C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

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VIDEO: Neil Gaiman on how piracy can good

Filed under: Publicity & Promotion, , , , ,

Ahoy, matey! Neil Gaiman VIDEO on why book piracy can be good

I’ve spoken with several publishers on this topic. They knew they shouldn’t do what the music industry did (i.e. sue their own customers) but that’s typically where the thought process ended. At a writing conference I recently attended, there were a lot of worried writers. They worried that someone would steal their stuff.

Don’t worry about it.

It’s either:

1. pretty rare (maybe it’s not good enough to bother stealing—uh-oh!),


2. the people who steal it are power users and curators who are going to read more of your stuff and pay for it and the related products and services you sell  (so be prolific and imaginative),


3. the pirates are scum who never pay for anything anyway so the sale isn’t really  lost. If they weren’t stealing your stuff, they’d be stealing someone else’s stuff instead. (Don’t waste time or base your business model on the lowest common denominator douche.)

Maybe that’s counter-intuitive, but I’d rather concern myself with factors I can control rather than worry about things I cannot control.

Free not only can work, giving to get often does work. You can hide your light under a bushel or put it out there so more people can find it. Scott Sigler built a bestselling franchise, for instance. So did Cory Doctorow, and the list of authors who embrace free and easy access is growing.

Repurpose what you write so more people can find you (and find you interesting.) The churning of information raises sales.

There are some instances of publishers stealing work, but it’s a rare anecdote, especially in an era where, with Google, stolen material is so easy to find. I’ve found a few things stolen from my features and columns in magazines. Usually it’s a case of someone on the other end who is clueless rather than malicious. We just ask that they attribute the material so I get credit and make sure a link back to the source is included. That’s the basis of the Creative Commons model. It’s not really a big deal.

What people forget is, though e-books and web bits are easy to snatch, so is a regular old paper book. When I worked at Harlequin, foreign knockoffs happened often in the  Chinese and French romance markets.)  The text was stolen and lousy covers were slapped on the books. All they needed was a photocopier. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

Consider this: put some or all of your book up on your website (using whatever model you choose: a taste, weekly podcast-a-chapter meal or the whole feast at once) and you’ve got proof of ownership in every time stamp.




Filed under: authors, Books, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, Writers, , , , , , , , ,

Writers: Why your worst ideas ever might be your best

Andy Warhol: Campbell's Soup Cans (MoMA - New ...

Image via Wikipedia

Three words: Andy Warhol. Soup.

Warhol made his name by making art out of the everyday. Campbell’s soup cans became transcendent when we saw them again through Warhol’s eyes. But don’t you think he encountered a lot of resistance along the way? Lots of people have.

When you look at creative endeavours, it can be very difficult to tell a good idea from a terrible one. In fact, some of the best ideas, appear to be the worst ideas ever at first glance. 

Ghandi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Publishing. Film. Art. It can all be like that.

Books have been written about rejection (and a lot of them were probably rejected quite a bit before finally getting published.) They are pretty funny when you look back on them now. Keats was told he couldn’t use language. The first guy who looked at Everybody Comes to Rick’s wrote that he gave the writer ten pages to grab him and he didn’t. Everybody Comes to Rick’s became Casablanca. Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book is a more recent example. It’s a great book about a baby whose family is murdered. The baby wanders down to the local boneyard to be raised by the ghosties there.

Yeah, I know! And yet. And yet.

Feel bad about getting rejected? Remember this: “Norton, this idea of yours is so crazy, it might just work!”

Great ideas often come in disguise. From the outside, they look just terrible. when you finally succeed (or go indie and make it happen on your own sans gatekeepers) you can wipe your tears away with a fifty.  (Okay, a five-spot. You’re a writer, after all.)

Filed under: publishing, Rant, Rejection, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , ,

Neil Gaiman and another helpful editing link

Hey everyone. I’m still in rehab for a bum shoulder but things are improving and it appears it won’t kill me through the magic of ultrasound, chiropractic, exercise and scapular manipulation. I am taking it a little easier this week since the keyboard has made the pain worse in the last week. That said, I’m still blogging through the magic of curation.

I can still read and I’ve been reading a lot, mostly with an ice pack crammed under my shoulder blade.  I finally got around to reading Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods. The work impressed me. I’ve been a Gaiman fan since the Sandman comics. What’s more, the author impressed me. His artistic vision was broad (as usual) and his plot choices were bold. (Though it did leave me wondering where the Presbyterian God and Allah were on the battlefield.) I’m getting to Anansi Boys next. It’s been waiting for me, sitting on the shelf for a long time.

Finally, when I blog about editing, the topic is a sure bet to pump up the number of visitors. Yesterday’s post (immediately below) was no different. Here’s a more positive take:

Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors: 7 Tips for Editing Your Way to the Best Story on the Planet

Filed under: blogs & blogging, book reviews, Books, Editing, Editors, Useful writing links, web reviews, Writers, , , , , ,


Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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