knows it is a million times easier to not do something than to do something. He’s right, too. I have no intention of being one of those who tries to maintain some distance between himself and his audience. I appreciate that you have taken time to read my novels, to read this blog, to leave reviews, to tell others about the novels. I hope you’ll peruse my Goodreads, too, for other indie and small press books—support other authors in the same way you’ve supported me.
I mean it, though—how the hell did it get to be March, already?

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