Archive for the ‘Writers – Living’ category

Zig Ziglar

December 30, 2008

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He’s led some life.

When I was born, the doctor handed me to my mother and said, “Mrs. Ziglar, you have a perfectly fine, healthy baby boy.” Nine days later he picked me up and sadly shook his head, indicating that I was dead. Yes, I died when I was nine days old. However, my family has told me that my grandmother walked to me, picked me up, held me in her hands, and started talking to me. Of course, we all know that she was not really talking to *me* . . and in a matter of seconds breath came back into my body; at age seventy-five it’s obvious I lived.

My friends, it’s been like that ever since.

— Zig: The Autobiography of Zig Ziglar by Zig Ziglar; pg. 1

And here’s a lesson that was swept aside in the Rush to Greed from the 1980s on …

Coach Jobie Harris was my history teacher, and in many ways he changed and enriched my life. He taught me more than American history. He once said, “If you have an ability that goes beyond providing for your own needs, you have a responsibility to use that ability to reach down and help those up who do not have that capacity. As a matter of fact, if you don’t reach down and help lift up those less fortunate, the day will come when due to sheer weight of numbers, they will reach up and pull you down.”

— Zig: The Autobiography of Zig Ziglar by Zig Ziglar; pg. 71

Emphasis added by me.

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2008: The Next Doctor

December 26, 2008

Right, if you did not watch the minor spoilerage in the later BBC trailer here, do not go further!

If you did see that trailer you can go ahead and click through with this guarantee: NO spoilers ahead!

Click to warp time and space

Leverage: The Miracle Job

December 24, 2008

The usual berating: If you haven’t yet caught up with Leverage on TNT, you are depriving yourself of the best new TV series of 2008.

Episode 4 aired last night and Santa delivered it to me quickly. But I tarried today, so this post doesn’t reflect the early gift I got.

Let me start out as usual, rolling the credits so everyone can take a bow:

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A priest is having his church taken away from him due to underhanded land development. How can the team prevent that?

Click for more

Twitter Novel By Arjun Basu

December 24, 2008

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Wonderful.

Follow Arjun Basu on Twitter.

Update: Arjun basu writes in the Comments:

Thanks. But it’s not a novel. I just want to clear that up. Each tweet is a single story. At the max 140 characters. I’m calling them Twisters. Thanks for the support.

That makes what I screensnapped above even more remarkable!

The Taqwacores: Free Sample Chapter

December 24, 2008

I noticed several people who were led to this blog under the search term “taqwacores pdf” and I contacted publisher Soft Skull Press.

I hope that search term doesn’t indicate a pirate edition of the book is on the Internet. Isn’t stealing from writers haram according to The Quran?

Soft Skull Press has given me an URL for the first chapter of The Taqwacores. That should be enough to incite interest in the book and let people know if they want to legitimately buy it.

PDF link.

Previously here:

Writer Michael Muhammad Knight In NYT
Two Books To Read By Michael Muhammad Knight

This Is The Future Of Book Tours

December 23, 2008

I need to do this again because people weren’t listening the first time — and, frankly, many still had jobs in the dying printed books industry and so were too smug to pay attention.

This is what the book tour of the future — the future being 2009! — will look like:

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Click = big

That’s Darren Rowse of ProBlogger doing a special “Christmas party” live streaming videocast via UStream.

What was his big outlay to do it? His existing MacBook Pro! And the connection was via WiFi too!

He was in Australia. There were people all over the world tuning in. One person was from Brazil!

The dying dinosaurs of print have asked: “Well, how can we do an author tour for an eBook? There’s no … um, book for people to bring to a store!”

That’s how. The author doesn’t go to any store. He goes to where the eBook store is — the entire Internet.

People can type questions. See and hear the writer respond. No one has to deal with bad weather or bad schedules. And the videos can be archived for people to see again later.

What about autographs? I did that earlier too.

Instead of sending a writer out on bad plane (or train or bus) trips to bad hotels and the mercy of weather, everyone can stay where they are — the writer at home, the readers at home (or likely stealing bandwidth from work!). It’s all win.

The writer can even, if so inclined, show the missus and child:

mrsproblogger
(Happy holidays, Mrs Rowse!)

Previously here:

Reference: Internet Video Chat
How Our Future Does Things
I Am Internationally Persecuted!
Live jkk & Chippy!

Dying Dinosaurs Of Print Slow Suicide

December 23, 2008

Read it and weep
The economic news couldn’t be worse for the book industry. Now insiders are asking how literature will survive.

The end of days is here for the publishing industry — or it sure seems like it. On Dec. 3, now known as “Black Wednesday,” several major American publishers were dramatically downsized, leaving many celebrated editors and their colleagues jobless. The bad news stretches from the unemployment line to bookstores to literature itself.

“It’s going to be very hard for the next few years across the board in literary fiction,” says veteran agent Ira Silverberg. “A lot of good writers will be losing their editors, and loyalty is very important in this field.”

Who was it that said, “If you want loyalty, get a dog”?

Yes, writers who are treated well are loyal. Stupid us. The rest of the world runs on money.

This is key:

Finally, experts suggest that publishers missed crucial opportunities to cope with digital books, Internet innovations and economic pressures. “The big houses proved incapable of looking at the future. I’ve always been struck at how relatively un-nimble the big houses are,” says Tom Engelhardt, a consulting editor at Metropolitan books and the author of the prophetic novel “The Last Days of Publishing.” He recently wrote an essay about the crisis at his Web site, TomDispatch.com, and says he predicted the crash for years — but no one would listen.

Emphasis added by me.

He’s right. Just ask the newspapers.

Here comes the future:

Neelan Choksi, Lexcycle’s chief operating officer, agrees that the midlist will suffer in coming years. “There’s going to be less support for smaller writers in the traditional publishing model, in the big buildings in Manhattan,” he explained. “But self-publishing and digital books haven’t been considered. This upheaval will cause many authors to look at the alternatives more seriously.” The Stanza reader, for instance, stocks thousands of e-books at varying prices, from free public domain books to self-published titles to 40,000 titles from Fictionwise, one of the leading digital book vendors. That list includes a variety of bestsellers like David Wroblewski’s “Story of Edgar Sawtelle,” Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series and the nonfiction hit “Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.”

Emphasis added by me.

Lexcycle will wind up with a store of its own at some point. I hope they do it right, unlike Apple. (Stanza, by the way, just got a glowing PC Magazine review.)

What’s needed is a WordPress-type thing, where authors can set up a site to flog their books. Basically, a blog with transactional capability. It has to all be blogging-easy, too. Writers don’t want to be techies and web designers. In fact, I’m surprised WordPress itself hasn’t added this yet.

This bit was a surprise to me. Writer Iain Levison (who still lacks a new website) alerted me to it via email this morning:

Rumors of publishing’s demise are probably overstated, but the future of publishing may depend on what those laid-off editors, publicists and industry leaders do next. The morning after Black Wednesday, a publishing blogger and e-book aficionado named Mike Cane stirred up his readers with a bite-size manifesto on Twitter: “If the FIRED NY pubstaff are such hot fucking shit, let them coalesce and form an EBOOK-ONLY IMPRINT to crush their fmr employers.” However callous this Twitter-versy seemed at the time, it posed an interesting challenge: Can the publishing world channel all of this collective anger, bewilderment and fear into industry-altering strategies?

Emphasis of me by me.

But really, that guy is a pain in the ass! I should know.

Still, that challenge holds. I’d like to see those book people get back into books — as eBooks. Apple isn’t doing writers any favors and we need book people.

We just don’t need Big Corporate Dying Dinosaurs of Print book people.

And neither do the Big Corporations, either.