Friday, December 30, 2011

Hello, 2012

By Russel D McLean

Next week will be 2012. The year in which the Mayan Calendar states: "don't forget to buy more stone so that calendar can continue past 2013". The year in which great and terrible things may or may not happen.

So gazing into my crystal ball what do I see?*

I see Jay Stringer wowing the world with his debut novel OLD GOLD, which very few people know is written in the style of a Choose Your Own Adventure Book where every ending is a bad one.

I see a certain Scottish DSDer being published in a foreign language for the first time. That foreign language possibly but not neccesarily being Esperanto.

I see Dave White imploding from all the geeky and conflicting Doctor Who knowledge pumped into his brain by myself and Stringer.

I see DSD becoming single handedly saving the publishing industry with three little words: Keep. Entertaining. Readers.

I see Wee Jimmy Krankie replaced Mara Rooney as Salander in the second David Fincher adaptation of The Girl Who Played With Fire. And wowing critics in a career changing performance (and here, especially for friend of DSD, Christa Faust, is the Krankie's Chart-defying single).

In all, I see another unpredictable year with only one certainty - we'll be here at Do Some Damage, with all our foubles and jokes and issues and sheer panache, entertaining and enlightening you day by day throughout 2012. And don't worry, unlike the Mayan Calendar, our one definitely goes all the way through to 2013...

In the meantime, when it comes, happy New Year!

*and more importantly, how accurately do I see it?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We Are All Whiners

This blog post does not represent the opinion of anyone else on Do Some Damage but Dave White.

Shut up.

We--the writers and fans of books--all need to shut up. Big time.

Lately, there's been discussion about self-promotion on Twitter, Amazon boards, Facebook. Basically it comes down to this. Book writers are promoting their books on Twitter. Posting "I have a book out. Buy it! Here's a link." Apparently, it's constant*. Look at me. Look at me. Look at me.

Then came the next wave. All the fans of writers have now revolted and started complaining about self-promotion. Immediate unfollowing of self-promoters. Creating arbitrary rules about promotion. "You can only do it once a week." "Five, ten, fifteen percent of time should be self-promotion." Wahh, wahhh, wahhh**.

Shut up.

First off, fans of writing... you have to understand something. Writers need to be noticed. There's a lot of noise out there and they want you to know the name of their book. Wouldn't you be upset if a writer you loved came out with a book and you never heard about it? All writers have fans. Some have a lot of fans. Some have 2 fans***. The only way their fans are going to notice them is if they mention their book. And you know what? Not everyone is always on Twitter at the same time. So sometimes these writers have to post about it more than once! So, if you're a fan of writer and of writers, give people a break okay. Especially if their book has only been out a month or two.

Okay, now writers. Yeah, you guys. Over here. Listen up. You need to chill out a little bit. Talk to people. Come up with conversation. And also, be creative. Let's not shout it all out all the time and then whine when people complain. You're a writer. Creativity is your life. You have to come up with a way to get noticed that's different from the ways everyone else gets noticed. And I'm not talking contests. Everyone does contests. No one who enters a contest ever buys the product their in the contest for. They want free stuff. If they don't get the free stuff, they'll go try to get other free stuff. I don't know what the real answer is. But you need to lay-off the shouting a little bit. I'm not going to come up with some random arbitrary rule for you****, you need to find your comfort zone. But maybe ease off the gas a little bit.

(Or, how about this. Everyone on Twitter picks a different author to promote. If we all promote each other, it's not self-promotion. Then what? Oh, snap!)

See the problem isn't self-promotion... or complaining about self-promotion. Not really. It's about society. The society we live in. The society of protests.

You see, in real life, protesters are doing something good. They're protesting BIG ISSUES. And they're trying to make real change. Look at the Wisconsin Unions, or Egypt, or the Tea Party, or Occupy Wall Street. They've all created real change over big issues.


We're complaining about .... commercials. Sorry, but commercials are a way of life. You're always going to have them. And some of them are pretty damn annoying. But we've always been able to ignore them. And then the people who make the commercials have to try a different tact. When all we do is complain... complain about the little takes away the power of complaining about the big things. About fighting against something.

But we see all these protests, and we need something to whine about so we take up this issue. OOOHHHHH, there's too much on my Twitter feed. OOOHHHHHH, no one's buying my book.

