Oh, Tennessee Dems

It’s crap like this that makes you understand why they’re going to loose. You can’t just make a set of rules that makes your buddy into the only person qualified for a sweet job and not have people kind of grossed out at you.

Honestly, I am perplexed as to whether they just thought this stuff was their due, like some folks think the per diem is, or if they just thought that, if they did this, the inevitable payback would be so awesome it would be worth the risks.

I just don’t know.  It’s really disgusting and demoralizing.

It’s going to be very bad living under Republican rule, but the reasons we ended up here are just blatantly obvious.

I’m glad they’re having hearings into this.

If I am Reading the Wall Street Journal, Does that Make Me Old?

Anyway, two interesting book stories are in the Wall Street Journal. One is about the “stigma” of publishing paperback only and the other is grouching about royalty rates with ebooks. I’m actually stunned that major houses pay 15% of list price on a hardcover and giving out $50,000 or $100,000 advances. Shoot, it’s really a wonder that business model has worked as long as it has.

A Few Things Worth Thinking About

1. I’m getting really excited for y’all to see this year’s ghost stories. Yes, those of you who bought the book and read it will have already seen them, but you can still come here and talk about which ones you like and which ones you hate and why.

2. I’ve scheduled my five for Pith! I think I have a good mix over there. I’m hoping the Nashville Feed guys will do “All the Same Old Haunts” (which reminds me, I need to get with them), which I used as my last story at Pith (I also did “Laura,” the Baptist Sunday School Publishing one, “Lucy White,” and one I’m not remembering off the top of my head) but, other than that story, I’m going to try to tell different stories different places so that, if you bump into publicity for the book, it doesn’t suck because it’s just the same stories over and over.

3. Speaking of Pith, I think I have a couple of good ones over there today. One on how unrealistic it is to assume that Muslims get along better than other religious folks and the other on witches infiltrating Belmont. I especially appreciate them letting the Parsons/Hubbard crack go through, because Hubbard’s links to Crowley are really fascinating to me.

4. Barry Mazor linked to this awesome story on his Facebook page, so I’m sharing it with you.

5. This awesome thing that Mick Foley wrote about Tori Amos will break your heart. I believe professional wresting is an art, an amazing art that takes a lot of skill. Foley was an amazing artist. The thing for me is that so was Chris Benoit. It takes no effort for me to picture him coming off the top rope, his arms spread, his legs straight behind him, the mat far below him, and, for a second, you thought he might never come down. And then his brain turned to mush and he killed his family and himself. Because, we’re learning, that’s what happens to folks who take repeated, even minor, head injuries–wrestlers, football players, even Lou Gehrig probably didn’t die of the disease named after him, but instead, of this brain mushing.

I love wrestling, but I just can’t watch it any more. I feel like I’m watching drug-users commit beautiful, slow-motion suicide in front of me and I have to turn away.

I’m afraid for Mick. I hope he stays okay.

Another Thing that is Different

I already knew this about books at Amazon.com, but I didn’t really realize it about authors. Books at bookstores, especially big chain bookstores, end up on tables or facing out or on endcaps because someone has paid to put them there. Books at Amazon are ordered by algorithm. Any book can appear just as important as any other book in the results. This has been really nice for small publishers whose books appear to have equal value to the big guys in terms of the consumer’s experience.

On a side note, did anyone else see that article about how independent bookstores seem to be making a small comeback precisely because people have come to value them for their curatorial role? How will I find a book I might like? I go to someone I trust to tell me.

Anyway, at Amazon, I look like a real author. I’ve got some dates. I’ve got a book trailer (the same one I posted here, but I changed the ending to say “Available wherever books are sold” instead of “coming soon”). I’ve got  a picture and a bio. People, I have not even told some of the people invited to the book launch party that I’ve written a book, just that they should come hear me tell some ghost stories. “I wrote a book” still seems like something kind of ridiculous. I wrote some stories, for this blog, and y’all liked them and convinced me to collect them.

It wasn’t hard. I didn’t suffer (at least in the writing part. This part has been a mess). I had great, great fun. I didn’t drink too much or need to go off to the woods to get it done. I certainly didn’t bleed all over the page. Shoot, if writing were always like this, I would write books all the time.

So, I feel a little fraudulent. I think a lot of creative people do. Best to just ‘fess up to it and move past it.

Still, if one of the barriers to entry for self-publishers is “you don’t seem like a real author,” Amazon doesn’t have that barrier.