Monthly Archives: July 2006

An Industry Full of Money-Grubbing Morons

Yes, the title of this posting goes completely against my ethos of staying positive (granted, it’s a fairly new ethos, for those of you who have been paying attention and are scratching your heads). But I felt that I needed to go off for a moment here, just for the sake of continuity and “keeping it real”. Hopefully it won’t go wrong.

Last week, an Australian friend of ours, Steve Reynolds, sent me an article detailing the sorry state of that country’s publishing industry. The paper sent Nobel Prize-winning novel “The Eye of the Storm” to ten major Australian publishers, you know, just to see if their heads would all be inconveniently shoved up their asses, and turns out, even down under, the best place for a publishing house editor’s head to be is rammed completely up his/her ass. It’s the newest trend, evidently.

Yes, you read me right, not a single editor thought the first few chapter’s of Patrick White’s book was worth seeing more of the famous novel. One agent, in the business for three decades, wrote, “the sample chapter, while reply (sic) with energy and feeling, does not give evidence that the work is yet of a publishable quality. I suggest you get a copy of David Lodge’s The Art of Fiction (Penguin) and absorb its lessons about exposition, dialogue, point of view, voice and characterisation.”

This doesn’t do much to inspire the aspiring artist, except to know that, if not for that one certain someone coming through to notice a gem among admittedly large piles of rubble (the infamous slush pile), even Nobel winners would still be flipping burgers. See, I’m convinced that what it takes to succeed in such a cut-throat industry is more than just exquisite prose, more than excellent marketing and will of iron, it takes a lot of good, old fashion luck, and the help of others who have already found footing in the industry. And that is increasingly hard to come by. Eminem had Dr. Dre pull him from a life of frustration and squalor to become one of the biggest rappers in hip-hop history. Our friend Josh Kilmer-Purcell just happened to sit next to Clive Barker’s agent or publicist on a plane, and Clive read his manuscript and fast-tracked it to publication with Harper Perennial. See what I’m saying? They got by with a little help from their friends, proving that an ounce of clout in this industry is worth a pound of agent/editor insight into what is “good”.

So, with that being the case, and with a noticeable lack of any Dr. Dre’s or Clive Barker’s coming to FUTUREPROOF’s aid, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands (for a change, right?). Back in October I proposed a writer’s collective of sorts in the mold of the Wu-Tang Clan, where writers of similarly themed books, with the same sort of outlook on life, the same general ethos, would ban together and fight the powers that be together. There have been few takers. Why? One of three reasons: 1. FUTUREPROOF is sub-par, and therefore many writers don’t want to associate themselves with it. 2. FUTUREPROOF is dangerous and controversial, and therefore many established writers don’t want to potentially damage their own careers by being associated with it. or 3. FUTUREPROOF has the P.O.D. stigma attached to it, and therefore most writers, unless they themselves are self-published, don’t want to have anything to do with us bottom-feeders of the lit world. But there are a few out their who aren’t so cautious. And those are the ones I am looking for and have begun to find. And now we are starting our own collective, which we will unveil to you guys within the next two weeks. We are not without a large amount of support already. The very influential blogger PODdy Mouth has made a name for herself supporting POD books, and she herself is a traditionally published author. She has what I like to call BALLS.

So who’s with us? Who is willing to put their asses on the line to support art that has fallen through the cracks? We’ll see in about two weeks, and moreso over the coming months as we gather support and take this thing to the next level. I hope all of you are ready for the ride. I know I am. Who’s with me?

I’ll be in the chatroom tomorrow at http://www.futureproofbook.com from 3-5 p.m. EST.
Talk soon.
~Frank

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Despairing? Join the club.

“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.” ~Napoleon Bonaparte

I’ve been out of the loop for a while now, and I’ve been happy. I’ve actually felt like a good father to my children and stopped thinking that my whole family and livelihood are fucked because I still don’t have a book deal. My friend Brandon told me something awesome the other day. He said, in regards to FUTUREPROOF not being picked up by a traditional publisher, “A Prophet is rarely heeded in his own land.” Am I saying that I agree with Brando’s assessment of my being a prophet, that I hold great and powerful insight into the world and the human condition? Well–my humility, inherent Jewish sense of guilt, and lack of balls large enough to facilitate such a claim force me to tell you no, I don’t believe that I am a prophet. But I do believe, especially in light of happenings of the past few weeks, that I have a voice that speaks for a lot of people, and I have been very lax in using that voice to its fullest potential.

See, I have been focusing all my efforts on getting FUTUREPROOF properly published. But all along the answer to finding an exceptional community of readers has been right at my fingertips. I’ve sold less than a thousand, more than 500 copies of my book with literally no publicity budget, no way of getting the book noticed, and that means that there are a shitload of people who are still out there and have no clue that FUTUREPROOF exists. Far more important than that, there are thousands upon thousands of us out there who feel the isolation and desperation that is the basis for my book. But we are powerless until we find each other and unite. So what I’d like to do is start a community, with the inception on my myspace page, of people who feel the same way about our increasingly fucked up world. Tell me what you think about the state of things, how you feel about your place in it, what you’d like to do to try to facilitate change. Here’s the first response I’ve gotten on this topic, which was spawned by a conversation in my chatroom at http://www.futureproofbook.com. These comments were made by Charlene. Add comments as you see fit.

Talk soon.

~NFD

P.S. I’ll be chatting more often than ever now, at least once a week. This week it’ll be Thursday afternoon from 1-4 p.m. EST.

Lack of Legitimate Authority
*NB – I use the terms us and them here… but it is mostly only a rhetorical function… I don’t actually think the division is so clear and that there even is a “them” per se.

The main thing that makes us different from everybody else is a complete and utter disregard and contempt for the values that we have been told that we are supposed to have. What drives this contempt is the need and desire to be free… free like they tell us we can be free, but that they don’t really want us to be.

We see through the shit… we see how they manipulate to their own agenda… we see how our lives are merely just cogs in the machine, and we’re bitter about it.

We think that paying bills is a pain in the ass and don’t think that our hard earned money should be going to pay for the new yachts and hummers of the CEOs of multinational banks and corporations… we want the yachts and the hummers for ourselves.

We don’t fall for the advertising, we criticize it.

BUT
We are so fucked up because we NEED a set of beliefs to live by, but those beliefs have been so fragmented by personalized media and the incessant influx of new information that we cannot agree on a coherent set of beliefs.

This is to the benefit of the so-called establishment… to keep us fragmented means that we will stay paralysed. We will consume the video games and reality TV, because when we stop to think about the state of the world, we just want to either (a) curl up in the fetal position and cry or (b) hit somebody

The lack of a coherent generational value system means that we will never be able to get our shit together to ever form a viable opposition.

That’s why the Internet is so threatening… why there is such a big political push to regulate and monitor… it isn’t all islamic fundamentalists they are looking for. Though I don’t always like saying things like this too loud… you never know who is listening.

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