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November 11, 2005

Display dumps
Posted by Teresa at 11:08 PM *

You may have to work in the industry in order for the following exchange to turn your brains to oatmeal. It’s from the PublishAmerica public message boards. The person posing the question is one of their authors.

QUESTION:

You know those big cardboard displays that sometimes features an author and their books? Has anyone tried this when selling in a bookstore or somewhere else? Any ideas on pricing and how it worked for you?

I’m thinking of trying to do something like that myself and just wondered if it makes a difference.

ANSWER:

Staples or Office Max should be able to fix you up.

You just buy them at Staples! Who knew?

It’s going on two days since that thing went up, and so far no one’s corrected it. Too bad this is Friday night. I’d love to be able to show it to Marketing in person. I want to see their expressions.

Comments on Display dumps:
#1 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 12:24 AM:

Oh my... the number of ways in which this makes me wince.

Y'know, the next time I don't think that my publisher is doing enough to market my books (has an author ever thought otherwise?), I'll go get one of these and walk it into a local bookstore or two. Seeing the expressions on their faces would be enough payoff; the stories I'd have to tell the next time I saw other writers would just be gravy.

#2 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 12:35 AM:

It is not totally beyond reason that some kind of folding cardboard rack might be available at an office supply store.

What is amusing is the notion that you could just walk into Borders, give the manager a friendly wave, and put an unauthorized POP display anywhere you want.

I can picture Rob Cockerham doing this for fun, for Cockeyed.

#3 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 12:56 AM:

Ah. Dori had the same notion that this would make a good prank.

Now someone HAS to do it.

Preferably with a repurposed dump covered with hot glue decoupage and pictures of the author's cats.

#4 ::: Jade Lennox ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 01:07 AM:

Oh God. i've just wasted so much time at the PA forums. My favorite is the one where one author says "Not to be pedantic, but you said 'compared TO' and it should have been 'WITH'. 'My book has been compared WITH tom clancey!' Learn to write!"

A minor paraphrase, but only because the statement takes place over an extended thread.

#5 ::: Marna ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 01:13 AM:

'My book has been compared WITH tom clancey!'

Tom Clancy

Book.

... okay.

#6 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 01:34 AM:

covered with hot glue decoupage and pictures of the author's cats.

Nah, I put the pictures of the cat inside the books.

Oh, you think I'm joking? I know who's in charge in this relationship.

#7 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 01:34 AM:

Oh, Good Gravy. All those hours wasted in promotion meetings, discussing dumps and displays, when all we needed was to hit Staples? Ah, my wasted youth.

#8 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 02:09 AM:

"Now someone HAS to do it." With copies of Atlanta Nights?

#9 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 07:32 AM:

Does this mean that I could have Staples make me a Claudia Black one? (Now, I know what I want for Xmas.)

#10 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 08:32 AM:

Oh, thanks for the advice.

I am so trying this when FARTHING comes out!

(We have Staples here, it's called Bureau en Gros, which seems almost too appropriate.)

#11 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 08:37 AM:

"Has anyone tried this when selling in a bookstore or somewhere else?"

So, if you work in a bookstore, one of the employee benefits is being able to bring in your own display dump for your own books? Who knew?

But it's the "somewhere else" that's filled with possibilities. Why, I'm sure my boss at the Postal Service station wouldn't mind my setting up a dump in the lobby for my (hypothetical) books.

And, of course, imagine McDonald's: "Would you like some paperbacks with that?"



(Actually, in the break room at work, some of the other employees DO leave out flyers and catalogs for Avon, Yankee Candle, and homemade tamales they're selling.) (The tamales are very good.)

#12 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 09:00 AM:

Even at my most charitable, that answer is dumb beyond belief. There's a chain called Staples in the UK too, and I don't recall them doing much, if any, selling of display racks and the like. Though I can think of a couple of places where I could ask -- the sort of places which sell t-shirts and limited run promotional printing.

And even if you can get something, it's going to be generic, not a nice printed display.

