February 28th, 2011


Publisher Stupidity

 I am just befuzzled by the decisions of publishers to try treating ebooks like print books, instead of taking advantage of things that print books can't do easily.  But this?  This is even loopier.  First, they decide that a library which buys an ebook can only lend it to one person at a time.  (It's not enough that people who want to read a paperback have to wait.  No, we have to make readers of ebooks wait when they could be reading.  Gee, I bet a lot of them read something else  instead.)  Then, they decide that paying for the ebook once wasn't enough, and the ebook is only good for a couple dozen checkouts.  Even cheap paperbacks printed on acid paper last longer than that.  Newspapers  last longer than that.

The pathetic, it knows no bounds.  A public library is meant to be a convenience to readers, provided by a society that wants smart, well-informed citizens capable of making good decisions.  But more than that, a library is a way for people to try lots of books and then, you know, GO BUY their favorites.  Yes indeedy, libraries sell books, more than they unsell books.  So if you make an ebook in a library go poof?

Losing ... money ... as we speak!

Title Crafting

This article offers some tips on creating an effective title.

I'll add one more tip: If there is a totally, intuitively obvious title then use that. Certain things tend to stick in the human mind, to the point that people will use them even if they are supposed to be using something else. So if put a non-memorable title on your story, poem, etc. then people are liable to forget it and give it a nickname. If that happens, you flunk Title Craft 101 for that story.  It can tank your sales.  A classic example of this phenomenon is the song "Escape" -- nobody remembered that name, they asked for "The Piña Colada Song."


2011 Rose & Bay Awards update on voting

The Rose & Bay Awards honor excellence in cyberfunded creativity.  If you're new to this project, please read more on the 2011 landing page.

Today is the LAST DAY of voting in all categories, except for Fiction which will be closing its primary and opening its runoff poll soon.  All voting polls are open and showing activity:
Art: 60 voters
Fiction: 274 voters
Poetry: 25 voters
Webcomic: 249 voters
Other Project: 62 voters
Patron: 28 voters

2011 Nominee badges are available for all six categories, thanks to [info]karen_wehrstein.

Please continue to promote the 2011 Rose & Bay Awards.  Remind people that today is the end of the main voting period.  Make sure you drop by crowdfunding later this week to vote in the Fiction runoff poll.  We appreciate all the signal boosts and votes so far!</span>

Monday Update 2-28-11

These are some posts from the later part of last week, in case you missed them:

Reading the Wind
How to Price a Human Being
Read "Souvenirs" by Aldersprig (a guest story in the Monster House world)
A Writer's Brand ... Or Not
Money Matters
Poem: "Silent Tide"
Authorial Voice vs. Character Voice
A Look at America's Problems

The February Muse Fusion over in torn_world has closed for prompts, although some creators are still in action. This is the freebie poem I contributed:
Poem: "The Sugar Mouse"
So far I have six stories completed, and some other stuff in progress; click through for the story thumbnails and sponsorship prices. In other Torn World news, check out the "Characters" page update, map update, and the language lesson on "G" verbs.

The next Poetry Fishbowl will be on Tuesday, March 1.  The theme is "Things With Wings."  Our net connection is being spitty; we placed a call with the service provider on Friday, so hopefully this will get fixed prior to the fishbowl.

All polls are currently open for voting in the 2011 Rose & Bay Awards.  Today is the LAST DAY for voting in all categories, except for Fiction which will be closing its primary and opening its runoff poll.

More Torn World news: "The Sky Rangers," "Clouds in the Morning," and "Cutting Time" are all still under consideration with the canon board.  "Squiggles" is almost through the first-reader process, and "On the Rocks" is in revision.  Currently in progress are "From Black to Bright," a story about Fala and Karavai during her time as part of Itrelir; and "The Ties We Twine," about Karavai, Tekura, and Ularki forming the core of their age-set.

One epic is currently open for sponsorship. "A Periodic Table of Elementals" is ahead of production.  This is science fantasy.

Final Ballot for the Stoker Award

This popped up on the SFPA list today:

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
DARK MATTERS by Bruce Boston (Bad Moon Books)
WILD HUNT OF THE STARS by Ann K. Schwader (Sam's Dot)
DIARY OF A GENTLEMAN DIABOLIST by Robin Spriggs (Anomalous Books)
VICIOUS ROMANTIC by Wrath James White (Bandersnatch Books)
Nominees in other categories can be found at

The American Flow

I saw this quote today:

As the rich consume more and more, they are clearly not going to want to downgrade their own status.
~Susan George

It reminded me of something I have long said about the American economy: Money does not trickle down.  Money evaporates upward.  We have created an economy that concentrates a majority of the wealth in a very small upper region.  That is where the money goes, and that is where the money stays, and once money goes there the chance of it ever leaving is very low.  It's a roach motel up there.  Dollars check in, but they don't check out.

This is not an opinion.  It is a numeric fact easily observed by looking at public records of where the money is.

So, any attempt to put money into the middle or lower parts of the economy by starting it higher is pretty much doomed to failure, because it works against the flow design.  It is hard enough to keep money in the lower or middle parts even if it starts there, because the current is so strong to take money out of there and move it upward.  That is not going to change without changing the infrastructure of the economy and the nature of its currents.

Last Words

I am intrigued by this recently ruling that the last words of a dying person are admissible evidence in criminal prosecution.  I tend to agree.  What do you think?

Poll #1711712 Last Words

Should the last words of a dying person be admissible evidence?

Something else I will explain in a comment.