In the course of my internet boogling this week, I ran across a link to this list of the 20 Most Prolific Authors And Writers In Literary History.  As I perused it my brain came to a screeching halt - okay that's not so unusual.  But this list is of some darned unusual folks. And keep in mind that it's the duck lady calling someone strange. 

The info is doubtless dated a bit by now, but even if some other folks have managed the mind-bending feat of scampering onto this list, it in no way diminishes the "wow" factor of the achievement of these authors.  By all the faeries on the Isle of Skye, take a look at the numbers.

The most prolific author remains a lady who passed away in 1973 - Mary Faulkner of South Africa.  I'm guessing that between 1903 and 1973 there must not have been a lot of TV in South Africa.  No, I know what it was.  The internet wasn't sapping everyone's attention.  Then again, people were still writing on typewriters.  Hmm.  However she managed it, Mrs. Faulkner wrote 904 books.  Yes. You read that right - 904 books.

She wrote under a bunch of pen names including Kathleen Lindsay. Her romances include "There is No Tomorrow," "Wind of Desire," and "Harvest of Deceit."  I'm wondering if I checked one of hers out from my local library as a teenager.  I found a book there that I flat out adored and it was shelved near Johanna Lindsay's work.  Years later, before I'd ever written a word, I was looking for that book and emailed Ms. Johanna Lindsay because I thought it was one of hers.  She replied and said that based on my description it sounded very interesting but that it wasn't hers.  She  suggested that I write it myself. 

Some years later I proceeded to write a number of books - but I haven't made 20 yet so Ms. Faulkner's record sure looks safe from me.  But I've never written one based on my faint memories of that earlier book by someone that I'm sure I read somewhere.  Of course, by the time I emailed Ms. Johanna Lindsay I'd read more romance novels that you could shake a stick at and I'd already started mulling over how I'd write one of my own. So Johanna was right on track to suggest that I write it myself - she likely suspected that the plot I recited didn't belong to anyone else.

Now, I'm wondering if my mystery book might have been one of Ms. Faulkner's. They don't seem to be widely available a'tall.  And the truly aggravating part is that when I see them sold somewhere, the stores don't include a description of the book. Why on earth wouldn't they describe the book? I'm not buying a pig from anyone's poke - including the most prolific writer in history.

A man named Lauran (Paine) wrote 850 books. Another, Prentiss Ingram, wrote over 600 books, mostly dime novels.  He wrote a bunch of Buffalo Bill stuff and sometimes wrote a 35,000 word book overnight.  Okay, 35K is a darned short book, even in today's ebook age, but it's still a heck of an achievement.

There's no way on God's little green planet that I'd even touch the last author on the list - L.T.  Meade who wrote 258 children's books.  I could give it a shot, but I'm not sure that there's enough coffee in the galaxy to fuel the effort, and I'm positive the Graham budget wouldn't stretch to funding bionic fingers.

But I'm surely quacking full of admiration for all of the authors who were energetic enough and imaginative enough to make this list.      

......maybe if I mainlined the coffee.......

The Fat Man here. Let me tell you something that's pretty awesome.

That's taking an idea, typing some things on your computer keyboard, moving and clicking your mouse around, turning that idea into a bunch of electrons and photons, then sending those electrons and photons to a place where those infinitesimal little particles (that originated from an even more immeasurable set of things) are transformed into a solid, tangible, molecular thing.

My fat hand holding ideas which have taken on a material form.

Behold such a thing. Mary Anne's latest work, The Duke of Eden, is now available in paperback. She and I (mostly she) finished up work on it a month or so ago. Her ideas became words, then became text, then became electronic signals and magnetic spots on a hard disk.

I listened to her ideas, found some collections of photons recorded by other nice people, took some ideas of my own and manipulated the photons into a form I found to be pleasing. I created magnetic spots on my hard disk from the photons, then sent an electron stream that was a copy of Mary Anne's magnetic spots and my magnetic spots over to CreateSpace. There, they decoded the electron stream, put ink and other chemicals on various thicknesses of paper as indicated by the stream, then cut the papers, glued them together, and sent us back their product, which was really our product in a solid, material form.

My fat hand holding incarnated thoughts, rear view.