And, even if you can get the racks, it skips the whole problem of where to put them.

The incompetence in all that is so extreme that malice starts to look the better explanation.

Oh, but it's Publish America...

#13 ::: Ilona ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 09:29 AM:

It's PublishAmerica. I can't decide if they are simply dumb or what my father used to call "aggressively ignorant", that is, subscribing to philosophy of "I don't know, I don't need to know, and no matter what you do, you won't make me find out." All criticism is viewed by them as a personal attack; all suggestions, all attempts to correct the horribly erroneous dreck they splatter all over their website lead to an immediate flame war. They are the publishing world's equivalent of a snake oil salesman, armed with a sawed-off shotgun loaded with crap.

#14 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 10:17 AM:

Hey now, wait a sec, everbody. We're always hearing how a reputable bookstore won't waste "shelf space" on a vanity-press book. But if you bring your own dump bin -- well, then clearly they're not using any shelves for the book, so the whole concern about shelf space goes away! It's like bringing your own shelves. The bookstore will be delighted! Brilliant!

#15 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 11:00 AM:

They aren't so much aggressively ignorant as plain-old ignorant. They're new, they're naive, and they're getting no help from their publisher. Listening to them talk about publishing is like listening to a pre-teen talk about sex.

#16 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 11:33 AM:

But does Staple carry the sandwich board version, so that you yourself can become a walking display dump of your own books? (If if you do that, you can cancel your gym membership, too, because paperbacks are heavy.)

#17 ::: Caro ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 12:35 PM:

I just shared this with my husband who used to be an assistant manager for Waldenbooks. He made some rather interesting choking noises, but did manage to confess that if someone repurposes a dump with hot-glue decoupage and pictures of the author's cats, he wants to see photographic evidence.

#18 ::: Scott Lynch ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 02:21 PM:

Yeah, but you have to be careful of which Staples or OfficeMax you go to. OfficeMax #6017, near my house, is fresh out of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, and John Fowles stand-ups. Christopher Paolini is still available, and Jonathan Franzens are 1/2 off.

#19 ::: I. ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 02:42 PM:

All those hours wasted in promotion meetings, discussing dumps and displays

Uh, I hope I'm not breaking anybody's heart here, but when I worked at a Tower Books in Sacramento many years ago, whenever we received a dump we pulled out all the books and tossed the box. With glee. "Dump" to us stood for "dump in recycling bin." They never, ever went out on the floor.

Sorry. If you'd decorated them by hand with hot glue and sequins, though, we'd certainly have kept them.

#20 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 02:48 PM:

My book has been compared WITH tom clancey

Yeah, they both suck...

#21 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 03:56 PM:

It's possible I don't know the industry well enough, but when I read the question, I didn't think of the standing display with books in it. I thought of the placard (with fold-out support in the back) that has a picture of the author and the book. Staples could certainly do those. Also (it's probably just as well I've forgotten her name), I saw a new author do this at a Balticon. She carried this little stand-up placard around and put it on the table when she did panels.

#22 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 04:20 PM:

That Balticon author sounds a bit tacky, but I can see how somebody could pull it off. Not everybody, I think you'd need to be enough of a performer to make it a running gag. Possibly finishing with the whole panel putting up a "Buy my Book!" placard.

Trouble is, there's an air of desparate seriousness about the whole thing. And having a whole audience wearing "Buy my Book!" tshirts would end up feeling cruel.

#23 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 05:41 PM:

Mad: All that time and effort; all those resources, arrangements, corrections, ISBNs, and specifications; all those crabbed little schedule entries listing dumps, lease-line dumps, risers, special risers, special die-cut risers, counter displays, shelf extenders, and of course the annual giant pumpkin Halloween gang-up horror display; not to mention all the baksheesh -- whatever were we thinking?

B.D., you know how I keep ranting about all the bogus experts who're selling advice to wanna-be writers? If I had to identify the area where the BS is piled highest, it would be self-publication and self-promotion. I'm sure that if those "experts" had thought of putting display dumps in unlikely venues, they'd have recommended that their readers do it.

