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Old 04-28-2011, 03:53 PM   #46
rhadin
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I thought some of Mission Earth was funny. I remember really liking Battlefield Earth.
I read the books 35 years ago and thought they were OK. I, too, liked Battlefield Earth, although the movie was horrible.

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The fact that his religion is wacky isn't what turned me off. What turned me off was the positive harm he did by a) taking people's money to a degree that would embarrass even a televangelist. . .
In this you are clearly in error. I don't think there is anything that would embarass any televangelist -- including excessive makeup -- unless, of course, they got caught with their pants down or fingers in the pot (flesh or otherwise).
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:03 PM   #47
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As I've had free material out since my first day, I have yet to see any proof that free giveaways lead to any significant amount of sales.

I realize, of course, that since my genre is SF, I am seriously being handicapped by a fickle and supposedly dying breed.

I like sci-fi, but can not check out your works, since you don't seem to link to them in a signature or profile.


Edit: Did find it in the profile after a bit more digging with a more mainstream browser.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:10 PM   #48
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I like sci-fi, but can not check out your works, since you don't seem to link to them in a signature or profile.


Edit: Did find it in the profile after a bit more digging with a more mainstream browser.
He just changed it, its his name in his signature.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:12 PM   #49
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I read the books 35 years ago and thought they were OK. I, too, liked Battlefield Earth, although the movie was horrible.
I never subjected myself to the movie, although I've been tempted, just to see where it went so horribly wrong. I read the book having never heard of Scientology, which I think was for the best, since there's apparently some Scientology contamination in it.

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In this you are clearly in error. I don't think there is anything that would embarass any televangelist -- including excessive makeup -- unless, of course, they got caught with their pants down or fingers in the pot (flesh or otherwise).
You might be right. I was kind of thinking that the sci-fi angle made Scientology rank right up there with Heaven's Gate, but maybe it was a little more plausible than that.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:28 PM   #50
Steven Lyle Jordan
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I admit, I don't have an answer to your troubles, but perhaps the problem is as you have previously written: the books simply aren't that good...
Spoken like a true editor... who, by the way, I can't afford. And who isn't into SF. And who hasn't read further than the first short stories I wrote 15 years ago...

Anyway, you know, I barely have time to write novels as it is. I've written blog-like material related to science and technology, before there were "blogs" proper... but they weren't read, so I stopped. Since I'm pretty sure no one wants to hear about what cereal I eat, I really haven't had material to blog about besides sci-tech. That's why I haven't set up a proper blog.

Besides, we've just covered how important it is for me to keep my opinions to myself. Is anyone going to read a blog that will simply regurgitate news from other sites, like, "Say, readers, Kia's coming out with a hybrid next year! Woo!" (Yeah, that's the kind of stuff I'd tend to write about.)

I just don't have enough material--compelling or not--to sustain a blog. I'd be good if I got out an entry every 10 days or so.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:40 PM   #51
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Steve, you'll probably think I'm kicking you while you're down, but...

Have you tried to sell to what existing magazines that are left? The object is to build presence. They are a path. P-books are a path.

Every cover in a bookstore is an advertisement to those walking past. Magazines bundle your story to a broader set of readers than your other forms of advertising.

And the editors are telling you whether or not they think they can sell your product. It's a disinterested, relatively objective opinion, because if they publish things that people don't like, they are out of business.

Once you have people who notice Steve Jordan, then you can shift gears to self publishing.

Let's face it, If Dan Brown was only self published, nobody would have ever heard of him. I say that not to equate your writing with his, but as an example of just how much marketing matters. If you don't want to market, then you need to sell through channels that do marketing for you.

Think of those air-headed celebraties and their ghost-written books. writing quality? Subject material? Hah! Pure marketing. It's even marketing of their other (celebraty) marketing.

And those channels aren't free.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:03 PM   #52
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Steve, you'll probably think I'm kicking you while you're down, but...
What the heck. Get in line...

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Have you tried to sell to what existing magazines that are left? The object is to build presence. They are a path. P-books are a path.
No, I haven't tried that recently. I did include their editors in news releases I sent out, and never heard a peep out of them, so I thought they had no interest in me either. I can look into them again, though.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:39 PM   #53
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You can probably tell that the prospect of pretending to be something I'm not, or hiding behind a false persona, is not something I like to do. Mea Culpa. To me, this does not represent the power of the web; it represents its most damaging feature. It's kind of hard for me to get into it, for any reason.
I don't hide behind a false persona, but I am selective about what I say to different audiences.

