Nathan Bransford, Author

Saturday, December 17, 2011

This Week in Books 12/17/11

This week! Books! Still abbreviated because I'm not done with Wonderbar #3!

First off, there is an Official Writing Retreat for the readers of this here blog organized by the lovely people in the discussion forums! It has been dubbed the Bransforumfest Writing Retreat, and it will be in Las Vegas March 3-9, 2012. I shall be there! I'm unable to be there the whole week as I have a work conflict, but I plan to be there for opening night festivities. If you're interested in attending please raise your hand in this thread. It will be a blast.

Meanwhile, there are links!

The Self-Aggrandizing Self-Publishing Kings: Extreme Rhetoric, Inflammatory Language and Ulterior Motives

Four of the Best Writers Blogs (thanks Alice Bradley!)

How Darcie Chan Became a Best-Selling Author (via Wendy Russ)

Publishers Are Still Missing the Point on E-Book Prices

Christopher Hitchens, Writer and Intellectual, Dies at 62

And please share your favorite links in the comments!

In the Forums:

What to ask a friend who is might edit your work
The end of the celebrity author?
The best agent blogs
An unplanned theme when choosing books
Passive vs. active voice - who is winning in your WIP?

And finally, well, sometimes you're the man and sometimes you're the bear:

Have a great weekend!


marion said...

Bookmarked Darcie Chan article. Thanks Nathan.

Wish I could come to Bransforumfest. Thanks for organizing it, Sommer. It's at Luxor Hotel, & I live in Luxor Egypt. Is this a sign?!

OK, word verification is too easy: ovensali--TV cooking show hosted by Sali.

marion said...

Actually, it's the website address of Ali's Oven cooking show. Just me being obsessive.

Bryan Russell said...

I want a bear for Christmas.

Mira said...

Me too, me too, me too! I want an adorable bear cub for Christmas. Soooooooo cute.

Thank you for the links, Nathan!

First, I'm so excited about the trip to Vegas! Yay! I may not be able to go - it depends on work - but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping!! If I can go, it will definitely include opening night to see Nathan!

Second, here are my OPINIONS about all of the links. After all, if Nathan goes to the trouble of linking all of them, the least I can do is offer my personal commentary on each and every one.


a. Here's the thing about the article about the self-aggrandizing self-publishing kings: extreme rhetoric, inflammatory language and ulterior motives.

Well, I found the article itself to be self-aggrandizing, using extreme rhetoric, inflammatory language and I have no idea what his motives were in writing this. Something about wanting moderate advocates. This goal would have been better accomplished if he had written an article in a moderate, advocating style. Build, don't tear down. Build.

b. Best thing about the four best writer blogs was you were one of them, Nathan! Yay! I loved her quote from your blog about the spaghetti agent analogy, that was terrific! Well deserved praise, Nathan! Yay, again!

c. Interesting article about Darcie Chan - good tips on self-publishing promotion, although I continue to wonder if that really makes a difference in book sales. I don't know.

d. Great article about publishers missing the point about e-book prices. I loved this quote:

"Do publishers really want to give [Amazon] even more power by pushing consumers of their books away with artificially high prices? Do they need to give Amazon another stick to beat them with?"

So true.

e. Sorry to hear about Christopher Hitchens' passing. The loss of a Thinker is a loss to us all.

Okay, that's it I hope it doesn't bother anyone that I comment on eerything. It's just too fun for me, and I love that you link to such interesting things, Nathan! Thank you!

undiscoveredauthor said...

As the author of the "Self-aggrandizing, self-publishing kings" article, I wondered it might not be too gauche to respond to Mira's critique.

I agree that I may have been a tad provocative in what I wrote - but surely it was not so insensitive or inflammatory as calling one group of people or another some version of "slaves" or "mentally-ill", etc. I object to the use of such language... is it somehow wrong to object to uncivil and inflammatory discourse? If it is not wrong, then sometimes, yes, you need to point out forcefully that uncivil discourse is in fact uncivil.

I do, however, take exception to the characterization of my post as being, itself, "self-aggrandizing". I have nothing, of myself, to aggrandize. I've written no finished books, nor published either by self or traditionally. I've nothing to sell you.

Do I have an agenda in what I wrote? Yes, but I should think it's pretty transparent. I'm a writer trying to figure out what direction I want to go with my own writing career. But at present the rhetoric about the different options and choices before me is so excessive and extreme that it's rather difficult to figure out the best choice. I want an environment where reasoned and civil discourse drowns out the extreme and inflammatory, because such an environment is, I believe, one in which it would be easier to figure out the best option. Further, I don't think I'm alone in looking for or wanting such an environment.

I think there are quite a lot of us who are just confused and frustrated by all the sound-and-fury going on about self-publishing and the death of the old publishing industry. On one hand we have these few who are screeching about the death of traditional publishing, and that digital self-publishing is the one-true-way to the future, and on the other we see that traditionally-published authors are still doing quite well for themselves, and we've got people in between who are doing other new things and frankly we can't tell right-from-left anymore.

So, I want to understand the rational arguments for each possible path, including the many middle-roads that some are taking. And I think the brash and oft-times offensive rhetoric of some folks muddies the waters and makes it difficult to discern those rational arguments.

Does the article tear down, rather than build? Perhaps, though I don't think I'm in a position to actually do any tearing down. But if we're using building-vs-tearing-down analogies, one could say that you have to tear down something that's poorly-built and shoddy in order to make room for something that's new and sturdy and functional. Still... I'm a small voice with a small reach. I'm not tearing down. I'm just pointing out that something (i.e. the present discourse on self-publishing) is poorly built and shoddy, and maybe it should be torn down so something more useful (i.e. a new and more fact-based and informative dialog on the same subject) can be built.

Are my motives, then, sufficiently clear? They are self-interested, yes. But I hope that others would benefit from that as well.

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