Wednesday, July 22, 2015

TWIC: understanding art, painting and writing, rip el doctorow

Confessions from the scammy underground world of Kindle e-books.
I'm a number 1 best-selling Kindle author... maybe it’s because I ripped off a free book that I found online, made up a middle-aged author from Ohio, and then played Amazon like a fuckin’ vintage banjo to become the #1 ranked book in not one, but two separate categories.
It's hard to maintain a consistent opinion on 'gaming' the rules.  One should use the rules to optimal effect.  For a competitive swimmer racing in backstroke, when the rules say you can kick underwater a maximum of fifteen metres from a wall, you aim for fourteen point nine, not seven.  That's entirely ethical.  On the other hand, in a relay where I was approaching the wall swimming butterfly for another swimmer to start, if my distance was off a little, I would slam my arms against the water to make the actual touch hard to see.  Did the final swimmer start a little early?  Hopefully the official would have trouble deciding.

The reporter in this article plagiarized a lot to this goes beyond simple gaming but there are more and less ethical examples out there.  Scott Sigler is a New York Times best-selling novelist and that is because he writes well and built up a loyal fanbase through podcasts; when his book was about to come out of Amazon, he asked all his readers/listeners to buy the book on the same day building a lot of localized buzz in the process. This seems fair.
William Demski, of the Intelligent Design think tank the Discovery Institute, also appears to have gamed the system and I don't find this so benign. His own coworkers were the main authors of 5 star reviews.
I wonder if Monster Dress Up would be a good way to teach clothes and body parts to my ESL students.
Understanding Art, a study of Large Bathers by Cezanne  Not my thing, exactly, but interesting none the less. It might be strange to connect an established master with the practice sheets of a beginner but I have been interested in Sam Sykes' novice drawings.  Sykes is a skilled writer and author of many books and has become interested in learning to draw. He has been putting his images on Twitter.

I think that in some of the stories I am working on, I need to draw some maps and other pictures to better explain to myself what is happening and will happen next.

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