My Thoughts Exactly

How to sell a million copies of your novel

Self-publishing novelist R.W. Ridley has some interesting comments. In order to sell a million copies of my novel, he says, I have to change the culture such that *I* am so fracking interesting that people will buy my books because they’re by me. In other words, people are buying the novelist, not the novel.

Not quite sure how to go about making myself that J.K. Rowling/Tom Clancy/Stephen King/Thomas Pynchon(??) -style compelling character, but I’m working on it. In my own bumbling manner. Very bumbling. . . Pynchon???? . . .

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My Thoughts Exactly

On Highest Authority from Soviet Russia: Sundman Novels “not shit Dan Brown”

So, checking my Wetmachine referer logs this morning, I found that this livejournal entry has already sent me 54 visitors. Since the page is what appeared to be (and in fact is) Russian, I turned to Google Translate, which provided this wonderful text:

A good example for the present writer can become a success John Sandmena.

This is a modern writer, he wrote great novels of an action and distributes them for free. About how this is done you can ask from him, look at the website or call in at www.wetmachine.com kickstarter.com.

In place of, say, Lukyanenko, I have started to click links kickstarter.com. Sandmen requested for the next novel 5 000 dollars. Who? Yes to all. “Kick” it just for this purpose and is intended to collect money from the crowds of internet users in all sorts of interesting initiatives.

John had something to show his readers:

novels “Acts of the Apostles” and “Developing Obama”[Ed: ????] is not shit Dan Brown. “If Brown was Sandmenom, according to Jeffrey Zeldman,” he would have realized that this thriller is far from absurd, flat and one-dimensional. “

Credit confidence Sandmenu from the Internet community for the next novel, ”Science works” expressed in the amount of U.S. $ 8 059. Slightly more than requested by the author. And how much money you need to write this novel?

Note — my final Kickstarter tally was not quite as great as the amount pledged — about $900 did not clear when presented to credit cards; plus, Kickstarter.com and clearing house Amazon.com each take cuts (including on that $900, by the way). But still, not half bad. Or as we say in Russian, according to Google Translate, недурно.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Further Adventures in Self-Publishing

In days of old when knights were bold, I wrote an article for a site called Kuro5hin article about my adventures in self-publishing. At the time, I had been a self-publisher for about two years. In it I wrote, “I recommend self-publishing for anybody whose temperament and objectives resemble mine. All others should beware.”

That’s still pretty my much point of view.

Below the fold, I’ve updated & revised that original story & added some additional reflections based on the eight years of self-publishing experience I’ve amassed since then (including six years of making my books available for free download under Creative Commons license).

[This is a cross-posting of a very similar version I put upon Kuro5hin yesterday.]


Read More »

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General Exception

The oddly bee-obsessed Neuromancer movie posters

Quiet Earth has some posters for the maybe kinda possibly Neuromancer movie that may or may not manifest itself in 2011, depending on how the greed probability waveforms collapse. Anyhow, one of them seems oddly bee obsessed (well, OK, wasp obsessed, which I vaguely recall has some relevance to the book someplace…). But it just reminded me of another oddly-bee obsessed novel.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Trying out the “Good Reads” site. Here's a review I wrote t'other day.

Gerald's Party (Coover, Robert) Gerald’s Party by Robert Coover

My review


rating: 2 of 5 stars
Coover takes a minimally interesting premise–a cocktail party right out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting as the setting for a send up of the classic Agatha Christie “closed room” mystery–and beats it to death. I guess the meta-joke is that just as the hellish party is inescapable and goes on forever, the book is inescapable and goes on forever. Fortunately, however, the book is escapable– you have only to stop reading.

Certainly Coover deserves some style points for verbal skill and unrestrained imagination. The book is finely crafted, in the sense of the interlocking stories & themes, the literary allusions & wordplay, etc, etc.

But it’s pointless and ugly. Why would I want to read a thirty page “joke” about a stopped toilet and skating over a vomit-covered floor? How much necrophilia is “enough” for one avante-guard novel?
It might have been an interesting and perhaps disturbing story at 50 pages. But at more than 300 pages, it’s just a bore.
View all my reviews.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Attack of the Killer Beets!

No, I’m not talking about the Beets, the great rock band from the Nickelodeon show Doug. (Couldn’t find a decent video of the classic “I need more allowance” from the show, but here’s a still, with music.)

I’m talking about genetically engineered sugar beets with Monsanto’s “Round Up” pesticide built right into them. Now, I’m not going to start a whole thing about genetically engineered food being awful, etc. ( I’ll leave that bioluddite verus brave-new-world stuff for my next novel!)(You think I’m kidding!!).

But I do think Monsanto is just horribly bad and awful, as are all the congresspeople who are in its pocket.

Here’s a petition to stop their latest assault on our food supply & environment. Not to mention, bodies. Sign it if you feel like it.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Well Hello Again Everybody

And welcome once again to the Whiskey A Go-Go on the fabulous Sunset Strip.

Things seem a little slow around Wetmachine these days and I can only hope that Harold Feld has not gone on sabbatical, as I am a TotSF junky and am kinda jonesing a little right now. Howard Stearns has been a little scarce at ItF also, but I’m not worried: that boy is just gestating, I’m sure of it.

As for my own contributions, well, I’m working in my usual desultory way on three little essays:

— On the tendencies towards totalitarianism, anarchy and community, and where “technology” as a abstract concept fits into all of them;

— On the notion of Borgification;

— On walking away from a dream, or why I have stopped working on a novel that was specifically requested by a Big Name Publisher.

So, this is a placeholder entry. Until Stearns and Feld come back I’m going to hope that Gary will continue to populate with the odd disturbing story here and there so that we can continue in our disoriented stumblings into a fearful, fretful future the in the true Wetmachine way.

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