1. When I Swore I Would Never Again Ask You To Vote For Me, I Lied
Like any good politician, I believe that the best promises are the ones we make when we are fairly certain we should not be making them.
Last year I promised (silently – I wasn’t silly enough to say it out loud) that I would never again ask people to vote for me in any blogging awards thing, especially those which only really exist to make money and get free advertising for the organisers or sponsors of said event. Then I got nominated for this one. The Annual Blogger’s Bash is run by a genuine group of bloggers and it’s the most non-commercial, connection-driven, feel-good social event for bloggers that I know of. I really like what they’re doing and I’m up for Funniest Blogger in the awards they run as part of the annual bash, so I’d love for you to give me a vote, here, before voting closes on Friday 2nd June.
Complaints can be given to my spin doctor, who is currently on an extended spa break in Siberia.
2. There Is A Dublin Writers’ Conference, And I Am Speaking At It
The Dublin Writers’ Conference has been running for a few years now, and takes place this year from Friday June 23rd to Sunday June 25th 2017, with speakers and attendees from all over the world.
The conference focuses on writing, publishing and marketing skills for both traditionally and self-published authors. On Saturday June 24th, the organisers have taken the enormous risk of letting me loose on the general public. I will be sharing a panel with some very illustrious speakers, and so will do my best to talk at least some sense regarding surveys and data I have collected on book sales, what people are looking for from self-published books, and of course, what people are not looking for. Details and tickets are available here.
3. I Have Posted Another Writing.ie Column, Called “Literary Fiction: No, I Don’t Know What It Is, Either”
Here’s the link to that article, here. It’s about how literary fiction is the best definition to not define anything since “Gillette: The Best A Man Can Get”. This technically means a triple helping from me this week. I don’t know if I’m teasing or torturing you, I really don’t.
4. I Still Don’t Understand Why Everyone Isn’t Listening To Me And It’s Very Frustrating
Some months ago, I posted a blog about how the interpretation of certain Nielsen book sales data was misleading, and the book industry’s equivalent of fake news. Certain book sales data were interpreted to show that printed books were once again outselling e-books, illustrating that the curse of e-books and Amazon was over; and this reading of the data was publicised until the cows came home, and for quite a long time after the cows had gone to the loo for the last time and settled down with some nice cud and a bedtime story.
The problem is that the data was incomplete. It omitted a significant quantum of book sales from digital publishers and quite a few others and the conclusions, although desperately desirable by many people working in publishing and the print media, are misleading. I went into some detail in my original piece about why I thought the data was skewed in the first place, and I won’t repeat myself here, but it’s all about how just a few blockbuster titles and short-lived fads can cause spikes and troughs which make the data very volatile. This volatility means that taking past behaviour as a proxy for future trends is impossible, and it’s misleading to claim otherwise.
Since I put out that piece, I think there have been about 4 more articles saying the same thing in the Guardian alone, not to mention a completely awful one in the Irish Times, which used quotes from lovely authors and industry heads I really like in order to back up statements I don’t believe they would necessarily have agreed with.
But maybe it’s just as well. I suppose if anyone was actually listening to me, I would be terrified of posting anything for fear of starting Online World War 4,309, so perhaps we should all be grateful.
5. Every Web List Should Have At Least Five Points. Fact.
I was tempted to post a video here of me singing “Stormy Weather”, but you don’t want me to do that, so maybe just really vote for me in the Blogger’s Bash instead.