Archive for the ‘Evil Agenda’ Category

Are eBooks killing the publishing industry?

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

In the news recently there have been big name authors that have left legacy publishing (hardbounds and trade paperbacks in general and the Big Six publishers in particular) and focused their efforts completely on releasing eBooks, thus eliminating the middle people (agents and publishers, mostly, while still using editors and/or proofreaders, as needed).  On the other hand, one author made it big with her own eBooks and now has a sweet contract with a legacy publisher.  The conclusion:  the publishing industry is very volatile right now.

However, I’m not going to discuss the pros and cons of eliminating the middle people or quote any of the above-mentioned persons on why they did what they did.  There are plenty of blogs that do this and go beyond to talk about the business of writing in general (WD’s There Are No Rules is one of the best and you can find a list in the yearly WD article about the best blog sites for writers—for the uninitiated, WD is Writer’s Digest).  I’m more worried about what will become of our readers.  (As a writer, I’m also a prolific reader, so there’s some self-interest involved here.)

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March madness and the little names…

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Don’t worry, I’m talking about basketball, but not for leprechauns or J. K. Rowling’s elves.  I’m developing an analogy here:  On one hand, I want to consider the chances the little names, those teams from colleges and universities where sports do not receive a big emphasis, doing well in the NCAA tournament (men’s or women’s).  On the other, I want to consider the chances that an unknown author, using POD pBooks or eBooks and his own marketing skills, breaks out of the herd and pens a blockbuster.  Neither one is very likely but the probabilities are not so low that basketball teams or authors give up.

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A culture of cheating: Is sociopathic behavior inherited or learned?

Monday, December 20th, 2010

A culture of cheating pervades present-day American life, from students cheating on homework and tests to Mr. Bernie Madoff bilking many people out of billions of dollars.  However, my subtitle perhaps surprises you.  By itself, it’s a question every fiction writer should think about, since it may influence his or her characterization of a villain or even a protagonist.  While this is less so for romance, horror, and fantasy novels, and more so for mysteries, thrillers, and suspense, sociopathic behavior is a ubiquitous topic underlying many a good yarn.  My claim, which probably will be debated, is that cheating and sociopathic behavior are strongly correlated.

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