Sunday, November 28, 2010

It’s About the Writers

NEW IDEAS mean nothing without writers willing to carry them out. For my plan to work, I’d need writers willing not only to write work  likely to be dismissed and scorned by the critical establishment, but also willing to play with their own presentation. Look and charisma. Where does one find such writers? I’m beginning to believe, not in literature! Writers will have to be not chosen, but made. They’ll have to have innate talent, sure, and be completely open-minded. Are there places to find such a breed? I believe so, but we’ll see.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The New

We live in a world where everything is known and seen; nothing is exotic and new. The key to success, then, is simple. Develop and present the new.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Talent Isn’t Enough

We all know talented writers. What are they doing with that talent? Anything?

Talent is like a precious mineral in the ground. It has to be found, mined, cleaned-up, leveraged, and marketed. When it’s allowed to sit, it’s worth nothing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010



I have a new plan 85% ready to go. The main thing I lack at the moment is capital. Also, of course, writers! The universe is telling me that the time isn’t yet ripe.

My plan is counter-intuitive to the thinking of 99.999% other writers. On the surface it’d appear insane. That’s the idea! Playing by the rules doesn’t work. No way. You have to destroy the rules, every rule. In our ultra-competitive society, it’s the only way to succeed.

At the same time, everything about my plan is completely logical, using a few immutable rules of promotion which haven’t been suspended because of the rise of social media. They only appear to have been suspended and superceded. The nature of making innovative art is being able to think clearly amid the noise of media, the “fog of war” of what everyone else is doing. This is nearly impossible today—but there lies the opportunity, because keeping one’s head leads to the path of being unique. The path out of the chaos and noise.

My plan will work by using  key promo tricks that to my knowledge haven’t been written down, but have been used time and again by American hustlers from Barnum to the Colonel; chief among them the creation of “walls” to manipulate buzz and interest in what you’re selling. It’s what I did only in small part with the Underground Literary Alliance. Next time I’ll eliminate what the ULA did wrong and multiply what it did right.

Friday, November 5, 2010

More Gaga

I read a comment by someone to the effect that “it’s fun looking at Lady Gaga.” Yes! She gets it. Culture first needs to be fun, a fun experience, which for lit means a fun, thrilling read; works literally fun to look at by writers with a fun aspect or look about them as well.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Guys on the Yachts

EVERYBODY is selling something. I note there’s now an “Underground Literary Society” on the internet--

which has a Media Communications arm which tells the writer that you have to have an online presence to brand yourself. At Outsider Writers Erik Deckers is selling pretty much the same thing: a book telling the writer how to use social media to brand yourself. Meanwhile, there are writing experts selling, for fees, info on how to write the saleable story and market it. I’m trying to find the experts’ own stories, and work of their pupils, and not having much success at it.

NO DOUBT all these folks, and a hundred others like them, have useful tips—ideas which could be incorporated into a workable literary program.

At the same time, I’m reminded of the commodity trader—an expert of sorts in the field—who I worked with. I helped sell his expertise via an old fashioned print newsletter. He told me once that the guys who could truly beat the markets, consistently, weren’t out hawking 1-900 numbers or books. They were sipping cocktails on their yachts.

I hear on the radio on weekends continual infomercials from guys who’ll tell you they have a winning system for picking football games. Listen to them carefully and you hear a desperate edge to their voices. If they could really pick the winners and make the million dollars they promise, why don’t they do it themselves? Why are they putting so much energy into signing up clients?

In some sense the same questions apply to the lit-biz. Come up with a true winner—a better art—and you’re going to exploit it yourself.

If 600,000 writers are using the same system—social media for branding, say—then there’s no possible way for the technique to work. There’s no way to stand out from the pack, which is what branding is about. In fact, using social media might be the very worst tactic to use, for reasons I’ll discuss in a later post.