Archive for June 17, 2008

Writer’s Hell Has Arrived

June 17, 2008

Watch This Book
In bid to boost sales, authors try viral videos;
Plugging a novel on roller skates

Meg Cabot, best-selling author of “The Princess Diaries,” regularly posts videos of herself online performing puppet shows with Barbie and Madame Alexander dolls. Jodi Picoult, author of another best-seller, “Nineteen Minutes,” stars in home-movie style videos that show her hanging out with her family and shopping for groceries. Chuck Palahniuk, known for edgy novels like “Fight Club,” has staged a video interview with the fictional main character of his new book.

In a book industry flooded with titles and facing sluggish sales, a growing number of authors are going to dramatic lengths to attract attention. The latest tactic: producing and starring in zany videos aimed at the YouTube audience.

Publishing houses strongly encourage the practice, though some authors find the videos undignified. Thriller writer Vince Flynn says he felt “like a dork” when he recently recorded a book trailer in Central Park. “I know a lot of old-school writers resent it,” says Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. “But it might help sell books.”


There is scant evidence, however, that the average book trailer actually has much impact on book sales. Despite Doubleday’s recent video upload for the self-help book “We Plan, God Laughs,” by Sherre Hirsch, the book has sold only about 3,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70% of U.S. book sales. And even though Jami Attenberg’s trailer for her novel “The Kept Man” is reminiscent of Miranda July’s short films, only 3,000 copies of Ms. Attenberg’s recent book have sold. Most trailers cost about $2,000 to produce.

Emphasis added by me.

Dear god!

Three thousand copies?!!? Divide that amongst fifty states and that’s sixty copies of the book for each state!

But then:

There are a few cases where the gamble has paid off. Last year, Harper Perennial created three videos to promote “The Average American Male,” a novel about an unnamed man in his late 20s who plays videogames and holds his “annoying girlfriend” in contempt. The trio of videos, meant to offer a window into what gallant-seeming men are supposedly “really thinking,” has garnered several hundred thousand views on YouTube, plus more on MySpace and other sites. The book has sold about 25,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen BookScan.

Emphasis added by me.

But still: twenty-five thousand copies?!!? After all of that viewing?

Mr. Cuarón’s trailer for Ms. Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” broke the half-million mark and the book has sold 89,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan. But it’s far more typical for a book trailer to attract a few hundred views, and even those that capture viewers don’t necessarily soar to the best-seller lists.

Emphasis added by me.

That really, really sucks. Over a half million views but less than even 100,000 sold?

Yeah, yeah, I lectured everyone else about response rates.

But this is the first time I’ve seen some hard figures relating to books.

This will call for some thinking. When I have the damned free time!

Previously here:

The Night I Called Harlan Ellison
East Coast Corporate Liberal Meets An eBook
Writer Richard Herley Gets Bad News
Writer Harlan Coben Shares His Favorite Link Ever
Orson Scott Card Rips J.K. Rowling
Quote: J.D. Rhoades
Quote: Ken Bruen
More Words About One Thousand True Fans
J.K. Rowling Trial Ends
M. Dylan Raskin: The Curse Of The Writer
Reference: Author Magazine
J.K. Rowling Is In NYC For Her Silly Lawsuit
Warren Ellis Twists My Dendrites
Mark Billingham: Writer, Crime Victim
Harlan Coben: Writer’s Perspective
Quote: Warren Ellis (Again)
Writers Don’t Fear The Future: Publishers Do!
Red Room: Social Net For Writers
Quote: Warren Ellis
Quote: Jean Rhys
More On The 1KTF Matter
When One Thousand Means Over Fifty Thousand
Harlan Ellison (Again)
I’m Infecting You
Self-Published Ebook = DIY Or Vanity?
A Spirit That Can Conquer The World
Self-Confidence Vs. Self-Delusion
More Writers Getting Screwed
Iain Banks Interviewed
Defensive Pessimism: Part Of The Real Secret
Quotes: Benn Jordan
Edgar, The Fount
Quote Fight
Quote: J.K. Rowling
Quote Goodness
A Quote To Learn From
You Go, Ringo!
Harlan Ellison
Why Don’t More People Read?
More About Trent Reznor And Saul Williams
Hollywood’s Worst Nightmare: Obsolescence
DIY Book Marketing
The New School: Saul Williams Vs. Trent Reznor
Trent Reznor Meets Real Life And Weeps
Print Publishing Is In Self-Destruct Mode: eBook S.O.S.
Writers: Laugh Last, Laugh Best
Video Vitamins For Our Souls
Who’s Flogging Their Work Online?

The Perfects: Re-Perfected

June 17, 2008

Singer/songwriter Ric Peters of the band The Perfects emails me:

There have been some changes in the personal dept. I have put together a new live line up and we will be out and about doing shows before the end of the summer. Matter of fact I am heading into the studio at the start of June with Nic Hard to start work on a new album. The vibe of the band is still intact with some of the songs having more of a club vibe while others go much darker than anything from the past incarnation. You can take a listen to one of them right now in the myspace player the demo called “New Life”.

The band is now comprised of myself and a fellow named Dave Belazis who will be playing guitar and cello live. The live band will be one member more this time around and will consist of Vocals, Lead guitar & cello, rhythm guitar, bass, drums and keys.

In the meantime there is a new official website This is the only website for the band.

Since this email was sitting in my Horrible Backlog, Ric’s group has actually put together yet another demo, called Darling Angel. Hit that MySpace link to hear it.

The new music has a different sound than the original mix of musicians. This is going to make seeing the new band live intriguing. How will the older songs sound?

