Do we need agents? do we need publishers?
Publishers have long taken the view that agents are parasites contributing nothing to the publishing ecosystem – and they might have a point were it not for the fact that every single time I have ever seen a contract signed by an author without an agent it has without exception been awful.
Agents, pretty obviously, have never questioned the existence of publishers – their parentage sometimes, but not the fact of their existence. But that is changing – it is now possible to ask the question, what are publishers for? How much do they contribute?
Publishers do offer a considerable amount of value of course but do they offer enough value to justify an author giving up 90% of revenue? It is becoming increasingly hard to make that case in all instances – I never expected to have to sell the very idea of having a publisher to authors.
Yes, they are on, and you're welcome to share, but anything that look remotely like spam, even if the filters don't catch it or the scouts don't spot it, will be deleted.
And for the record, my sex life is fine and I don't need any more pain killers, prescription or not.
. . . but I was certainly wowed by the new cover for the ebook edition of Threat Level Black, prepared by Kim Killion of the Killion Group:
Threat Level Black, which was originally published by Simon & Schuster, is available in Kindle format here.
From British thriller writer, Matt Hilton:
Like many other mid-list authors I’m fighting a losing battle to get my books onto physical bookshelves these days, and instead of seeing the numbers of my books growing in availability I’m finding that fewer bookshops now carry them than when I was a newbie on the scene a few years ago. There’s no single specific reason why this has happened, but you can count in the fact that there are fewer bookshops on the high street these days, that many of the supermarkets have cut back on the number of lines they once carried, and that many readers are now turning to Amazon to feed their reading habits. But then you have to also look at the way that the chain bookshops have largely turned their backs on supporting the mid-list authors.
Full blog entry, here.
A lot of what he says applies to the U.S. as well -- and to writers in all places on "the list." It's a bit of a downer, actually, but it's also unfortunately accurate. The changing ecosystem, and the continuing recession or recession-like economy, has made it more difficult for creative artists in general, and writers in particular, to make a decent living.
. . . scientists discover that monkey brains are different than human brains.
Professor Vanduffel continued, "When watching a movie, the cortex processes an enormous amount of visual and auditory information. The human-specific resting state networks react to this stimulation in a totally different way than any part of the monkey brain. This means that they also have a different function than any of the resting state networks found in the monkey. In other words, brain structures that are unique in humans are anatomically absent in the monkey
Imagine the results if they'd been showing them porn . . .
From the Europe is a great example of everything department:
The euro-area economy will shrink in back-to-back years for the first time, driving unemployment higher as governments, consumers and companies curb spending, the European Commission said.Gross domestic product in the 17-nation region will fall 0.3 percent this year, compared with a November prediction of 0.1 percent growth, the Brussels-based commission forecast today. Unemployment will climb to 12.2 percent, up from the previous estimate of 11.8 percent and 11.4 percent last year. . . .
“The decisive policy action undertaken recently is paving the way for a return to recovery,” [Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli] Rehn said. “We must stay the course of reform and avoid any loss of momentum, which could undermine the turnaround in confidence that is under way, delaying the needed upswing in growth and job creation.”
Uh-huh. The policies have worked so well that they've put Europe in a recession, but confidence abounds. In what, I wonder.
So at what point does someone figure out that:
a) North Korea's government, living in a bubble and not a particularly stable one at that, is likely to use its nuclear weapons in a first strike situation; and
b) Not only would their strike potentially kill hundreds of thousands if not millions, but any retaliation is likely to do the same; and
c) It would be far safer for some other country - read, U.S. - to first strike their missile silos and weapons storage areas, limiting potential collateral damage to military targets.
I realize it's hard to take the North Koreans seriously, what with their goofy videos and all (see below), but at some point the calculus becomes unarguable - if a psychotic paranoid controls a lethal weapon, the safest course of action is to take it away before it can be used.
I just wanted to thank readers who have pointed out typos and another anomalies in Omar Bradley. Hopefully we'll have them all fixed for the new edition due out later this year.
Corrections and additions are always welcome - the easiest way to get my attention is by email through the author's site.
A lot of readers have very kindly (mostly) pointed out typos and what-have-yous that snuck their way into my biography of Omar Bradley - General at War.
