Monday, 27 October 2014

Why I find Jane Friedman's advice largely beside the point

Please Don’t Blog Your Book: 4 Reasons Why
By Jane Friedman

1. Blog writing is not the same as book writing.

Blog posts, to live up to their form, should be optimized for online reading.

Mine are not.

Some are so long they make better sense if printed out.

Some are linked in series which are easier to read if printed out - and even easier than that to read if bound as books.

Writers who ask, “Can I blog to get a book deal?” probably think of the blog as a lesser form of writing, merely a vehicle to something “better.” No. A blog has its own reasons for being, and blogs do not aspire to become books if they are truly written as blogs.

I have no idea what she means by "truly written as blogs", except if she means "optimised for online reading", which mine are as said not.

I have an idea of what I consider a readable essay, Chesterton being one example of mine. I try to get my posts readable as essays. I enjoy essay collections, both such as read as diverse essays on diverse subjects, and such as form a monography.

If you can't read it online, because it is too long for the stress factor in front of a computer or scrolling dysfunctions (as it sometimes does, which is bad for longer posts), print out unless you can find a printed and bound edition - or even print out in order to make one.

I’m talking about lack of vision for how the content ought to appear in print, or how it ought to complement, extend, or differ from the online version. How can the content benefit from a print presentation? How does it get enhanced or become more special or valuable?

When Microsoft (i e Bill Gates) closed down the MSN Groups, I had a few months notice to save up discussion threads from Antimodernism. I had no one helping me to do so. I tried to get help from a few group members, they had no time, I tried to get help from someone who turned out to be a God damned freemason! And who obviously was not interested in perpetuating the things I was writing, since, even if it was not antimasonic in the sense of inimical to masonry, as it sometimes was and still is, it was antimasonic in the sense of being unmasonic.

Not quite surprising for those who know I am a Catholic.

Once the text is on printed paper, Bill Gates cannot destroy it by pushing a button at the other end of the world.

Besides, many of my blogs are too long to be published all posts in one single book, as over 2000 posts (and last time I checked was months or over a year ago) would suggest. A book would select a more modest number of posts/articles in possibly a more systematic order.

3. It’s more difficult for narrative works to get picked up as book deals.

This is a generalization, but most authors who ask me about this blog-to-book phenomenon are either memoirists or novelists.

I am marginally both, but specialise in essay writing and republishing of debates I had on other sites (for those debates a book publishing would of course have to be preceded not just by my release, but that of the other participants as well, and they deserve some royalties too).

As to my novel, as said a marginal part of my blogging, only 75 or so chapters/bloggposts out of lots of blogposts more often describable as articles,it is fan fic, and a release would thus depend on copyright holders to original works. IF I ever get it ready. And if I do and they are then interested, they would be very much better placed than Jane Friedman to mediate it to printers.

4. I love books that delve deeply into a topic and make no sense as blogs.

I read hundreds of blogs each week. Much of my reading is done online, in fact. So nothing makes me more irritated than when I sit down to read a book—expecting something meaty, in-depth, and worthy of my full attention—than to find it reads more like a series of blog posts. Unfortunately, due to the blog-to-book deal (in part), this is becoming more common. (Also, some books now mimic the online world by chunking the content so the book reads “faster.”)

In my mind, a book is a great medium for delving into those topics where the simplified, keyword-driven, ADHD world of blogging has no place. If I read a book and think, “I could’ve gotten this from a series of blog posts,” then I consider it a failure.

If for instance my diverse series on Geocentrism (how it relates to Bible, Tradition, RC Magisterium, how it relates to Distant Starlight Problem, metaphysical non-materialist implications - God and angels as movers of daily and other movements, debates with diverse people on the internet over diverse aspects, less noticed physical implications of Heliocentrism as commonly taught and refutations-non-confirmations of them, was that all?) when put together in a book do not make a reader feel I have delved deeply into the subject, then I am for my matter dissatisfied with the blogsposts in the first place. But I do not think that is the case.

Of course, THE great reference of Geocentrism these days is, in film format The Principle and in book format Galileo Was Wrong, the Church Was Right. Both with various proportions of involvement of Robert Sungenis. Nevertheless, I think there are things I have dealt with a bit better than he, since for instance he totally overlooked angelic movers aspect and seems to constantly miss implications about Distant Starlight Problem. He uses - perhaps half-consciously, perhaps totally on purpose - a model in which α Centauri is always exactly 4.sth lightyears away from the Sun and thus varies by two astronomic units, basically, in its position to earth so that conveniently the 0.76 arc seconds per year can still be decoded as 4.sth lightyears. In my view one angel moves the Sun around each year, another one α Centauri, and no one can tell if they move same distance or not, so no one can tell how far α Centauri is from the Sun - from Earth, and except it is further away than objects with Tychonian orbits around the Sun. The distance of which can be trigonometrically measured while considering angles of sunlight reflected. But since the distance of α Centauri's annual movement of is unknown, its distance to us cannot be calculated from the angle of 0.76 arcseconds as being 4.sth lightyears.