From the old blog:

Ominous Issuance From Band The Perfects
The Perfects: Live At The Annex, Saturday July 21, 2007

The People Have The Power

June 17, 2008

Videopoem Presents Patti Smith in support of Ralph Nader

Patti Smith reciting her poem “People Have the Power” at Cooper Union in May in support of Ralph Nader

If everyone who whiiiiined “He can’t win” actually grew a spine and voted for him, guess what?

He’d win!!!

And so would we!

Vote Nader 2008 website

Writer Peter S. Beagle Does Song

June 17, 2008

I got this is email. I’ll leave off the blockquote for clarity.


On July 18th & 19th, Peter S. Beagle and Phil Sigunick will be performing together in public for the first time in 44 years.

(That’s right — more than four decades. Their last gig as a duo was all the way back in 1964, when they opened for Tom Paxton at a club in Berkeley, California.)

These two special shows will take place at the Red Eft Gallery in Wurtsboro, New York, just 75 miles northwest of New York City…

…and there are only 83 seats available for each night.

Tickets are $20, and with so few seats they should go fast. If you want to be there for this rare musical treat, make sure you get your reservation in ASAP by either (1) emailing or (2) calling us at 415-731-2267. And please make sure you tell us which night you prefer!

There will be wine and cheese and what-nots before each show, and a chance to get books signed and hang around with Peter and Phil for a good while afterward.

Fans of Peter’s classic travel memoir, I See By My Outfit, will absolutely not want to miss this chance to be there when Phil and Peter pick up their guitars and recapture the magic that helped make their long-ago cross-country journey so extraordinary.

— end of quoting

There’s a Compact Disc of a lost tape of the two from way back in 1962.

Recorded by Bob Jacobs in a bedroom in the Bronx on June 14th, 1962. Digital transfer & processing in 2007 by GT Recording and Jim Lively. Cover painting of Phil and Peter, age 23, by Peter’s famous artist uncle, Moses Soyer.

Peter S. Beagle wikipedia

At the old blog:

Peter Beagle: Nebula Award Win
Help Out Someone Being Crushed By MammothMedia!

Note To The Psychopath

June 17, 2008

You’re still banned from Comments here.

Truckers Strike 2008: Trucker Shutdown?

June 17, 2008

I got a MySpace Friend request from:

Trucker Shutdown MySpace

I’m not sure how legit this is. It could be a cover for someone trying to advance a singing career. Or not.

I’ve gotten very picky about who I allow to be MySpace Friends. I’ve allowed this one.

I’ll leave it up to you truckers to let me know if I did right.

God bless the American trucker!

The American Driver – From Drivers … For Drivers
– helping to organize the various protest actions

– be sure to see the list of planned events to participate!

Trucker Strike MySpace
– Add as Friend to get all the Bulletins!

Previously here:

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #117
Truckers Strike 2008: Protest In England
Truckers Strike 2008: TRUCC Act And Crime
New York City: Anti-American
Truckers Strike 2008: Thieves At Work
Truckers Strike 2008: D.C. Video
Truckers Strike 2008: Today In D.C.
Truckers Strike 2008: April 28th D.C. Route
Truckers Strike 2008: A Salute And Links
Truckers Strike 2008: Indiana, April 18, 2008
Truckers Strike 2008: Protest In D.C.!
Truckers Strike 2008: April 28th Rally In D.C.
Truckers Strike 2008: Action!
Truckers Strike 2008: Contacts Needed
Truckers Strike 2008: Who Wants To Go To DC???
Truckers Strike 2008: Big Rig Documentary
Truckers Strike: Harrisburg, PA Convoy
Truckers Strike 2008: Meeting Tomorrow
Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #017
Truckers Strike 2008: Day Three?
Truckers Strike 2008: A Success?
Truckers Strike 2008: Search Precedent Set
Truckers Strike 2008: Day Two
Truckers Strike 2008: Join MySpace
Truckers Strike 2008: National/New Jersey Action
Truckers Strike 2008: National/New Jersey Action
Truckers Strike 2008: 3 A.M. Wake-Up Toot
Truckers Strike 2008: Fill Up = Hold Up!
Truckers Strike 2008: Day One
God Bless The American Trucker
Truckers Strike 2008: Additional
Truckers Strike 2008: A Search Record Set
Is The April 1, 2008 Truckers Strike Real?
Truckers Strike: April 1, 2008
April 1: Truckers Strike?

Nathan Singer’s Latest Novel

June 17, 2008

Writer Nathan Singer finally got his publisher to provide him with a large version of the cover I could post here.

Now that you see what it looks like, go buy it!

Thrash Ghetto Radio (from A Prayer for Dawn)

Nathan Singer performs a section from his debut novel, A Prayer for Dawn.

“Aristocracide.” I’d forgotten that one! His work is brilliant.

Nathan Singer blog
Nathan Singer MySpace

Previously here:

Writer Nathan Singer Has News
Reading: Recently

Quote: Troll 2

June 17, 2008

Oh my god.

I came across this report on Breitbart about a lousy horror movie playing to packed houses worldwide.

I went to YouTube and found a video montage.

One of the lines in it is something you can’t believe anyone would ever write:

Joshua is not a little shit. He’s just very sensitive.

And the plot twist is right out of Edward D. Wood, Jr.: The monsters are vegetarians so they first turn their human victims into plants!

Trust me, you want to see this. This is the only movie ever to have bisexual corn porn in it! (It’s not X-rated, so go look and laugh!)

Enjoy the montage!

Troll 2 montage

Troll 2 wikipedia
Troll 2 IMDB

Here’s A Frikkin Hint

June 17, 2008

Makes me feel like I’ve actually accomplished something.

Prior hint.