James Patterson Is A Prolific Author, But Kind Of Dumb

Read the entire post at JA Konrath’s blog. Trust me on this one.

Perhaps you’ve seen the ad James Patterson recently ran in the NYT.

The Ad Should Be Called "Hyperbole" or "Special Interest Marketing"

If you don’t want to squint at the jpg, here’s what Patterson wrote:

 

“If there are no bookstores, no libraries, no serious publishers with passionate, dedicated, idealistic editors, what will happen to our literature? Who will discover and mentor new writers? Who will publish our important books? What will happen if there are no more books like these?”

 

Then there’s a list of 38 books, including All the President’s Men, Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, Fahrenheit 451, Catch 22, etc. I agree that many of them are great.
Then he ends with:

 

“The Federal Government has stepped in to save banks, and the automobile industry, but where are they on the important subject of books? Or if the answer is state and local government, where are they? Is any state doing anything? Why are there no impassioned editorials in influential newspapers or magazines? Who will save our books? Our libraries? Our bookstores?”

 

I respect Patterson for his marketing genius. I also like many of his books. He makes 94 million dollars a year, so he’s obviously doing quite a bit right.

But I’m not finding much to agree with here.

Another voice chimes in here, and is definitely worth the read!

Jenna Marbles Is More Popular Than You…

*cough*Good Morning America*cough* and some lady named Cecilia Vega.

There’s a reason why almost no one in the overall scope of possible viewers watches GMA anymore. The biggest reason is that when most of us wake up, we want our coffee, our shower, and our email, and not necessarily in that order. I’m forty years old and haven’t watched Good Morning America for at least twenty years. It should also be noted that I’m a modern American so I choose to get my news and feel-good stories from the internet instead of lame-ass mainstream network news/morning shows.

My news comes from aggregate lists at Google and SeattlePI.com where I can click on the interesting headlines and get multiple views of the same story. My feel-good stories tend to mostly come from places like Tumblr (go ahead, click the link and type in something relevant like ‘bullying’ or ‘LGBT’ or ‘suicide’ and tread through the vast amounts of heartfelt blogs, rants, and advice…I’ll wait). Continue reading

Still Not A Fan Of Twitter

As I’ve been slowly working on building a ‘cadre’ of ‘followers’ at Twitter, I’m starting to come to the conclusion that Twitter for people like me, which is basically anyone that is trying to sell either themselves or their product, is nothing better than a giant flea market with tens of thousands of stalls all packed into one Expo Center and every stall has a person shouting at the top of their lungs the wares they are offering.

I won’t say that Twitter isn’t going to end up being useful, and for the moment it is kind of interesting that I can tweet morons like Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan (@RepMikeRogers) who claim that the CISPA bill making its way through Congress is only being opposed by ‘14 year olds living in the basement‘. Continue reading

Apologies: What, When, and How by John Scalzi

A very, very good blog post by author John Scalzi on apologies and apologizing. Please give this a read and make the world a better place.

First thing: What is an apology?  Leaving aside classical definitions that are not directly on point to how the word is used in everyday life:

An apology is an admission that you’ve wronged others and that you are actually sorry for it. This is of course why it’s difficult for people to apologize. No one likes to admit they are wrong or that they screwed up. No one likes the complicated, defeated feelings that come with being wrong and screwing up. No one likes having to go to other people, publicly or privately, and admit to them they’ve been wrong and have screwed up. It is, literally, humiliating, since apologizing almost always requires humility and a willingness to put the needs of those you have wronged over your own. For ego-bound creatures, and we are all ego-bound, this is a hard thing to do.

I think it becomes less hard, however, if you consider the following:

One, everyone’s wrong at some point. Because, hello, you’re a human, and humans are imperfect beings. It’s okay to recognize you are not infallible.

Two, it’s better to center your ego on doing what’s right rather than never being wrong. Because, per point one, you’re going to be wrong at some point.

Read the rest here

Test Readers Wanted

If you like to read, and would like to test read some of the nonsense I’m going to publish before it gets published, just drop me a comment here. Some of it is finished and ready for editing stage, some is still in progress.

I should say you probably also need to be okay with adult language and adult situations. I don’t write erotica or porn, but my characters are people from the real world and they don’t talk or act like they live in 1840 England 😉

Sunday = Free Story Day

Hey kids, just like to toot my own horn a bit and let everyone know that my story “One Last Job” will be free starting at Midnight Sunday the 14th (tonight-ish if you are a night owl like me). Since it is free, give it a read, send me some hate mail.

You can read it on one of the following:

Kindle (all flavors) / Android Phones / Android Tablets / iPhone / iPad / PC / Mac / Probably other stuff

Free Michael R. Hicks eBooks!

While this page is entitled “Free Novel,” that’s actually a total lie: by coming here, you can get not one, not two, but three free bestselling novels! And all three are available from your favorite ebook retail sites for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and are available on iTunes and Google Play!”

READ MORE HERE

Author’s Guild President Scott Turow Is An Idiot, Luddite

A fantastic article from TechDirt.com about Scott Turow, and how he is probably the most dangerous ‘friend’ an author can have:

“We’ve written more than a few times about Scott Turow, a brilliant author, but an absolute disaster as the Luddite-driven head of the Authors’ Guild. During his tenure, he’s done a disservice to authors around the globe by basically attacking everything new and modern — despite any opportunities it might provide — and talked up the importance of going back to physical books and bookstores. He’s an often uninformed champion of a past that never really existed and which has no place in modern society. He once claimed that Shakespeare wouldn’t have been successful under today’s copyright law because of piracy, ignoring the fact that copyright law didn’t even exist in the age of Shakespeare. His anti-ebook rants are just kind of wacky.”

Read More Here

Can You Save A Life Over The Internet?

So last night while I was tooling around Tumblr, I happened to come across a post on someone’s blog (she runs a sort of anti-bullying blog and she’s awesome). As you can see below, it was fairly disturbing:

every-one-is-mad-here: Would anyone here be pissed off or Sad if I committed suicide today? Seriously considering it.

If this was ten years ago, I might have not cared much, or worse, thought it was some cry for attention. Keep in mind I haven’t always been the nicest or most caring guy for a big chunk of my life. But over the last decade or so, I’ve had a huge shift in my thinking. Continue reading

One Last Job (short story) – Now On Amazon & Smashwords

I suppose this will go down in history (my own history anyway) as the very first story I ever published.

Amazon  —  Smashwords

I wrote this a few years ago, and fiddled with it for a long time, and then forgot about it, then fiddled with it again. I mostly put this story up first to learn how to navigate the Amazon KDP and Smashwords interfaces. If someone wants to buy it, then I’m your bestest friend ever.

It isn’t very long, only about 3,000 words, but I’ve always liked it personally. I love short stories, and I tend to buy lots of anthologies (mostly sci-fi, but I’ve been known to purchase into other genres). I also grew up as a semi-redneck of low birth who was fascinated by the ‘evil empire’ known as the U.S.S.R. as I’m a true child of the 1980’s. That’s probably where the seasoning in this story comes from. Enjoy!