Heck, there's a guy out there touting his infallible method for turning your POD title into a bestseller -- which is an interesting proposition, given that so far no one's had a POD bestseller. The fact that it's literally physically impossible for a POD title to be a bestseller might have something to do with it. Yet this guy puts himself forward as a book marketing expert, and is widely believed.

Dave Bell, the difficulty of obtaining corrugated displays is as nothing compared to the headaches of getting them placed in bookstores.

Jim, I think Ilona's talking about PA in general, and you're talking about their authors.

Caro, a former assistant manager for Waldenbooks would definitely be in the "brains turn into oatmeal on hearing" demographic.

I., we know that happens. If our hearts haven't broken over stripped books, junked-on-arrival display units aren't going to do it either.

Marilee: "I thought of the placard (with fold-out support in the back) that has a picture of the author and the book. Staples could certainly do those. Also (it's probably just as well I've forgotten her name), I saw a new author do this at a Balticon. She carried this little stand-up placard around and put it on the table when she did panels."

I hate that! Unless the panel is specifically about that author and their work, putting up a placard is unbelievably tacky. So is building a little model Stonehenge out of copies of their books. So is turning the "introduce yourself" part of the panel into a commercial for their latest releases.

Potential panelists whom I've seen doing the Ronco sales spiel routine get a big downcheck from me when I'm helping put together convention programming. I don't give a flying f*ck about their perceived need to promote themselves. They're being rude. Why don't they just come right out and say they're only there to promote their work?

Actually, that's an idea. Authors who see congoing and program participation solely in terms of self-promotion could be given the opportunity to declare themselves in advance. Instead of burdening real panels with their presence, we could gang them up, six or seven to a panel, announced topic "Me, glorious me! Me me me me meeee!", and let them fight over the mike for an hour. It'd be sort of the literary equivalent of amateur mud wrestling.

#24 ::: Fiendish ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 07:11 PM:

Teresa: Bad Ronco writers! But now the question plagues me -- how does a writer, perhaps a friendly new writer, find their way onto panels at conventions?

#25 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 07:22 PM:

Oi. I want to laugh and laugh and laugh. I've had to design POP endcaps and shelf pieces before, and I read the POP periodical dedicated to people who design them, and the idea that somebody can just go to Staples and pick one up. OI.

James MacDonald's comparison to pre-teens discussing sex seems particularly apt.

#26 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 07:26 PM:

The author and anthology editor panellists at Baycon often put a copy of their book in front of them. The experienced ones briefly mention their latest book by way of explaining why they have experience relevant to their presence on the panel and then shut up about it. There are also a few recently published authors who are permanently on my "Do not buy" list because they hijacked their panel topic to insert an ad for their book every time they opened their mouths, which they did as often as possible. It got really bizarre when all three panelists on one panel were of this ilk, and fighting each other for airtime...

I did get one useful thing out of that panel. I learnt how *not* to promote my books if I want anyone in the panel audience to buy them.

#27 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 08:04 PM:

But now the question plagues me -- how does a writer, perhaps a friendly new writer, find their way onto panels at conventions?

Asking never hurts.

Conventions have programming committees. Usually, the con's progress reports (and website, which most cons have now) will list the contact person for programming. Send that person a message saying you plan to attend and you'd like to be on programming. Give some idea of what your areas of knowledge and interest are. If you've got publication credentials, it's perfectly legitimate to mention that, but you're not doing the panel to plug your book.

Programming is assembled in differing ways. You might get a specific list of panels to choose from, though it's more likely they'll just send all the items currently planned and ask you what you'd like to be on. (You may be able to examine the list online as well.) They'll probably also ask things like when you expect to arrive and if you have any time preferences.

The actual chances of being on exactly the items you want are tough to predict. A big convention will likely have more slots to fill, but will also have more people to fill them.

#28 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 08:27 PM:

Self-promotion at cons . . .