I've got some sharply controversial opinions. I'm devoutly religious; I've learned mostly not to mention which of my opinions are specifically religious in non-religious forums. I'm involved with what I think of as "mild political activism"--which means I don't join marches more than a few times a year, am only a paying member of two activist organizations, and only track & participate in half a dozen overtly activist blogs. I have a list of boycotts: corporations, products, authors. (I've never paid for Snapple because I found their early commercials insulting and rude.) I tell people I'm a "radical hippie freak;" I don't tell them what I think that means. I'm very selective about who I'll discuss parenting with; the fallout has a tendency to get ugly.

And I love debate. Love it even when it's pointless rehashing of ideas everyone's done a dozen times; love the chance that *this* time, I will discover the twist of phrase that clarifies my opinion in my thoughts, and nevermind what the rest of you believe. I have joyfully participated in some epic flamewars.

I don't sell books, but I do keep a journal/blog, and I do want more readers. And I had a choice: be open about all my beliefs, and try to find the readers who already agree with me, or be a bit more careful about what I say, and hope the readers decide I'm not an uncaring jerk *before* they hit that one opinion of mine that hits them like fingernails on a blackboard.

The key isn't "censor yourself down to just the face you'd give to a prospective employer." It's to present yourself as someone who has considered, is still considering, what's important to others before you make an announcement that you know flies in the face of their highest values. Because if it comes across as "this is what I think; take it or leave it," people who disagree will walk away from you, and from your books.

If you can manage to pull off, "I've put a lot of thought into this, and I know [X] is important to a lot of people, but I think [Y] is just that much more important, and I'm sorry for the people who value [X]," you may not get much more support, but you're not as likely to be placed on the permanent do-not-buy list.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:54 PM   #54
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I don't hide behind a false persona...
So, you really look like that... "Elfwreck"?

In fact, everything that followed that statement could be an outright lie... but since you are indeed hiding behind a false name and image, it's not like anyone can show up at your door and call you on it.

I'm just saying that this is one of the things about the Internet that I don't believe is a good thing. Otherwise, I'd name myself "Dr. Brooklyn" or something, and run amok, knowing I was protected by anonymity (like so many other MR members do).

As far as opinions go, I don't believe anyone is reading far enough into my explanations for the things I believe. They take it at face value, ignore the reasoning, and either applaud or attack as required. That seems to be the way web interaction is wired...

Oh, wait, I'm doing opinions again. Gotta stop that.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:58 PM   #55
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I think Steve can present himself however he wants. He is certain to alienate a segment of the population no matter what he says!

A very successful author that comes to mind is Dan Simmons. You know how much hate there is for some of Dan's real-life views?

Or Orson Scott Card. We had a thread or two right here with plenty of people chiming in to mention how much they disagree with his views and some of what he puts into his books.

You can't please everybody all of the time. Unless you're a politician I don't figure you should try. Commercial success doesn't seem to be tied to presenting yourself as a nice or inoffensive guy. If you take a middle ground you offend few but also excite nobody.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:02 PM   #56
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Spoken like a true editor... who, by the way, I can't afford. And who isn't into SF. And who hasn't read further than the first short stories I wrote 15 years ago...
Steve, you don't know whether you can afford my services or not -- you've never asked. As it happens, I do not edit fiction, but I do know some fine editors who do, but I have no idea of what they charge.

And no, I'm not much into scifi. I do read the occasional scifi -- I really did read and like all of Isaac Asimov and much of Ben Bova, to name two authors.

And I'm not sure why you would expect me to read further if I didn't connect with what little I read.

And yes, I do think professional editors can and do help authors succeed. I suggest you read Symbiosis: The Authorial and Editorial Process for an understanding of the collaborative process.

More importantly, I can't figure out why you asked for opinions only to attack the opinion givers.

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Anyway, you know, I barely have time to write novels as it is. I've written blog-like material related to science and technology, before there were "blogs" proper... but they weren't read, so I stopped. Since I'm pretty sure no one wants to hear about what cereal I eat, I really haven't had material to blog about besides sci-tech. That's why I haven't set up a proper blog.