Or if my blogposts on psychiatry do not delve into various enough aspects of this evil malpractise (usually) based on pseudo-science and modernism, so that put together they can form a book plea good enough for abolishing or curtailing its powers over unfortunate victims - I would be dissatisfied too. How psychiatry serves sectarian and similar exactions of accepting contact would be a thing to delve further into ("unable to contact X" might too often be that X finds those precise persons claiming that disagreeable: wouldn't you dislike persons who said "hello" just in order to check if you say "hello" back, and never have any discussion with you that you enjoy? or who are of a certain ethnicity and check out if you have racist attitudes by checking how you respond to their approaches?).

Or if my posts against compulsory public schooling or compulsory curricula (which hamper non-public schooling) or for teen marriages and for teens working and for small companies where teens might like to work, if it can get them a family, as opposed to big ones, and other themes dear to my heart cannot make a seriously non-shallow book, I would also be dissatisfied.

Nevertheless they are series of blog posts - on the blogs often enough discontinuous if one takes posts in chronological order on each blog, but continuous in so far as either I have given links to a series within each post (sometimes a series straddles blogs) or some editor of a printed book would search out the continuity (like if a theme, like these two, has several series and a few stray posts too).

I have no doubts that Jane Friedman gives a very good summary of her corner of the publishing business - which today may be a very big corner indeed, reducing in appearance other routines of publishing to a corner or even non-extant status, once you agree with her to limit yourself to what is done today: as I do not.

Ultimately, it’s the buzz you generate, and the audience you develop (your platform created by the blog), that attracts a publisher to you—not the writing itself (though of course that’s important too!).

I would like publishers to exist who seriously browse blogs for publishing - and who couldn't care less how big or small their platform is, but who want paramount writing and content that they personally like. I encourage them to get into existence by my licence for reprinting my blog posts. A non-publisher or non-editor likes my writing and content, this licence enables him to pursue a perhaps till then secret dream of publishing along with promotion of my material which he or she likes or of the parts of it that he or she finds atttractive. A non-publisher or non-editor seriously doesn't like my posts (would like very much more popular language, would like very much more academic language or doesn't like my content), the existence of my licence is an encouragement for others to make similar licences and therefore would ultimately help also such an as yet non-publisher or non-editor to become a publisher and an editor.

But before we assume that Jane Friedman's corner or publishing is much bigger than it is, let's have a look:

The blogs most likely to score book deals are in the information-driven categories (e.g., business and self-help) or humor/parody category (e.g., Stuff White People Like).

She has a corner in which information driven and humour category seem not to overlap. A corner in which the essay category (overlapping both of above) seems to be lacking.

So, are her fans, or fans of that particular post, putting pokes in my bike wheels?

I am not sure, but it seems there could be a scenario like this one:

People who do not like my support of Geocentrism and Creationism, who do not like my support of Catholicism (or who, if Modernist Catholics thinks it inadequate if I don't adulate Georges Lemaître), who do not like my attacks of the modern slaveries of compulsory school/compulsory curricula for home schoolers or free schools, or of psychiatry or of child protective services or of big companies draining a market for smaller ones, or of households depending on electricity (I use computers in libraries), or who do not like my support of the traditional family, or of Catholic Sexual Morality (I just learned Simenon had, since 15, been apostate and opposed to it) cannot attack my writing openly for my saying these things, since my arguments are too good and since I have won more than one debate on each matter.

So, they attack my person, in part also for the folly of my undertaking ... not an opposition to them (which would let the cat out of their bag) ... but a blogging which I hope will lead to book publishing.

Even that they dare not do openly, so they hide behind routines like that described by Jane Friedman.

Does this seem farfetched?

She has had 15 years of experience of publishing. During thirteen of them, I have been writing on the internet. The first years of this writing have been partially lost, since I wrote self publishing my material (online, for free, as the blogging part is now) on MSN Group Antimodernism which closed down without my being able to save it along with ALL other MSN Groups back in February 2009. I saved some in late 2008, but not nearly all or not even half of it. So, I cannot very easily prove I have been writing as long as I claim. At least not until some of the saved messages are also consulted on the back up site where I saved some back-ups from even before I left Sweden. Only the two first years of her experience were from before I was a writer.

BUT this does not mean she must know my writing and be a knowing part of such a plot as I described. She might be simply an unwitting "pawn" in it. Or she might have been pressured to approve of it, since a woman, by family affections. Some young ladies have turned me the back for such a reason in ways that affected me worse, since I was in love with them.

Meanwhile, I feel a pressure on me to explain why I have any hope of getting published (rather republished) while an acknowledged expert as she says I cannot. When I came to Paris, in July 2009, I was not so sensitive to pressure (excepting on the theological front). The fact I have become so, is a bad testimony about my piety - and also a testimony of effective networking to keep me down. In 2012, for a few days, I was put in mental hospital, which discouraged me. From some sides it may well have been meant to.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Vigil of Sts Simon and Jude

Link to a page I published yesterday:

What Readers Should Expect from my Blogs [on this blog]

I published it yesterday, but now that pages - posts detached from the continuous chronological flow of posts on any blog - can be hidden from visitors to blog, the default option is not showing them as buttons above or in side bar until one has taken the extra step of making them visible among those buttons. And this step cannot be taken in Georges Pompidou, since the widget for making that redaction is permanently in error mode when I try it here.

So, I linked to it on FB yesterday and on this post today./HGL

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