I went to one panel at a World Con in LA some years ago, where an author of some small success with a series of what I can most kindly describe as Hornblower pastiche put copies of all the current books in a row, crossing in front of the other panelists.

He used every single opportunity he had to plug his books.

At another world con some years later I went to a panel on, I think, SF and romance cross-over. It was already a full panel, and another author added herself to the list, and, quite literally, took over. She kept plugging her books at every single opportunity.

I will never, ever, buy anything by either author. I do, however, use them both as frequent examples of How Not To Behave.

#29 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 08:38 PM:

Con Panel Blackout Theatre:

As one panelist monopolizes the hour with explanations of how his eight-book series about a Fighter, a Thief, a Wizard, and a Faith-Based Wizard is better than any other such eight-book series, ever, the other panelists (who were actually in the Green Room discussing the actual topic) begin one by one to face left, at the room wall, until all of them are staring at an ideal point in Mach space.

Finally the other panelist notices this, and asks, "What are you all looking at?"

"We're waiting for the cutaway to Oprah."

#30 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 09:09 PM:

Speaking of our pals from Frederick, Maryland: I'm told that there's some kind of brangle going on at Wikipedia over the PublishAmerica entry.

#31 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 09:35 PM:

But now the question plagues me -- how does a writer, perhaps a friendly new writer, find their way onto panels at conventions?

Send them email and offer.
I'm not even a writer (other than of blog posts), but I've been on panels at Boskone. I sent them an email last year saying "I've been coming to your con for a few years now, and I've enjoyed some of the science-themed program items. If you need people to do that sort of thing, I'm a scientist, and I'd be happy to help out."

My impression is that they're nearly always looking for people to fill out panels, so volunteers are always welcome.

#32 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 09:36 PM:

some kind of brangle going on at Wikipedia over the PublishAmerica entry.

That would be here. Here's the best quote:

"Nearly daily, I am having to change text of our entry on your site. Someone not affiliated with PublishAmerica keeps altering the text. How can we stop this from happening. I have posted what the text should be below."

Add "how Wikipedia works" to the list of things that PA doesn't understand.

#33 ::: Andrew Gray ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 09:59 PM:

Dori:
As chance would have it, I unsubscribed from that mailing list just two days ago. Probably for the best, since I can't quite imagine making a tactful reply to this attempt at a legal threat (Do other people publishing "PA sucks" get the innocent-victim spiel and vague comments about libellous monetary harm? Am curious now.)

Incidentally, the same person was trying to whitewash the article back in July; this version manages to make the wonderful claim that no new author ever got picked up by a traditional publisher ever before PA was founded. Even their ad copy is nonsensical...

#34 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 11:14 PM:

Teresa: I'd love to see you using that at a World Fantasy Convention; you might actually suffocate some of the biggest pains in the business, especially if you put editors and agents in the same position.

#35 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2005, 11:20 PM:

I hope no one at PA suggests to anyone at Staples or any other office supply that they could make a fortune if they carried the official PA dump to sell to the (now claimed) 16,000 PA authors.

Fortunately, that's not likely since it's a product that PA would probably prefer to market directly to its authors with the argument that surely their books are worth the hundred dollars for the dump and the fifty dollars shipping and handling. Oh, you want a picture of you and the book? Make that two hundred dollars. Add insurance for fifty more and we'll replace the dump if it arrives damaged in the mail. Of course, PA won't guarantee when it will arrive, but they'll probably offer two dumps for the reduced price of [mumble, mumble].

#36 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 01:26 AM:

And, of course, imagine McDonald's: "Would you like some paperbacks with that?"

I'd start with Starbucks. They're already selling music. And given how many books are written on their premises (my own included) it seems like natural synergy...

#37 ::: Scott Lynch ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 09:17 AM:

"Nearly daily, I am having to change text of our entry on your site. Someone not affiliated with PublishAmerica keeps altering the text. How can we stop this from happening. I have posted what the text should be below."

I just spat pop across my desk. That's an instant classic!

