Economies of Scale in the Writing World: Beyond Talking Indies

Tower of Books - Buenes Aires, Argentina

Tower of Books – Buenes Aires, Argentina

My fall “Talking Indies” column, “Three Money Lessons for Starry Eyed Authors,” comes out today at TW. It summarizes three important lessons I’ve learned since I dove full-time into the publishing and writing world in 2012. The column is intended to be slightly provocative and amusing as well as heuristic with respect to self-publishing. It deals, essentially, with key economic/business elements that all writers need to understand — supply and demand in the writing world is not something to gloss over if you’re an indie author.

These three lessons are not unique to self-publishing. They are true for all the arts, and not just for indie artists, but for everyone in the world of creativity.

1. There’s a shitload of other work out there, i.e., you have more competition than you can possibly imagine (supply)

2. Unless you’re The Beatles or Picasso — or Derek Jeter — no one cares what you just put onto the market (demand)

3. The digital world makes product availability infinitely perpetual (leap frogging the supply and demand problem)

All three points are obvious and essential to understand for success in the modern world where half of what we do, think, [Read more...]

It Always Comes Back to “Hey Joe”

Hey Joe

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today marks the 44th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death. He left this world when he was just 27. Thanks to my good friend Derrick Baldwin for reminding me of this. Derrick is one helluva keyboardist and I love it when his band gets him to sing.

Some people think you’re pathetic if you gush even just a smidge about Jimi. Those people don’t know shit and probably think people on “America’s Got Talent” are artists to follow for life. There’s more to art, though, than standing on stage and having yourself electrified into people’s homes.

Watch the video below and listen to what Jimi says about practicing. What separates [Read more...]

Bones of the Trade: An Argument for Pan-Human Poetics


Them Bones

All people are poets. Only some of us know this, but it’s true. Each person has these secret bones in them. This is pan-human. You need to know about these bones, though, to look for them, or you won’t know they’re there.

Text Bones are pulsing white aching things. When words come out of that special place that feels like something from the outside is coming in first, they lodge inside your Text Bones, which are everywhere. After a few moments, they can leave [Read more...]

What Happens When Indie Authors Die? The Problem of Digital Archives and the Avenging Prius

Even in death some don't find peace..  #coffin...

Even in death some don’t find peace (Photo credit: Gulfu)

I’m working on ten separate book projects these days — four novels, two memoirs, two collections of related stories, and two titillatingly weird erotic chronicles about masturbation in the modern world. These last I intend to publish under pseudonyms. 90% of the work I do is on my laptop, a rather trustworthy MacBook now seven (7) years old.

In addition to the ten big projects I’m working on I have over fifty short stories in various stages of undress that always seem to be shivering on the white screen I look at every day. Some of these stories are just notes and scraps of dialog, but the majority are nearly finished drafts or, perhaps, completed first drafts that I am not so happy with.

By the end of 2014 I hope I’ve got a publishing deal or two for a few of the books I [Read more...]

20 Minutes to Get It Down: Jimi Hendrix and The Wind Cries Mary

The Jimi Hendrix Experience performs for Dutch...

The Jimi Hendrix Experience performs for Dutch television show Fenklup in 1967 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who’s watched video of Jimi Hendrix (or was lucky enough to see him in person) knows that his LIVE, improvisational guitar performances are unparalleled. His early reputation of wild child shaman boogie man was something many of us not only revered, but we saw that persona as an ultimate expression of who we thought we might want to be (us guys anyway).

As much as Jimi was the epitome of masculine style for us hippie-heads back in the day (gotta admit I was 9 – 12 when he was peaking) his stage presence with all its [Read more...]

Joni Mitchell Speaking About Meeting Jimi Hendrix

For the next few months I am going to periodically offer commentary on video clips by famous artists on what it was like to meet Jimi Hendrix and what he meant to them. You can find most of these clips easily enough on YouTube, but there are special ones I want to highlight here at my website because of the special insights they give us into the creative process. Great artists speaking about other great artists provides us with unguarded insights into the life of the creative spirit.
Joni Mitchell

Cover of Joni Mitchell

Below is the first clip I want to offer. It starts out with a Joni Mitchell interview and ends with a weird video rendition of “Voodoo Chile.” Note how “Mitch” appears to know Italian. That’s impressive as hell.

Joni and Jimi were both on the rise in the late 1960s when they met. We all know how much Jimi revered the Beatles and Bob Dylan. It’s likely he respected a lot of the other innovators of that era as well. And there were many. Certainly by the time Jimi and Joni met, it was clear that Joni’s ability to mix complex melodies with real poetry (not just lyrics) was worthy of Hendrix’s attention.

Joni says that Jimi recorded her concert using a big reel-to-reel tape recorder and [Read more...]

The Big Woman and the Small Ax: Some Implications of the Amazon-Hachette Book Stand Off

English: Logistic Center Amazon in Bad Hersfel...

Logistic Center Amazon in Bad Hersfeld industrial park “Blaue Liede” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amazon’s truly living up to her name. She’s a Big Badass Woman in the jungle. She thinks she’s learned a lot watching Walmart beat the crap out of their suppliers so she’s doing the same thing.

If you pay attention even a little to the publishing world, you probably know that I’m talking about Amazon’s harsh tactics directed at publishing conglomerate Hachette. Hachette doesn’t want to use the pricing and marketing scheme Amazon is offering. Amazon wants to have ultimate control [Read more...]

On Noise and the Big Box of Questions

The Essential Elvis Presley

Photo credit: Wikipedia

My novel, Beyond the Will of God, is now posted at, an amazing website that lets artists offer their music and books to people for free. You can find all sorts of weird and amazing leading edge work at that site offered by everyone from 17-year-old guitar geniuses to hard-to-categorize 56-year-old psychedelic novelists writing for uncompromising lovers of music and weird ideas.

Beyond the Will of God was published on July 4, 2012. It’s been downloaded over 10,000 times from Amazon and even won the Indie Book-of-the-Month Award at (sadly, now defunct). If you go to the NoiseTrade page for the book you’ll find some excellent quotes by respected reviewers. BWG [Read more...]

The Formality of Occurrence: Chapter One

August 15, 2003

David Charles Biddle at Christmas Time, 1958.

David Charles Biddle at Christmas Time, 1958.

We set off for Richmond, Indiana and the traffic is like a line of cattle cars beginning in Philadelphia streaming all the way to Pittsburgh. I don’t remember the Pennsylvania Turnpike ever being so congested and dense with automobiles and trucks and people and confusion. The rest areas are a mass of humanity and smell of disinfectant, cash, body odor, new plastic, sugar drinks, and fried food. You are risking your life getting off this three hundred mile strip of highway to grab a snack and take a leak. Re-entering the road is like trying to attach your car to an alien freight train doing seventy-five, driven by thousands of desperate engineers.

I don’t know why we are taking this trip, really. We have a name. That is all.

In 1992 the state of Ohio created a process for adoptees born before 1970 to [Read more...]

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