We're hoping to correct them for the new trade paperback edition due out later this year. If you spot something, I'd truly appreciate knowing. The easiest way would be to post a comment here; you can also email through the author's site. (No need to do so again if you already have. And yes, the captions [arg] were among the first things anyone spotted - the dent in my wall is proof! Hopefully we can at least get them fixed.)
The new Iranian superjet is so good, it flies over stock images . . .
The backstory: Iran announced a new "stealth fighter" the other day, only to have its fantasy exposed by a blogger - the image above showing the aircraft was a Photoshop creation is from the http://harfhaye-nagofte-elham.blogspot.fr blog, located here. (Google translate kind of murders the Persian, but you get the gist from the images. The top photo is a stock image; the jet was superimposed - or "shopped" over it.)
As numerous people have pointed out, the aircraft is a preposterously unflyable design. But it does look kind of cool. Maybe we should get one for Ace Combat.
Iran recently sought to acquire tens of thousands of highly specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines, according to experts and diplomats, a sign that the country may be planning a major expansion of its nuclear program that could shorten the path to an atomic weapons capability.
Is there anyone in the world who thinks Iran is NOT trying to do this??? I mean, duh . . .
I like to believe that we would win at trial. But outcomes are hard to predict with certainty,
particularly in a civil case with a low burden of proof. And so we agreed to settle with no
admission of guilt. As with the other settling publishers, retailers will now be able to discount
Macmillan e-books for a limited time. This change will take effect quickly.
Thank you for all the support you have shown for Macmillan, and me, over this last year. And
also thanks to the many booksellers and others who voiced their opinions. I’m disappointed it
ended this way. But this round will shortly be over, and it is time for us to move on to the next.
Humankind’s common ancestor with other mammals may have been a roughly rat-size animal that weighed no more than a half a pound, had a long furry tail and lived on insects.
Kind of explains a lot, doesn't it?*
* Relax. I'm only kidding.
Translation: Iranian scientists, working around the clock for approximately a year, found the play button for the video gear used during landings/taxiing/takeoffs.
At this pace, the entire technology will be available in . . . twenty years?
On a serious note, it's not actually clear that these images are from the drone; the steady stream of bs propaganda that comes from the country (witness the space monkey, the supposed Iranian stealth interceptor, etc.) make it hard to accept anything at face value. But even if they are, they are hardly as significant as the rest of the technology aboard the aircraft, most importantly its instrument package, which any prudent official has to consider already compromised - not by Iran, but by countries that can actually do something with it.
* Just a note for the technically inclined and those who have asked: Yes, the U.S. also employed snipers in what most people would consider a more "traditional" sniper role: individual missions, and advance scout/recon. While Chris was trained that way and took part in such missions, the vast majority of his kills and his war experiences came from the urban warfare referred to here.
A lot of people who came to know Chris Kyle, either through the book or his other public endeavors, focused on the kills or the medals. For me, Chris was about two things: Family, and helping others.
Even before we began working together on American Sniper, Chris was incredibly dedicated to helping others. We spent a lot of time talking about his plans to help other veterans in various ways.
I remember one conversation we had about what we would do if we suddenly got rich. His words: “I’d set up a foundation to help wounded veterans in any way they need help.”
Throughout his life and career as a SEAL, Chris struggled to determine how his life should be ordered:
God, Country, Family . . . or . . . God, Family, Country.
(Reuters) - Punxsutawney Phil, America's most famous groundhog, emerged from his burrow on Saturday to the glare of cameras and the cheers of thousands of spectators and offered his annual weather prognostication: An early spring is coming.
Images released by the Iranian government — supposedly depicting the monkey before and after the launch — don't appear to match up, casting further doubt on their claims and raising suspicions that the launch may have been faked.
The Iranians claim they used the wrong photo.
At what point will it be revealed that the Iranian space program is actually a cover for a plot to make monkeys extinct?
. . . um, sponsors (??) . . .
rogue-ale-girls 1-30-13 from Cucumberand.co on Vimeo.
. . . Rogues all.
(Catch the Rogue Warrior fighting championships, which help raise money for wounded veterans. Even if you don't like fighting, there's plenty to see. Website)