I’m getting ready to release my new non-fiction parody/satire eBook, “How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (Even If Drunk, High or Incarcerated) within the next 48 hours, and am just awaiting final cover art, and then it will go up on Amazon and all the rest.
In the meantime, I’ve been receiving countless requests for just a taste of the book – a smidgeon of it. I’ll post a longer sample on Wed, but here’s just one of the 59 writer’s tips that can be found in its pages – tips that will change the course of your life if you follow them. And there’s so much more than just the tips. I have a Title workshop, a content workshop, a style and grammar and spelling guide, tips on story and character development, a marketing and self-promotion guide, etc. etc. It’s an almost overwhelming amount of invaluable information, I know, and it will improve lives through its powerful message of hope and perseverance. Never before has such an in-depth tribute to all things writing, self-publishing and self-promotion been created. These are historical times.
But you’ll have to wait a few days to buy it. In the interim, here’s a peek at what’s inside:
Tip #29 – Get a dictation machine
Have you ever been somewhere, and a brilliant idea occurs to you, but by the time you make it home you’ve somehow lost the essence of the thought? Of course not, given that you’re reading this book. But follow along – for some, like Russell Blake, brilliant ideas are like a swarm of locusts pelting him from the heavens. If you’re similarly gifted you know what I mean, which again, is highly unlikely given that I’m doing the writing and you paid to read my words.
Be that as it may, I’d advise everyone to get a portable dictation machine. That way you never have to write anything. You just have to be able to speak, and not even particularly coherently.
Let’s face it, writing is inefficient. It takes time to craft a paragraph, whereas you can verbally blurt out a chapter over a few shots of Don Julio while watching Jackass 3 on DVD. The trick is to avoid writing, as that requires skill. Who has the time to develop chops at a declining-value discipline? I mean, hey, you could also practice miming for the next decade, but you’re still just a twat in a leotard with face paint. Is there really any point to climbing an air rope or struggling to get out of an air box or touching an air wall? That would be, uh, NO!
Same for writing. The whole reason speech was invented was to simplify the practice of communication, forever obviating having to commit thoughts to paper. And then, shortly thereafter, motion pictures and television came along. My point is that writing is so old school. These are new times. Why bother, when you can plagiarize or hire someone else to do the work for you?
Do the math on writing. If you have a successful novel, and you sell a million copies of the paperback, what do you see? Maybe half a million bucks, if you’re lucky and the publisher hasn’t got a legal team cornholing you every step of the way? But your agent takes fifteen percent, then your publicist has a bite at you, then the taxman, and pretty soon you’re standing in the poorhouse with blood and semen running down the backs of your legs wondering what happened.
Contrast that to a film deal. You come up with an idea, buy a software package on the Internet for pennies (if you’re too lazy to pirate it or get a shareware version) that will basically write a treatment for you, or alternatively find some halfwit screenwriter who wants some whiskey money to create an outline, and then you go pitch it to a couple of guys at Pixar or Universal. They love you, everyone’s very excited, you get greenlit, and they give you three or four million advance against a back-end that should net you upwards of twenty, for some complete crap idea like “Chipmunk Force Five – This Time It’s Personal.” You don’t need a script – you just pitch high concept.
Here’s how the pitch meeting might go.
Sol: “Russell. Sweetheart. You look great! You get a little work done around the eyes? Nice. Not all Mickey Rourke. Tasteful. But please, sit, sit. Mi casa, su casa, or whatever. So whaddaya got for me today? Vampire cats? Space dinosaurs? Just tell me – I always have time for you, but man, today I’m jammed, you know? Tom and Kate are throwing a hissy fit, and Johnny’s . . . well, he’s Johnny, you know?”
Me: “Sol, here it is, just for you. Pure gold, alright? So, you have these chipmunks, see, and they’re just lovable little furry f#ckers out in a field with blue skies and butterflies, and the chipmunks are doing whatever the f#ck chipmunks do, and then suddenly they go Mission Impossible on your ass because an oil refinery project threatens the pasture! Think Dogs and Cats, think Ice Age, think a Bruce Willis smartass fast-talking chipmunk with a crusty but lovable Chris Rock sidekick! And here’s the best part: their sworn enemies are the cats! So they gear up in ninja suits, and it’s two hours of brain suck! Can’t you hear the dialog already? Do I even need to tell you? We hire a couple of punks I know to fill in the blanks, every other line is a wise-crack, and it’s written so kids will love it, but the parents will laugh their asses off too!”
Sol: “Jesus. You’re a genius, Russell Blake! The merchandising will be worth a hundred mil domestic alone! Ka-Ching! Come over here. Gimme a hug. Where do you come up with this sh#t? Whadda you want? Three mil? Four? Okay, ya got me. I’ll go five, against the usual back-end, and a producer credit, full creative control, and you get to pick the director. You. Look at you! F#cking ninja chipmunk motherf%ckers. You’re killing me with this sh#t!”
Me: “Sol. Do I look stupid? You want me to mouth-f#ck you or something? Don’t insult me or treat me like your b#tch. We’re friends here. Five, the usual back-end plus points, executive producer, fifteen of the merchandise including international, and who gives a sh%t who directs? It’s a f+cking CARTOON! Now where do I sign? You gonna drink that? Come over here, honey, and sit on pappa’s lap!”
Together: “A cartoon! Chipmunks! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.”
Note. I’ve copy-written this and similar ideas involving all manner of rodents, including but not limited to gerbils, hamsters, chipmunks, beavers, rats, mice, and most marsupials, so if you’re looking for a concept to steal, get ready to meet a lawyer who eats pit bulls for breakfast and has wet dreams about taking you on. He’ll tear your organs out and eat them in front of your mom just for practice. Try me. Alternatively, if you’re a studio, let’s talk, break bread, come to an arrangement. It’s an exciting time. Let’s make beautiful music- there will be plenty to go around. Don’t let this one get past you – you’re running out of comics to make into half-assed flicks.
My point is that the economics of writing kind of suck. Hey, if you want to learn something useless that pays crap, why not take up origami or ice-sculpting? Why wade in with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of other writers, many of whom might actually have talent?
This is a business. Be smart. You’re in it to sell a Gazillion eBooks, not to be the next Henry James. Wake up. Smell the coffee. Get the dictation machine. You’ll be glad you did.
I know, I know. That alone was worth the $2.99 for the book. And that’s only a sliver, a tiny snapshot of the goldmine that is this writer’s guide. But you’ll just have to wait a few more days for the whole thing. Now stop bugging me so I can get some sleep!
On another note, many of my fans have been asking me what I do for relaxation when I’m not penning mega-blockbuster eBooks. The answer is, I listen to music. Here’s one of my favorites to write to. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If you have children, you might want to have them crowd around the computer to watch the fun, before putting them to sleep in the room with the clown face clock on the wall.