Category: rant

My Best Advice For Self-Publishers

I was recently asked, on Facebook, what advice I had for self-publishers. The answer I gave was unconventional and not at all helpful in the short-run, but I believe it is the best advice I can give. Before I give it here, let me give you some background information.

I first self-published in 2005, which was still during a period I refer to as the dark times—when self-publishing was frowned upon by authors with such passion that some would organize against you, posting phony reviews on Amazon and belittling you on message boards. Despite the vitriol and best efforts of these angry few, I sold a lot of books. Paper books. E-books existed, but they weren’t on anyone’s radar yet. In 2006 and 2007, I published two more novels, each as successful as the first. I formed my own imprint. Writing and publishing became my day job and has remained so ever since.

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To Read or Not To Read…Reviews

ben-661x1024I’ve seen a good number of blog posts recently from fellow authors focusing on the issue of reviews, which can be, and often are, posted by folks with rude dispositions, grudges, agendas, etc. For a new author, even an honest negative review can be soul crushing. To the experienced author, with thicker skin, negative reviews can be a distraction. So the advice being given is generally this: don’t read reviews for your books. Sounds good on the surface. By not exposing yourself to these negative opinions, you are protecting yourself from the pain delivered by Internet trolls with nothing better to do than harass an author. The troll might be angry after reading the first line of a book sample, or might disagree with the pricing, or might be annoyed that Harriet Klausner gave your book 4 stars, or any number of silly reasons for an anonymous rant. And YES, these people should be ignored. They’ve likely taken to the Internet for attention, because the people in their real lives have begun ignoring their sour mood.

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How Hollywood is Destroying my Postmodern Love Affair with 80s Pop Culture

I’m a child of the eighties. That’s not to say I was born in the eighties. I wasn’t. What I mean is that my formative child rearing years stretched between 1980, when I was six and 1989, when I was (I hate math) fifteen.

My gaming habit was formed by Pong (for you youngens, Pong wasn’t just a game, but an entire game system that played ONE game), Atari, Colecovision, Commodore 64, Apple IIC, Nintendo and Sega. My love of sci-fi was fostered by Creature Double Feature (only here in New England–Godzilla, Gamera, monster movies), Battlestar Galactic (with a fuzzy robot bear!), Dr. Who, Greatest American Hero and Star Trek (Khaaaaaan!). I ate Cocoa Pebbles and lived in a cartoon bliss ruled by Space Ghost, The Herculoids, G.I. Joe, Robotech, Transformers, Go-bots, Force Five (Gai King, Starvengers, etc), M.A.S.K., Gummy Bears and that pink chick that was truly outrageous. *Yes, I know its Jem. Don’t doubt my mastery of the 80s!


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