Oh wow. There I was, drinking a Goose Island IPA, and I realized: this is going to be really easy. Bear with me a moment and I’ll explain. And hey, seriously pay attention this time: you can make millions too.
I started thinking about book length when Mark Coker from Smashwords put up a post that claims readers prefer to buy longer books. Especially, I’ll go out on a limb and guess, if they’re sold at the same price as shorter books.
Well, fine. But Dean Wesley Smith, among others, argued that a writer ought to just tell a story, and discover how long it is at the end. This set-length thing is a quaint relic of a bygone age.
Fine! I believe both of those guys. But here comes Anne R. Allen claiming short is the new long.
Well…okay, I believe her too! All three of these people obviously know what they’re talking about. So…crap. What now?
Clearly I need to write a bunch of short stuff, without choosing to write short stuff, ’cause that would destroy my intrinsic artistic purity if I ever get any. But anyway I need lots of product moving out the door as fast as possible. And I can do it!
In a word: haiku. It’s not my fault if it’s short. And I proved with Pagan Sex that I don’t mind strangely contorted plots. (Hey. I said plots. If Wil Wheaton can get away with writing about a c–slick zamboni in paragraph 5 on his blog, don’t get mad at me for this PG stuff.)
This will be awesome. I can probably commoditize the haiku bit, which in this case is geek-speak for “generate with software” but don’t worry about that part too much–it’s just an implementation detail–I mean, how could a haiku be provably wrong or bad or dumb? It’s all about the preconceptions of the reader, right?
So okay. Let’s talk preconception. Everybody knows ebooks rise or fall based on cover images and snazzy blurbs, right? We can agree on that? Good.
All I need now is to tell you guys about it. You, Faithful Readers, can join me! Here’s the deal:
- I’ll write or otherwise produce the haikus. (Even if “haikus” is a word, it shouldn’t be, but let’s pass on.)
- You’ll shell out money for the cover images and either produce or hire somebody to write blurbs. You know, nice long descriptions that tell readers how to properly appreciate the content they’re about to buy.
I figure, since I’m the main content creator in this here gig, you folks will be happy to pay me a percentage of your ever-bloomin’ royalties.
There are a few hitches in the scheme. I mean, we need to make sure the free samples Amazon and other retailers make available don’t include a haiku. Boy, would that be embarrassing. But I figure nice long description/blurbs, sort of written to sound like the kind of thing people who like to pretend they like wine say about wine, will fix it. Heck, this paragraph would be long enough. How hard can it be, people? I’m a beer guy, so I can’t do it, but that’s what you’re for. Right?
Once we all get going, we’ll have a meme. Probably start trending on #twitter. I don’t see how we can fail!
And this is going to be so much easier for me than writing novels.
I think I’ll open me another bottle. This one, I’ve earned.
Oh yeah: You’re welcome.
That attitude won’t get you paid. This is serious business, here.
“in a word: haiku.
It’s not my fault if it’s short…
This will be awesome “
Okay you are on. I have the blurbomatic machine on a rough idle and ready to leap from the curb. I have designed (and patented, so don’t even think about it!) extensive boilerplate front matter that is designed to cleverly fill an entire LOOK INSIDE THIS STUPID BOOK preview. The legal gibberish alone is practically poetry.
Please lots of covers. Maybe we can interlink the haiku generator directly to my blurbomatic machine so that the blurbs can pick out random words or phrases to make it appear that someone actually read the haikusity bits and wrote glowingly (the only mode the blurbomatic works in) about it.
Dude we’re really on to something here. I thought the blurb part might be hard to do, but you’ve got it covered. With a little bit of work we can write an app to grab public domain images–who cares which ones?–and make book covers for us too.
Can your blurbomatic do titles? Because that’s the last piece. Well, I mean except for a review-generator. We can do that for version 2 or something.
Some people say we’re in a race to the bottom. Well, maybe so. But here’s the thing: I think we can win!
David, Since it is a series, we can resort to the old ad agency trick of calling them
Haiku Experience: Vol 1 (or Haiku Madness; Vol 1) and so on. That lets us use a sell line of “New & Improved” on every subsequent book. Let’s not let some foolish desire to be creative interfere with the real purpose–making millions. After all, why mess around with an industry as inefficient and plain dumb as publishing if you aren’t going to extract every penny from it?
The bottom is in sight, my friend! I think we have a clear lead on the pack in the headlong rush.
Plus, resellers and affiliate links! We can do a whole pyramid scheme on top of this, where we sell people a turnkey online business for a few grand or so.
Once we borgify all the online retailers & fill up the internet with crap, people will have to buy our books because they won’t be able to find anything better.
Awesome. I’ve never been more proud.
Oh dear what has the world come to? Automate automate automate #mustdestroyallhumans #robottakeover
Curses! My plot has been revealed!
I have a subject, cos there’s LOTS of images out there:
Have you SEEN some of the art these kids create? Tie an image to a Sherlock haiku.
If you don’t do this, I will. *grin*
Heather, never one for haiku, except this one guy I remember from dA.
So sad the haiku
Erupts broken from machine
Garners no profit
Eager nerds alight
Struggling, money eludes, quit
Cash accrues for me
in the name
in the name
Keep your hands on wheel
Freedom’s just another word
For eyes upon the road
Have your machine make Haiku from mashed up old pop songs and we might be onto something.
(Possibly a copyright infringement case.)
David Haywood Young
New to my life this weekend
Eternal joy found