Gimme a break. All of us. We all need to take a breather. We allllllll--even me--should shut up.

Everyone needs to take a deep breath and just chill out. Yes, I know Freedom of Speech is a right. But by both clogging up Twitter with self-promotional commercials**** and complaining about those commercials, you are trying to prohibit free speech. Complainers want to shut people up, self-promos want Twitter to be nothing more than a commercial.

So, let's ease off. Everyone. Be positive. Have fun. Because you know what? Discussion on Twitter never lead us to real change in publishing. Their circular conversations, ones that end up in the same place****** and never solve anything.

So, let's all take a deep breath and stop the freaking whining*******.

*My Twitter feed did have some advertising in it, but I wouldn't say it was constant. And I follow a lot writers.

**I actually saw a lot more of this than I did the actual self-promotion because it got retweeted a lot. And people didn't just post it, they went on ten tweet rants about it.

***Hi mom! Hi dad!

****Unlike those people on the Amazon message boards. Whoa are they crazy. Anyone tries to do something nice for a writer and they flip the f out. And then high five when the writer slinks away, trying to be nice.

*****Funny. When the promotion comes from a publisher, I NEVER see anyone complain about it. There are never "Boyyyy, Little Brown tweets about their books too much."

******Yes, I understand the irony of me posting about this. But I wanted to say it in more than 140 characters. Then I'll shut up. Plus, I like reading comments.

*******Look at all these footnotes. I hate footnotes. I should stop the footnotes. BLEEECCCHHH. I wrote a whole blog post complaining about footnotes once. Ask Russel. But's a truce. I won't complain about them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Review: Empire State by Adam Christopher

I hope you've all enjoyed your time off from DSD and time with families celebrating the holidays.

While you were doing that, I've been reading. So, I need to line-up a quick review for you all.

When I first picked up EMPIRE STATE by Adam Christopher, it struck me as nod to Brian Bendis's wonderful POWERS series of graphic novels. Cops and robbers in the time of the super heroes.

And while you get that, this book becomes so much more.

It's a mash-up, but not like those GLEE mash-ups where the two songs feel force-fed together. It's all your favorite genres mixed up into one. Love noir and hardboiled detective stories? You'll get that here. Love super hero tales? Check this book out. There's even a little bit of Doctor Who-esque time travel in this book.

I wish I could tell you more about the plot. About the cool character doubling that goes on here. About the fissure. I wish I could sit around and type 1000 words just explaining the plot to you. But if I did that, you wouldn't have anything to read, and you'd be totally missing out.

EMPIRE STATE is a big, blockbuster action book. It has images that will stick with you. Earlier in the week, I tweeted that I kept picturing an HBO TV series trailer as I read this book. That's what you're going to get. There are hints of the fantastic film DARK CITY.

I keep telling you what is used to put this book together. But it's so much more than that... because the mash-up is organic. It works. It's worth it. READ THIS BOOK.

Pick this book up. It's available today. You can get it here. I urge you to do so. If these wild ideas keep running through Christopher's head and he gets them down on paper...he's going to be a superstar.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

By all of Do Some Damage

Christmas Morning, eh? We think that for people of all belief's, there is something to enjoy in taking a day to think of each other. We hope you're all having a good day, full of food and warmth and those really crappy jokes that you get in crackers.

DSD has grown to be a pretty cool extended family, so in addition to those of us on the current roster, we'd also like to mention those who've taken a step off, McFet, Bryon & Mike.

Let's all take some time to think of our loved ones, of those that we have around us today, those that are farther away, and those that are no longer with us. Think of those less fortunate, and those who maybe don't get to experience a day of love and togetherness.

Also, think of Doctor Who.

And mince pies.

And think of 2012. No matter what place you're in now, that's a whole new year, with new promises and new chances at world domination.

We're going to take a few days off, kick back, and spend some time with family and booze. One of the ideas we'd been kicking around here at DSD was to sign off earlier in the week, with a little christmas message from each of us. In the event that we did that, Joelle had sent me a message to include. I think we should sign off for the holidays with that, and we'll see you round the corner in January;

Joelle wishes everyone stockings filled with books, and lots of laughter and happy moments with family and friends. May everyone have a wonderful Christmas/Boxing Day/Hanukkah/fill in the blank and the brightest of New Years.