That's pretty damned awesome in my opinion. I would say dare say it was verging on magic. All things considered, the 21st Century hasn't delivered everything that was promised to us a few decades ago, but I'm still impressed with what it has delivered. I guess I can wait on the flying cars and jet packs a little bit longer.

Now that the paperback is out and the e-book is available via a few other distribution channels, pick up our ideas incarnated today, mmkay? You'll be glad you did.

Hey guys, it's been awhile since you've heard from the Angry Old Fat Man Mid-Week Update (AOFM-MWU), so I decided to talk some nerd-talk for y'all. That doesn't mean you should expect more from me, though, got it? I'm not the big-shot writer here with all them thar fancy deegrees and money-makin' books and whatnot, aight?

So the big talk in nerd circles is THE CLOUD. Whoopty-damn-do, THE CLOUD. Microsoft started talking about it first, with their stupid advertisements making it look like THE CLOUD was some kinda Bat Cave that could turn you into a multitasking genius with godlike superpowers.

Yeah, right. This is the same Microsoft that decided the best way to get everybody to buy their crappy Vista operating system was to pay Jerry Seinfeld several dumptrucks full of money to goof around on camera with Bill Gates.

But now some real tech companies (read: Apple) are starting to talk about THE CLOUD, and people of course are taking notice and asking really tough questions, like...

WHAT THE %@$# IS THE CLOUD?

...continue reading "AOFM-MWU – The Cloud Is Nothing New Under The Sun"

A pair of women - a Mormon psychologist and a Wall Street Analyst turned author -  desperately wanted to sell their non-romance books in a romance novel world. Clearly, they'd do better if all those darned women would just stop buying romance. How to accomplish that?  Well, they came up with a bizarre theory - romance novels can be as addictive as pornography. 

Yes, all of us deviant romance readers have been silently suffering under the weight of a horrific and dangerous addiction - reading romance novels.  The diabolically deluded duo say that reading romance promotes dissatisfaction with your real life relationships and may even lead to an affair.  But fear not, say the diabolically deluded duo - they have a plan.   What is it, you ask?

To overcome addiction to romance, you should READ BOOKS OF A DIFFERENT GENRE.   And again, what do the ladies who came up with the theory do?  They write books.  And what kind of books?  Not romance novels.  Yes, Virginia, these authors really did think women were stupid enough to fall for that load of self-serving swill. 

Did anybody fall for it?  Not so much.  However, lots of folks had a really good time with the whole idea that romance is as addictive as porn. One of the best places to express pithy punditry these days is Twitter.  The fiasco spawned its own hashtag, #romancekills.  Below are some of my favorite tweets from that hashtag. I'm listing the author of the tweet as best I can tell - I've told y'all before (on the Marianne's Blog) that Twitter is the "Bing" commercial, on steroids.  It can be hard to follow. If I've misquoted or incorrectly attributed anything, it wasn't out of malice. It was Bing-Bong Syndrome. 

Check out these tweets and if you have a Twitter account (and you should) after you follow me, you should definitely follow every one of these folks!   Now, without further ado - because I've a-done enough already - here are my personal favorite tweets from #romancekills. Enjoy!!

@ChristinaDodd: Every time a woman reads a romance novel, her lover dies…slowly, and with great pleasure.

@JoJosBook Corner: Woot Our she-army of oversexed females shall conquer the Earth. Men shall fear (and desire) us.

@TessaDare: Every time a bodice rips, a kitten cries.

@LimeCello: Know why Thomas Hardy wrote the original cliff hanger? He was reading a romance novel & couldn't be bothered to finish writing

@CourtneyMilan: Romance novels killed the radio store, and blamed it on video.

@LimeCello: You want to know why Atlantis is no more? Romance novels. Sorry archaeologists & historians

@PamelaCayne: For $19.95 I will cast out the romance reading demons from your soul, banishing the bodice ripping monkey on your back forever

@TallStoriesBook: "The Titanic hit that iceberg because the lookouts were too busy reading romance novels," - Amy Boggs

@TallStoriesBook: Jason Pinter : "the destruction of Alderaan was due to Darth Vader reading too many romance novels"

AOFM Elf
This elf is dangerous. Do not approach. Call appropriate authorities.

