Sunday, January 21, 2018
Yesterday I had the great honour and pleasure to appear on GeekGab yesterday to discuss Steemit and the Pulp Revolution with Daddy Warpig and John McGlynn. Alas, Internet reception is spotty in my area: there was a lot of static and I got cut out halfway through the interview for a few minutes.
Regardless, here are the main takeaways from the interview, plus some thoughts I didn't have time to articulate:
Friday, January 19, 2018
Tomorrow, at 7pm Eastern Standard Time, our own Ben Cheah will be on Geek Gab with Daddy Warpig and Dorrinal to talk Steemit and the Pulp Revolution. You don't want to miss this one. Catch it live if you can, and if you can't then hit that Watch Later button to toss it on to that playlist for you to review at your leisure after the fact.
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Monday, January 15, 2018
Sunday, January 14, 2018
“Miss Ouyang,” he said, “I sympathise with your situation. I really do. But this looks like a job for the police.”
Ouyang Li Yan didn’t frown. She was too glamorous for that. Her face melted under her thin mask of mascara and rouge, her eyes widened, and her full, luscious lips opened just so. She bit her lower lip, and shook her head.
“I tried. They just laughed at me. You know what they said? ‘A pretty woman like you will always have dashing young men throwing themselves at you.’”
He snorted, tapping his burned-out cigarette into a cheap glass ashtray. “I heard you’re…close…to the Commissioner.”
She smiled at his almost-feigned delicateness. “We used to be.”
Amazing. The gossip rags were on the money this time. “That’s a shame. But you’re a well-known woman in this city, Miss Ouyang. Someone in the force would want to help—”
Another, firmer, shake of the head. A sad, bitter chuckle. “Mr. Lee, this is Shanghai. There’s no police here. Just crooks or killers in khaki.”
Saturday, January 13, 2018
At the end of today's episode of Geek Gab, Daddy Warpig announced an upcoming episode that as many of you as possible should strive to catch live. It's on the 27th of this month, and it not only features our own Ben Cheah (talking about Steemit) but Nick Cole & jason Anspach (co-authors of the Galaxy's Edge series) will be on to discussion their business plan for making this breakout hit series happen.
Ben's talked up Steemit plenty, so I refer you to his posts here and at his blog on that topic. (Just waiting to be approved, and then I'll join the party.) That's not to be dismissive; he's written plenty on why Steemit is the place to be if you're looking to hustle and win online using a blog, and I'm not big on reinventing the wheel.
But, to those following Nick & Jason, hearing about how they not only figured out how work Amazon's system to their benefit, but also how they used a specific strategy to attract and retain an audience (and the psychology behind that process) is of immense value to those of us looking to find ways to pay the bills by writing. (Yes, buying mountains with the proceeds is also nice, but not every one can be Larry Correia.)
As for that episode, here you go. Enjoy. It features Jon del Arroz, talking about all of his recent shenanigans, and related stuff.
Monday, January 8, 2018
Exaggeration? Probably, but not by much. As JD Cowan notes in two separate blog posts, pandering to otaku makes easy money. While he was writing about the context of anime, the Japanese publishing and anime industries tend to be tightly integrated. If a manga or light novel becomes a bestseller, an anime adapation will follow, and vice versa.
In July 2016 I saw this phenomenon first hand in Sapporo. Strolling into a Kinokuniya, I took this photograph:
Saturday, January 6, 2018
The other day, one of the best users on YouTube put this out on his Twitter feed.:
In the age of Kindle, with an iPhone in every pocket, two things are ripe for a resounding return:— RazörFist (@RAZ0RFIST) January 6, 2018
Pulps... and Radio dramas. pic.twitter.com/Ea00zDSOzu
He is not wrong. This is the Second Coming of the Pulps. The difference is that the hustle is even harder now than it was the first time around, both in competing attracts and in the scope and scale of the playing field (truly global). The role of the pulp magazine in the first age is not what it is now; the hustle requires that we reconsider, reconfigure, and reappraise to actually pay bills doing this.
The good news is that the means to get stories to readers is easier than ever. The bad news is that attracting and retaining that audience is harder than ever. The gatekeeper formerly had the incentive, the means, and the motive to play middleman properly; by curating what he thought sold best, he paid bills while performing a useful function that benefited the most people. That's not the case now, and it hasn't been for a decade or more, so the entire business has to change to remain functional.
This new age of the Pulps has to go learn from the men who made the first age happen: the publishers who ran their hustle so hard that they became the dominant outlets of the age. It's all well and good to look at the writers who made their mark and influenced the generations to succeed them, because without that spirit there will be nothing of substance for an audience to enjoy. The reason for the look into the publishers is to see how they solved the problem of identifying an audience, locating them, and marketing to them; without that, no amount of substance will be enough to pay the bills.
This is not idle talk. Nick Cole and Jason Anspach have a working solution for the current new age. They did their homework. The frequency of releases parallels the publication schedule of the pulp magazines of old, minus the monthly anthology aspect to many of them. This is similar to the way The Shadow attracted and retained its long-time loyal readership via its bi-weekly magazine. That's our parallel; if you want to pay bills with your writing, you're going to have to figure out--as Nick and Jason did--how to apply the old models to the new circumstance.
I'm talking about this, in these terms, because if the Pulp Revolution is to become something more than an online literary fashion then it has to produce real results in the real world in real terms for real people. That means it has to produce paydays for writers, and those paydays have to bring enough to let the writer pay some or all of his bills, which means that the writer has to also be a businessman. The path to future success is going to look more like iterating upon Larry Correia, Nick Cole, and so on than doing the old-and-busted "traditional publishing" route of agents and publishers.
And no, it's not as easy to accept as it is to say. It's also a work in progress, as folks are figuring out what works and figure out the hows and whys, so I invite my peers here and elsewhere to contribute to the conversation. As this is about entertainment in fiction, cooperating towards the end of providing proven procedures for finding and building an audience who wants to give you their money so you can buy groceries, pay the bills, and occasionally take a holiday is something we can all get behind.
And as this year goes on, I expect that we'll see a couple of procedures bear out often enough to be proven beyond a doubt; if you're wanting in on the game, get ready for when that moment hits, because it'll be a launch window you don't want to miss.
Friday, January 5, 2018
There are three of them. Brown cardboard targets, man size. There's a fourth figure, slightly shorter, in front of and between the second and the third targets.
His mind tells him a different story. The targets are Thugs One, Two and Three, black-masked and leather jacketed, screaming obscenities and waving guns. The last one is Jane. Sweet Jane with straight dark hair and heartbreak blue eyes.