David A. Schwinghammer
· Soldier's Gap
· Fisher of Men, Chapter 8
· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Eight
· Mengele's Double, Chapter Eight
· Bereavement Blues
· Fisher of Men, Chapter 7
· Speed Dating With 'Janeane Garofalo'
· The Cynic
· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer - Chapter Seven
· Mengele's Double, Chapter 7
· Mengele's Double, Chapter Six
· Norse Mythology, book review
· Capitalism, Is This the Best We Can Do?
· Bookworm (book review)
· Band of Brothers (book review)
· WWII Nurses (book review)
· Glory Fades Away (book review)
· Denial Is Not a River in Egypt, George!
· Thomas Jefferson, book review
· The Hairstons (book review)
· Brothers (book review)
· Alumni Game
· Girls Who Wear Glasses
· The Do Drop Inn
· Ode to Neve Campbell
· Jacks or Better 101
· Never My Love
· 3 O'Clock
David A. Schwinghammer, click here
to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.
Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer
Bon Iver Front Man Makes Important Statement
2/16/2012 9:59:53 AM
Justin Vernon seemed reluctant to take the Grammy for "Best New Artist" at the Grammy Awards ceremony because so many talented musicians will never be invited, much less receive one.
Besides Adelle’s incredible voice and the Whitney Houston sentiments, the most significant moment at the Grammy awards came when Bon Iver front man Justin Vernon accepted the trophy for best new artist. Vernon seemed somewhat reluctant to accept the prize in that his band also won the Indy (independent) artist Grammy. He notably said, “This is for all the talented musicians out there who will never be invited to these awards or win a grammy.” The implication was that many great musicians never get a chance or they play for the sake of playing music. Some would say he could have or should have really gone off on the industry for what passes for popular music these days. I’m talking about the emphasis on overdubbing. Justin Bieber comes to mind, as does his girlfriend Selena Gomez. It’s hard to tell if Selena actually has a credible voice. One must give Bieber and others credit for putting themselves out there on You Tube, however, and we have performer here in Minnesota, Owl City, who recorded his smash hit “Fireflies” in his basement, acting as his own producer. Another culprit seems to be television with its ubiquitous contest shows where callers actually spend money to vote (at least they did originally). They often choose a person for the wrong reasons in my mind. It’s like a junior high popularity contest. Colbie Caillat auditioned twice for American Idol, performing her hit release “Bubbly” the second time and never made it to the judges. Other than Kelly Clarkson I can’t think of an American Idol winner that I actually like. You have to give Kelly credit; she’s actually getting better.
The other indy innovation is in the publishing domain. I wonder how many people out there know that mainstream publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. In other words you need an agent. An agent can be anybody. He/she can be a plumber if he has the promotional gene. Generally they’re looking for something they know will sell: a celebrity bio or somebody who sounds like a popular writer. Talent is secondary. I know this sounds like sour grapes, but why should somebody who has no literary background make decisions about who gets published? Random House and other great houses used to have something called a slush pile; they would appoint a rookie editor to go through these unsolicited manuscripts. Most of them were garbage but occasionally they’d find a real gem. Even that was a better deal than the present sham. There are Internet sites, like authors den where you can post your work, but apparently agents don’t have the time or they expect you to jump through the hoops, i.e., send a query letter, get your dozens of rejection letters etc. before they ask about your work.
Let’s take a look at the New York Times best seller list, shall we? Not a single literary writer in the bunch. I guess we’ll have to wait for the next Jonathan Franzen, and the only reason he was listed was because of the Oprah flap. Of course we have the notorious James Patterson. I say “notorious” because he “writes” so many books. For a while there he listed a co-author, but apparently others were willing to do it for the money without the credit. We also have Tom Clancy who also seems to have run out of ideas; he lists Art Greaney as his co-author. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST is still on the list. It’s about the most original novel listed. Stephen King, who claimed he’d run out of ideas and was going to retire several years ago, is back with something called 11/22/63. He’s actually a pretty good short story writer, but they don’t sell as well as the novels. P.D. James is on the list. Her pacing is so slow I keep falling asleep when I read her work. Oh, yeah, then there’s Glenn Beck. He’s not on this list, but his “mysteries” have been there before. He freely admits he doesn’t write his own stuff; he’s got a collaborator who doesn’t usually get credit.