WANTED

This elf is wanted in connection to several incidents of the following:

  • Aggravated holiday shopping
  • Silliness in the first degree
  • Random acts of smiling and Christmas cheer

 

This elf has been most recently observed in Wal-Mart, though he has been spotted in other retail establishments around Myrtle Beach as well. He is armed. He has two of them in fact, and has been seen carrying presents in both of them.  He has recently begun to victimize small children by grinning at them with malicious happiness and terrorizing store clerks with loud proclamations of "Merry Christmas".

 

 

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO APPREHEND HIM YOURSELF! ALERT THE PROPER AUTHORITIES!

Burgermeister Meisterburger
The Grinch
Ebenezer Scrooge

Each year Britain's Literary Review honors a mainstream author with "The Bad Sex In Fiction Award."   The award goes to writers whose descriptions of sexual antics and activity inspire "eye-rolling and disgust." 

This year, Rowan Somerville won the award for descriptions in his book, "The Shape of Her."  Passages like the following secured him the honor:

Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.

As if that wasn't good enough to secure the best of the bad prize, elsewhere in the book Somerville describes a nipple as "the nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing in the night."

Some other big literary names were on the list of nominees, including Jonathan Franzen for his book Freedom which included the following passage:

One afternoon, as Connie described it, her excited clitoris grew to be eight inches long, a protruding pencil of tenderness with which she gently parted the lips of his penis and drove herself down to the base of its shaft.  Another day, at her urging, Joey described to her the sleek warm neatness of her turds as they slid from her anus and fell into his open mouth, where, since these were only words, they tasted like excellent, dark chocolate.

Another nominee was Adam Ross for descriptions in his book, Mr. Peanut.  Including a passage where a husband describes his love for his wife's "giganticness" and said if he made love to her from behind he felt like "an X-rated Gulliver among the Brobdingnags."  Ross writes,

She was not his wife but a giant she-creature, an overlarge sex pet:  his to screw, groom and maintain.

In accepting the award, Somerville was gracious and stated that he felt it was fitting because, "There is nothing more English than bad sex."

...continue reading "Bad Sex 2010: Dead Bugs, Pencils & Giant She Creatures"

It's tinfoil hat time again.  I snuck into Mr. Quack's secret room and borrowed one of his.  To get it I had to break the code to unlock the secret box where he stores the alien abduction/blocking government surveillance gear (most of it is multi-purpose).  Chasing the snark I sent him after won't take long, so I better make this post quick.

 For some time I've been checking my book and ebook sales with a fervor and dedication unmatched by most religions.  But as time passes it has perturbed me more and more that so few of those sales are for the paperback versions of my books available through Amazon's Createspace.  I sell a couple of paperbacks a month and that number should be much, much higher. 

CS now distributes paperbacks to other retailers, so my paper books are not just available at Amazon, they're sold at bookstores across the net - from Barnes and Noble to Books a Million and to scores of other retailers.  So the books are out there for purchase in lots of places.  Plus, not everybody owns an ereader (yet) but everybody can read paperpacks.  Everybody has bought paperbacks for years. 

So why is it that my ebooks far, far, FAR outsell the paperbacks?

It's the price.  CS is a POD (print on demand) company.  Under the old system, indie authors had to pay big up front fees and pay to have their books mass produced.  Then they had to market and sell the books themselves.  I understand that Dan Brown used to sell paperbacks out of his automobile trunk.  But under the new POD systems, there are no upfront fees and the company will market and distribute your books if you enroll in the "pro" plan for $39 per year.  So most folks - nearly all indie authors these days - have long ago dumped the old paperback companies and are going with one of the POD companies. 

It's a great idea in theory and it would be a great idea in practice - except for the price structure.  A writer could opt out of the pro plan and put the books up on just Amazon and charge a "fairly" reasonable rate for them.  But everyone wants their books out in more venues.  So we opt into the distribution system.  That comes with big old royalties to Amazon.  Under the structure, a paperback that a writer could buy directly for just over $4 has to be sold for like $16.99 to net a writer $2.75 in royalties.  Ouch. 

And you know what?  $16.99 is a hell of a lot of money to pay for a paperback.  So very few buyers purchase indie paperbacks.  They skim over them and wonder what kind of nut thinks their book is worth that kind of money.  Most probably have a vision of authors expecting the Brinks truck to drive to their house and drop off money.  The big price tag keeps sales of indie paperbacks low.

...continue reading "Is Amazon Feeding The Kindle By Starving Createspace?"