Serial Murdering is My Business and Business is So-So

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Yesterday, PW had an article about Amazon pulling an eBook memoir of the infamous serial killer, Robert Pickton, who is convicted of killing six women in B.C and might be responsible for at least 40 more. The book was transcribed from Pickton’s own words by his cellmate. The retailer pulled the book, published by Outskirt 38661-v2-197xPress, here in CO and a total vanity press, after an online petition surfaced. The publisher has since stopped publishing the work 

Now I am in no way condoning his actions. In fact, as far as I’m concerned he should spend his days tortured by the faces of the dead. 

However, I do wonder about the ability to pull a book of the e-shelves due to who writes it or it’s content. Are we setting a continued bad precedence of banning books we as a society deem too much? Then again, should this bastard benefit in any way from his murders? 

Amazon has every right to rid their shelves of anything. It’s a retailers prerogative. 

I also as a reader have every right to decide for myself what to read and what not to. And trust me, his book is on my NOT list.

Do I have any answers? Nope. Just questions. Getting older is hell. You start seeing more gray than black and white. 

Budgeting for Indie Publication

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Yesterday I talked about what is your writing worth, well today I’m over at the RMFW blog talking about indie publication and how much does it cost in actual figures, not vagueness often consumed on the internets. 

But I wanted to add, when you ask about how much is your writing worth, and then turn around and don’t back it up by putting your money where your mouth is, whether that’s in marketing dollars or time, you’re doing yourself a disservice. 

Okay, so here’s the link to the RMFW blog post. Let me know your thoughts. 

What is Your Writing Worth?

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Recently there’s been a hub-bub in the writer world about Huff Post and their stance on paying writers. Which basically is, hell no, why should we pay you? You’re getting exposure, isn’t that enough you greedy pricks?

I might be paraphrasing.

So the question becomes, how much is your writing worth?

I have books that have sold very poorly. I’m talking not enough for a Happy Meal, so I have to settle for the Sad one. FYI, it comes with apples.

I have books that have sold fairly well. I’m talking KFC family meal money.

I write for the RMFW blog. They don’t pay me.  I also have stories on amazon for free or for real cheap (AKA $0.99).

I get exposure. Meaning I understand it. Not that I get a lot of it. Which is my own doing as I think writing for free for the Huff Post is a joke. It’s all about their attitude toward writers. Toward the people who give them content.

Anyone every heard of don’t shit where you eat? Without writers Huff Post would be a lame bunch of videos about cats. Who wants to watch that for 8 hours a day?

Really the choice is yours, dear reader. Write for free. Don’t write for free.

Expose yourself.

Um, or don’t. It’s probably not a great idea. You’ll get arrested and then try to blame me for telling you to do so.

 

What Harper Lee Gave to Me

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Harper Lee is dead.

Tears welled in my eyes as I read the news. Weird since I’d never met her. Hell until 20 years ago I’d never read a single thing by her, not that she had a lot of words in the world. Just one book (I won’t count that monstrosity published recently).

I’ve read To Kill a Mocking Bird countless time since my very first time. In fact, I make a point to read it once a year, as a reminder of what a great book sounds like, what it invokes for the reader.

Harper Lee gave me so much.

Before I even knew she was a she.

She gave me my first literary love in Jem.

My first regret at not growing up in an era like that (Okay, my only regret if I’m honest).

She gave me Boo. An anti hero if there ever was one.

I can’t repay even a small bit of what she gave me. But today, on the day of her death at the age of 89, I offer this. Harper Lee, you gave me a reason to look for more, a reason to seek what is beyond the obvious. A reason to hope for a future.

Thank you.