There are some options for indy writers. You can publish with a vanity press and hawk your product from the trunk of your car. There’s also print on demand publication and e-books. You can sell an e-book for 99 cents. One woman sold a million copies of her vampire romance. Excuse me, but that’s catering to the proles. Don’t we have enough vampire movies and books without another one, especially a vampire romance? Who buys this stuff? There have only been two decent authors concerned with vampires, Bram Stoker, who started the whole mess and Anne Rice who began to scare herself so much that she became an evangelical Christian, only to relent later when they became to political for her.
I recently reviewed a book for an e-book author, critiqued it actually. She had divided her book into three sequels. There was no ending in other words. I wonder if that was the publisher’s idea. She said they paid her for the book so I wouldn’t doubt it. Anyway, it made me almost as mad as I was when I read the Jack Reacher novel 61 HOURS where Lee Child expected us to believe he killed off his bread and butter hero. I hope that’s not an industry practice for e-books.
I almost forgot movies. There’s a reason Robert Redford founded the Sundance Film Festival. Adam Sandler movies have earned well over a billion dollars. About the only Sandler movie I thought was funny was the one where he played a pro golfer, and Bob Barker punched him out. Are you tired of the comic book characters yet? A black and white silent movie is on the verge of winning the Oscar for best movie. It looks like it was based on the old “Thin Man” movies, but I’m pretty sure those were talkies. I think the director was making a satirical statement. Even “Titanic” has a scene that should’ve been cut. The ship is sinking and this guy is chasing his fiancee and her lover around the ship with a gun. Nobody seemed to have noticed that was highly unrealistic. Why not wait for them to drown?
So . . . what’s my point? They won’t record this stuff if you don’t buy it; those books are on the best-seller list because the publisher printed thousands of copies and sent them to book stores and the on-line sellers like Amazon. They haven’t necessarily sold. Nobody makes you read them. I actually tried to watch a few comic book hero movies. The only one I kind of liked was the original Superman movies with Christopher Reeve, and that was because I was a huge Superman fan when George Reeves played him on television. I haven’t actually been to a movie in over twenty years, and I don’t rent them anymore either. The last one I tried to rent was “The Hangover” because the previews looked funny. I finally saw it on TV. It wasn’t that funny.
Watch a George Clooney movie. He’s at least trying to do good work. He’s also a good man. He deserves an audience. Have you heard of Darfur? He actually went to there and did everything he could to help those people. How many Americans cared? He even contracted malaria as a result, and he’s going back.
I listen to an oldies station. They make me mad because they play the same songs over an over, too, but at least some of them are good songs. I don’t own an iPod. I used to belong to a CD club, but I’d get them in the mail and never listen to them. I did once listen to a walkman while on my daily walk, but I stopped doing that because I’m a writer and those were somebody else’s thoughts.
If you watch too much of this stuff, or listen to it or even read it, it affects your thinking. You start doing things like collecting autographs and wearing super hero underwear. You might even start a gun collection if you watch too many action movies.
Post a Comment new!
More Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer
Skunks Believe Everybody Else Stinks - Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Morning After Pill - Friday, April 12, 2013
What Would Thomas Jefferson Say? - Saturday, April 06, 2013
Boneheads - Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Why Benedict XVI Resigned - Sunday, February 17, 2013
Gabby Giffords Testifies - Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Newspaper Caters to Gun Owners - Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Piers Morgan Deserves a Medal - Monday, December 24, 2012
The Red Devil and the Blue Devil? - Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Is the new TV show, REVOLUTION, fantasy? - Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Fanatical Moslems Aren't That Different From Our Fanatics - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
We Need the United Nations - Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Stop Catering to People's Basest Instincts - Monday, July 09, 2012
Concerned Women for America political ad - Saturday, June 23, 2012
Independent Voters Need to Pick a Side - Monday, June 11, 2012
Romney's Solyndra Appearance - Friday, June 01, 2012
Single Issue Voters - Sunday, May 20, 2012
Bully or Sociopath? - Saturday, May 12, 2012
Tan-orexic Woman Poor Role Model - Friday, May 04, 2012
So Far Right They're Almost Left - Sunday, April 22, 2012
Dog Eat Dog - Sunday, April 15, 2012
The Tea Party is Back! - Sunday, March 25, 2012
Gas Prices - Tuesday, March 13, 2012
"Doofus" - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Bon Iver Front Man Makes Important Statement - Thursday, February 16, 2012
Contraception Blowback - Friday, February 10, 2012
800 vetoes! - Saturday, February 04, 2012
Issa Hounding Holder over GOP program - Thursday, February 02, 2012
Rick Santelli's Rant - Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Corporate Raider President? - Thursday, December 01, 2011
Is This the Best They Can Do? - Thursday, November 17, 2011
Tea Party a non-violent Movement? - Sunday, October 30, 2011
Wall Street Protests - Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Three new stooges - Thursday, August 25, 2011
Hypocrite enters the race - Friday, August 19, 2011
Business Leaders Need to Speak Out - Saturday, July 30, 2011
Rupert Murdoch and GOP Credibility - Monday, July 25, 2011
Playing on the railroad tracks - Sunday, July 17, 2011
Scapegoating - Sunday, June 19, 2011
The Biggest Swindle in US history - Friday, June 03, 2011
We're Still Here! - Saturday, May 21, 2011
Improve education by improving teacher morale - Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Tea Partiers Don't Know What They're Talking About - Thursday, April 28, 2011
General Electric paid no corporate taxes - Tuesday, April 05, 2011
The Flat Earth Society is at it again! - Thursday, March 17, 2011
Crap fest - Thursday, March 03, 2011
Egyptian Revolution - Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Tucson - Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Would you want a right-winger for a neighbor? - Friday, January 07, 2011
Noah's Ark Museum - Monday, December 06, 2010
Frick and Frack Shoot Off Their Mouths - Friday, November 05, 2010
Enthusiam Gap - Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Super Computer - Tuesday, October 19, 2010
US Chamber of Commerce, conservative front group. - Wednesday, October 13, 2010
13 Reasons to vote the straight democratic ticket - Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Breitbart Makes Segretti look like a choirboy - Wednesday, July 28, 2010
House on Fire? - Thursday, June 17, 2010
The Blame Game - Friday, May 28, 2010
National Prayer Day - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Conservative psyche (continued) - Friday, May 14, 2010
Conservative psyche - Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Are you smarter than a half-term governor? - Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Rewriting History - Monday, April 05, 2010
Fred Phelps - Friday, April 02, 2010
Combing the Daily Newspaper - Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Noir - Friday, November 06, 2009
Interview with SOLDIER'S GAP author continued - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
More from SOLDIER'S GAP author - Thursday, October 29, 2009
SOLDIER'S GAP author answers questions. - Thursday, October 22, 2009
Everything you always wanted to know about writing a novel - Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Manuscript conventions - Thursday, September 10, 2009
Revision - Monday, September 07, 2009
Dialogue - Thursday, September 03, 2009
Scene cards - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Point of view - Thursday, August 27, 2009
Plot - Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Arnie's dream - Friday, August 21, 2009
Rituals - Thursday, August 20, 2009
Dressing Arnie Vogel - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Character sketch continued - Friday, August 14, 2009
Character sketch - Thursday, August 13, 2009
Characterization - Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Scene outline - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Warm-up activity - Freewriting - Monday, August 10, 2009
Warm-up activity - brainstorming - Sunday, August 09, 2009
Warm-up techniques (clustering) - Saturday, August 08, 2009