Besides, we've just covered how important it is for me to keep my opinions to myself. Is anyone going to read a blog that will simply regurgitate news from other sites, like, "Say, readers, Kia's coming out with a hybrid next year! Woo!" (Yeah, that's the kind of stuff I'd tend to write about.)

I just don't have enough material--compelling or not--to sustain a blog. I'd be good if I got out an entry every 10 days or so.
As regards your opinions, there will always be 2 schools: those who won't read your books because they hate your politics and those who are mature enough to separate the two. Personally, even though I disagree with some of your stances, they would not influence my decision to buy or not buy your books. I read David Weber's books because I find them enjoyable and could care less about his politics. I just wouldn't vote for him for president.

As for what to blog about, why not blog about ebooks. You write numerous comments here and at Teleread. Just expand some of them. They are intelligent and well-written, regardless of whether I agree with them, and thus worth composing and posting. So what if you blog once a week. Some bloggers write a post once a month. It isn't necessary to post an article daily. And why not do a mix? I do. If you look at my blog, there are days I write about ebooks, days I write about art, days I write about videos, days I write book reviews, days I do not write at all. You are the first writer I've met who says he hasn't anything to write about.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:04 PM   #57
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I think Steve can present himself however he wants. He is certain to alienate a segment of the population no matter what he says!

A very successful author that comes to mind is Dan Simmons. You know how much hate there is for some of Dan's real-life views?

Or Orson Scott Card. We had a thread or two right here with plenty of people chiming in to mention how much they disagree with his views and some of what he puts into his books.

You can't please everybody all of the time. Unless you're a politician I don't figure you should try. Commercial success doesn't seem to be tied to presenting yourself as a nice or inoffensive guy. If you take a middle ground you offend few but also excite nobody.
100% absolutely right. Well said.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:46 PM   #58
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As far as opinions go, I don't believe anyone is reading far enough into my explanations for the things I believe. They take it at face value, ignore the reasoning, and either applaud or attack as required.
Well, no one can you accuse you of playing favorites. You seem to hold both your supporters and detractors in equally low regard. :|
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:52 PM   #59
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As regards your opinions, there will always be 2 schools: those who won't read your books because they hate your politics and those who are mature enough to separate the two.
There's nothing inherently immature about choosing to support or not support an author, or anyone, based on what he stands for.
I learned from MLK we should judge a man by the content of his character, not just by his ability to spin an entertaining yarn.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:53 PM   #60
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So, you really look like that... "Elfwreck"?
That's my hat, and my hair, and my face behind it. I sometimes go out in public that way but it disturbs people who think I can't see through the hair. (Which is now a different color--aqua until it fades out again & I re-dye it--so maybe that part's inaccurate.)

ELF is my legal initials. REC is my husband's initials. ELF w/REC, KSC (abbreviated) is our username.

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In fact, everything that followed that statement could be an outright lie... but since you are indeed hiding behind a false name and image, it's not like anyone can show up at your door and call you on it.
They can poke around the blog in my signature and decide if I've got an elaborate, 8-year scam going on. Because I have school-aged kids, I'm a bit careful with some personal details. I'm willing to take any flak for my online activities, including potential violence (I live in Oakland; I face potential violence on the commute train), but I'm not willing to risk my kids' safety the same way. So no, I don't give out my address & home phone number in public online.

There's a difference between using a pseudonym and being anonymous. "Elfwreck" has a 13+ year history online; that's me & my husband, everywhere on the net.

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As far as opinions go, I don't believe anyone is reading far enough into my explanations for the things I believe. They take it at face value, ignore the reasoning, and either applaud or attack as required. That seems to be the way web interaction is wired...

Oh, wait, I'm doing opinions again. Gotta stop that.
Some of the things you believe are built into your explanations. You can't advocate fingerprint scanners for ebook readers without believing that (1) tech-based ID is accurate enough to make that non-invasive for most people and (2) it's okay for a machine to require a legal identification for continued access to purchases. The first point's debatable on objective grounds; the second's a matter of ideology.

You should know when you're declaring an ideological point, and when it's something that's likely to bother a significant number of readers. (That's not "everyone should..." but "anyone who would like to make a living or even an enjoyable hobby out of written communication should...")
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