2017/08/08

Career Advice

Having fled the Dragon Awards after my readers and I crushed his SJW cheerleaders' Narrative, midlist author John Scalzi returned to his fortified Twitter bubble to dispense some career advice.


Career Advice

[Insert obligatory "I don't care, despite launching into an OCD tweetstorm" joke at Scalzi's expense.]

The real lesson for authors here isn't to be gleaned from Scalzi's butthurt words. It's in the attitude he displays toward readers, other authors, and the science fiction field as a whole.

Scalzi's tweetstorm drips with the analog mindset that's already killed Tor Books and all the Big Five publishers (they're just not broke--yet). His biases were formed in the bygone day when authors had to kiss up to New York editors and impress an incestuous pack of CHORF bloggers to build and sustain their careers.

It's understandable that these dinosaurs are slow to accept the new truth of publishing. I don't need to impress editorial interns whose only qualifications are Gender Studies degrees. The petty crab bucket of the "SFF" trufandom Scalzi's talking about is wholly irrelevant to me.

Today, most successful authors build relationships with fans on social media. They learn how to make Amazon's algorithm bring new readers to them. A surprising number of them--far more than in tradpub--are quietly pulling down six or seven figures per year; all without the approval or knowledge of the old gatekeepers.

Nothing bad happens when you stand up to SJWs. Sure, they love to threaten dire recriminations, but if this is the kind of "career damage" they mean, sign me up!

Oh, and Scalzi: consider getting BTFO'd from the Dragons retroactive comeuppance for calling my readers "assholes".

 I'll be voting for the Secret Kings because it's great fiction. If you want philosophical/metaphysical depth it's up there with Frank Herbert or Greg Bear.

22 comments:

  1. Brian
    And Don't forget nepotisically employed. The young lady went Vassar or Wessley or whatever all girl school they their mom and their mom's friends went to.
    I also suspect that a lot of the publishing house slush pile dept is a very feminine workplace. I wouldn't be surprised if there were teddy bears and slumber parties.
    In any case social publishing+social media means writers can desintermediatize the publishers to be with their fans like on the very old

    xavier

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    1. it is. Publishers Weekly ran a poll showing that 70% or more of Big 5 publisher employees are women.

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    2. It's not that they are women, it's that they are SJWs. I mean, Toni Weisskopf at Baen does an excellent job :)

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    3. Gary

      Point taken. But isn't Toni an outlier for her neutrality?
      In any case it seems that the inquisitors are women and teen girls. Right now There's a book that's being pummeled for alleged here's It's a young adult book on witches and racism. Except that the author's character is moving away from that view point.

      Interestingly I haven't come across any guys getting the vapours over this book or the plot premise

      xavier

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  2. In the first place, being seen as an asshole never hurt writers with talent. Harlan Ellison never lost a Hugo being his ole warm cuddly self. Being a writer doesn't sound like a job for wusses.

    Second, of course Scalzi who is too busy finishing his next book to compete for a Dragon, but not too busy to give outdated marketing advice, is feeling the butt hurt. The "underperformance" of the last book shows him how vulnerable he is and that scares the crap out of him. Why else would he bother to (from his point of view) punch down? Brian whatshisname shouldn't even be on Scalzi's radar, if Scalzi is really as big a deal as Tor wants us to think.

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    1. Scalzi projects enough for a whole movie theater chain.

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  4. "Son, after I dropped out of seventh grade, I went down to the bank and shook the owners hand. I retired forty years later running a bank that had transformed from farm loans to sovereign debt."

    Scalzi is deluded by his own experiences, experiences which weren't true for the generation of authors before him, and certainly not true for the generation of authors after him.

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    1. Yep. If he thinks I'm a vulgar ruffian, wait till he has to deal with writers from Gen Zed.

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  5. >tl;dr Dont' be an asshole as a marketing tactic. It's not a good look.

    >“Dear whomever: Kiss my ass." Why Sci-Fi Authors Will Always Tell You To Fuck Off. Political lessons with John Scalzi

    🤔

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    1. That's just maintaining his image as an SJW bad ass.

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    2. Also, now I think Brian should work Mecha Hitler Cat into his bio somewhere.

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    3. Apropos of nothing, now I'm tempted to photoshop a cat head onto mecha hitler from Wolfenstein.

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  6. I think Scalzi's advice is about the worst advice I've ever seen a writer give. People love drama and love it when two professionals go at one another. Of course Scalzi couldn't stand the heat so he made a retreat back to where he can act like the mighty and superior one.

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    1. That's how you can tell he's just spouting self-serving bullshit; not giving actual advice.

      That, and the fact that he compulsively picks fights with other authors non-stop.

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    2. Brian,
      I find picking fights with writers to be rather unproductive. My own naive view is to minimize the bitch slapping cat fights and do your job: keep the readers entertained and fulfill your contractual obligations to your publisher.
      Writing is tough enough without unnecessary distractions
      xavier

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  7. Brian wasn't picking a fight, he was just pointing out what folks who weren't interested in this award last year are doing this year. Scalzi decided he didn't want to be involved in the award after all, if it meant he might be used as a target. Apparently he believes there are a bit more people who don't like him than there ate folks who lobe him and will vote for him. See, when you tell folks who aren't already your fans to go fuck off, you should expect to generate some hostility.

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    Replies
    1. Right. Start nothing. Finish everything :)

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