The Attention Economy and Alternative Publishing

Great thread here to spark this article: I sell my books a variety of ways – Amazon, all other alternative direct sales, and through patronage on subscribestar. The problem with building alternative platforms or alternative methods of artist support is not, and has never been, the difficulty of actually programming or organizing such a venture. The problem has always been attention. Building alternatives to Amazon to sell your books is largely putting the cart before the horse. In fact, it is more like building a cart while the horse is still being trained in Arabia. Also, there are dozens of…

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Align Your Priorities for Creative Output

Life is full of demands. Life is full of obligations. Life is full of temptations. Life is often too full of things that each of us wishes to do, and the time during the day is too short to get it all done. The speed of modern life doesn’t help, and it is all too easy to find oneself caught up in the cacophony of urban activity and feel completely drained every day. This is the reality of limited time and unlimited wants. When it comes to figuring out how all of it goes together, I have found that priorities…

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10 Ways to Make Your Protagonist Likable

I’ve cautioned in the past regarding making a protagonist in a story a “Mary Sue” type of character. In short, you don’t want to make a character that lives out your own power fantasies and to whom the plot offers little resistance to the character’s overwhelming power. It’s good to avoid characters like this, but sometimes writers tend to go too far in the opposite direction, creating wimpy, base, or unlikeable characters that the audience doesn’t really care about. In order to avoid having a character feel too super-powered, they instead make them weak or detestable. This is not wise;…

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Romance Writers Implode

Corporate cancer has afflicted the romance writers: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/01/08/romance-writers-america-cancels-awards-program-writer-racism-controversy/ The saga continues. This time, the entire organization has folded back on itself, much like something that is frequently described in the tomes of the membership. This won’t end well, of course, but we must also ponder: What exactly is the point of a professional membership organization like the Romance Writers of America, anyway? Is it a trade union? If so, it’s a shambling corpse in the newpub landscape. Is it for author support? Clearly the constant harassment and infighting doesn’t serve that purpose. They cancelled their awards, so they are clearly…

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On Being Prolific

What does being prolific actually mean? Usually, it means that someone is outputting a great deal of something: a prolific writer, a prolific musician, a prolific painter, etc. I’m a bit different, though, in that I tend to split my productivity among several pursuits: writing books, writing blog content, recording informative (and hopefully somewhat entertaining) videos, recording music, and raising children. Yes, we often do not think of raising children as part of productivity, but it certainly is. Your progeny is in many ways your biggest legacy, and is also one of the biggest contributions you can make to your…

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Social Proof

“Social Proof” is something you NEED to become familiar with. It’s essential if you are going to be doing any kind of marketing. What is social proof? Basically, it’s this: Other people think this, therefore it is likely to be true. If you are thinking straight away that this is a logical fallacy, just hold your objections. I’ll explain how social proof is different than an appeal to popularity. Social proof is a very fast method of judging initial likelihood of truth – A filter, more than “proof” in the logical sense. This is in the realm of induction, obviously.…

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Blogs are Back!

To kick off 2020, we have a cascade of agreement on all sides: And I’m not the only one agreeing with Scalzi and Wendig: So why? Why are blogs a thing? Or alternatively, why do they NEED to be a thing? Scalzi spells it out – even if you are on the left, and I STRONGLY URGE any of my readers who feel “safe” on social media due to being politically aligned to the left to consider this, the goalposts can shift at any time and you can get your social media presence destroyed. They can destroy it directly by…

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Karen the Moneywasher (Dialogue Demo)

The following is a short scene and a half of a story created on my livestream for the purposes of demonstrating dialogue writing. It begins with two characters who banter, revealing their character traits and also through that dialogue reveal the basic elements of a plot goal – Karen needs to launder money. The second (incomplete) scene introduces a third character, exposes his traits, and further develops the main plot goal. It was quite a bit of fun! Check out the entire stream here, then view the file below:

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Sarah the Rogue

Sarah rushed through the narrow alleyway, brushing a stray red hair from her blushed lips as she went. The cold night wind drew moisture to her eyes, something that had grown unfamiliar to her in the days since she had offered her employment to the Order of the Black Lotus. She grumbled to herself as she stepped around a stray cat, causing the inky feline to tip over an empty bottle

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IP “Law” and Free Societies

From a fan: HI David, Love your content on youtube. I’d be very interested to hear your take on how IP law has distorted the entertainment industry, in particular, the Star Wars movies. I’m an anarchist and advocate of the dissolution of all intellectual property law. Although my main argument is principled, I also think that IP law is has had negative effects on every industry; including books, movies, music, and tv. I’d be stoked to hear back from you, or see a video inspired by this topic. Keep up the great work. Thanks! IP law is something I talk…

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