Kashmir Hill’s fascinating look at the business of sock-puppeting business reputation. She starts a fake Karaoke truck, and manages to establish online credibility without too much effort.
Mark my words: reputation online is the battleground of the future. Trust is the key component.
For $5, I could get 200 Facebook fans, or 6,000 Twitter followers, or I could get @SMExpertsBiz to tweet about the truck to the account’s 26,000 Twitter fans. A Lincoln could get me a Facebook review, a Google review, an Amazon review, or, less easily, a Yelp review.
The delightful Alexander Chee looks at Ferrante’s deal with her publishers, and what it means for the modern author, exposed and available at all times through social media.
The postcards I once made for my first novel back in 2001 have been joined by blogging and social media—which have a much bigger footprint online than a postcard or in some cases an ad—and come with a relatively low financial cost, if you already have a laptop or a smartphone. Thus the seemingly essential role social media and the Internet play in the marketing of books now. Most of us who write and publish fiction in 2015 are participants in a process that extends from before publication to well after, and includes creating a kind of electronic diorama of our writing process and lives, extending across several platforms, all of it available at a glance to any interested consumer. Your feed as native advertising, an open answer to the questions so often asked at readings: “How much of this is autobiographical?” or “What is your process?” or “Where do you write?”
As John Scalzi points out, it may matter how you define what a book is:
Also, you know. What a “novel” or “book” is, is a very fungible thing. The term “novel” encompasses a book like The Goldfinch, which is almost 300,000 words, and Redshirts, which was 55,000 words, not counting the codas. The more-or-less official lower length of a novel is 40,000 words; at the other extreme, Alan Moore’s novel Jerusalem, slated for publication next year, is a million words long. I don’t recommend trying to write four Jerusalems in a year. But on the other hand, four 40,000 word stories? That’s entirely doable for a very large number of writers.
It’s absolutely delightful to hear a young Margaret Atwood here, and never mind the idiotic terms with which the writer cast the interview. She’s nuanced and brilliant, and responding to stupid questions that intend to be heady, but instead are broad. Interviewers! Ask very specific questions and you will get good answers. “What is poetry”, on the other hand, is a horrible question. It’s insulting. You don’t ask accountants “What is accounting”. It’s a question designed only to make you look deep, and trust me, people are tuning in for her, not you. That Atwood offers such an interesting, engaged answer is testament to the fact that her genius started very young.
The tetchy writer who posted this wants to cast her as an barely understandable McLuhan figure. Ignore the write-up and skip right to the audio. Her own words from her mouth are more than enough.