Archive for July, 2011

Konrath banned me!!

Posted by on July 27th, 2011

He totally did! This is amazing.

What a chickenshit.

For what it’s worth, it was because of this discussion here.

Now, everybody knows I don’t like Joe much, not because of his writing (which is adequate) but because of his ceaseless campaign of self-promotion, of which his blog, including all of the advice about self-publishing, is an obvious component. But that’s all right. This latest post, however, seemed a bit dubious. It’s one thing to advise people to self-publish (we can all see the pro- and anti- arguments there), but it’s quite another to suggest that translating your work for foreign markets is an untapped potential gold mine.

The first problem is Joe’s remarkable idea that “Foreign markets are going to be starved for good novels.” I mean, that’s just offensive nonsense, isn’t it? The idea that foreign markets are so starved of home-grown talent they’re just waiting for Konrath to be translated to fill a gap in their lives? It’s rubbish. But – we might say – symptomatic of the mind-set we’re dealing with here.

The second problem is the obvious practical cost of translation. There are people in that thread talking about using translation software to prepare their books for foreign markets. No, seriously. There really are people doing that. In reality, of course, translation is an art, and translators deserve the high fees they command. For standard languages, you’re looking at at least 10k for a novel-length work. For others, the cost will be higher.

If you’re Joe, assuming his sales-figures are accurate, ┬áthen maybe you can afford that. But there’s a danger that the people who hang on his every word there will see it as an investment rather than a huge fucking risk. Self-pubbing to Kindle is effectively free, as it stands. You might sell three copies as opposed to Joe’s thousands, but, really, you haven’t lost anything. But start listening to Joe on translation, however, and you might end up losing a lot more. You’ll need to sell tens of thousands of eBooks to break even – and chances are you won’t, because very few people do. Don’t become a sacrifice, we might say, on the altar of Joe’s big, fat, fucking, bearded ego.

Anyway – he banned me. Ostensibly because I was an “anonymous coward”, despite the fact I used his own log in system to post my comments, and then he deleted the comment where I explained who I was. Make of that what you will. As things stand, he’s kept the earlier comments I made. But the comment he deleted is as follows, for what it’s worth. The bold bits are where I’m quoting him.

Joe –

“I’ve gotten up to 30,000 hits in a single day–which is more than enough proof that this blog does buttkiss for my sales. I’ll selling between 500 and 1500 ebooks a day.”

That’s indescribably irrelevant. Nobody would expect a direct correlation. The fact remains that your name-recognition – through ‘controversial’ statements here and your consequent media exposure – inevitably drives book sales. How could it not?

“Believe it or not, there are people who try to help others and not ask for anything in return. There is no agenda, other than sharing experience. That’s its own reward.”

Oh, I believe it. But you’ve been so sales-centric for so long that I don’t believe anything you do is that uncalculatedly altruistic. It’s by the by.

“I’ll bet you that I can publish a novel in German language and recoop my investment within a year.??But then, I really can’t bet you, because I don’t know who you are. You’re an anonymous coward.”

This is mystifying. I deliberately used a google login to avoid being anonymous, so if you have a problem with your commenting options that’s entirely your own concern. My name’s Steve Mosby. I’m a UK-based crime writer. I have no idea what you think is so impressive about you as to command cowardice, but I can assure you it isn’t true.

And the bet is irrelevant. The point isn’t what you could do. The point is whether the average reader of your blog would be well-advised to spend $10k. Would they? Let’s see…

What percentage of self-published eBooks earn 10k at all?

All of mine have, or are on track to.”

Amazing insight.

No, I’m not advising people do nothing, but there’s a huge difference between advising people to self-publish (which I understand the arguments for and can agree with you about) and this post, which could lead to some people spending money that is peanuts to you right now but life-changing to them.

I mean – just think about the influence you have. If all 30,000 of your daily blog-readers really are writers, rather than fans, it only takes one person to blindly fork out translation costs and you’ve possibly destroyed somebody’s life for nothing, haven’t you.

He deleted that, because he didn’t want to “play” with me anymore.

What a fucking dick.