#38 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 10:16 AM:

So, just displaying your latest two books in front of you on a panel would be considered tacky? Even if you don't monopolize the panel, and in fact do just the opposite?

#39 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 11:49 AM:

Serge: I think it is quite tacky, yes.

Unless, perhaps, you are the only panelist, and the panel is all about you and your writing: "An hour with Serge".

Of course, the notion of a panel where all of the authors are required to have at least two books on display has a certain performance-art sort of appeal: "Self-Promotion Deathmatch!!!". But you won't see that at any convention I might be running.

#40 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 12:17 PM:

I'd attend at "Steel Cage Grudge Tag-Team Self-Promotion Death-Match." That sounds like it could be a really fun panel.

#41 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 12:31 PM:

Huh. I thought authors were EXPECTED to put copies of their books by their nametags. It's never bothered me-in fact, if I'm interested in what the person says on the panel I'll make a point of remembering the cover and keeping an eye out for it in the Dealer's Room.

Of course, I've only been to 2 different cons. Maybe it depends on the convention.

Well, live and learn!

#42 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 12:39 PM:

Lisa Spangenberg posted earlier

"...At another world con some years later I went to a panel on, I think, SF and romance cross-over. It was already a full panel, and another author added herself to the list, and, quite literally, took over. She kept plugging her books at every single opportunity..."

Lisa, was that panel at the ConJose worldcon in 2002? If so, I think I know who you're referring to.

#43 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 12:47 PM:

Thanks for the post, Melissa. I was beginning to believe that it was wrong to tell people who don't know you, "Here's what I do, here's what I am, I hope you'll find it of some interest" then move on to participating in the panel.

#44 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 12:59 PM:

Melissa -- it's all in the context and the presentation. A brief "Hi, I'm Jane Doe, and this -- " wave copy of currently available book briefly in air, place on table " -- is my latest novel," is one thing; building Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China out of your complete published works and giving a fifteen-minute infomercial is quite another.

#45 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 01:01 PM:

You're welcome. I may be wrong-I've only been a panelist once, at a small con. And yes, I did put my book cover by my nametag. Everyone else did, so I figured I was supposed to. No one seemed to mind-in fact, a few people complimented me on it!

#46 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 02:19 PM:

Actually, given what I've heard about PA, I'm surprised they don't make a pitch something like, "For only $XX extra, we'll help you design your own floor display that you can haul down to your local Barnes & Noble and demand that they set up in a prominent place!" Think of all the extra dough they could be raking in from the suckers.

#47 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 05:53 PM:

Serge asks:

Lisa, was that panel at the ConJose worldcon in 2002? If so, I think I know who you're referring to.

Yes it was. I was astonished, annoyed and, since I took notes with the intention of blogging, almost went public with my impression. I decided my motivation for blogging that panel had too much malice though, so I didn't. On the bright side though, I'd never heard of Wen Spencer before, and was impressed enough to go out and buy the first thing of hers I found. I was equally impressed with the demeanor of the others on the panel.

One thing I do wish authors at cons did (and maybe they do and I'm not clueful) would be to have the writerly equivalent of an academic's bio bib. At scholarly conferences it's fairly common for panelists/presenters to have a reading list of stuff they recommend, or their own work, and you can easily quickly ask them for it. True, author web sites often have booklists or bibliographies, but not always.

PNH was on a panel I went to once and I tried desperately to keep up with his "read this" comments, which as far as I could tell were from memory, and failed, hopelessly.

One reason I started taking notes at panels was that people on the panel and in the audience often mentioned Stuff I Wanted to Read.

#48 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 06:05 PM:

Ah hah... Lisa, my wife was on that panel, right next to that person, if I am correct about who you had problems with. She had had 'interesting' encounters with that person before and I knew what she was thinking when asked to make room for her Majesty.

#49 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 06:21 PM:

One more thing, Lisa... Whe my wife is on one of those crossover panels, she pretty much has a list ready for books she'd recommend if someone asks for one. The list always contains Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.

As for a writer providing a list of one's own works... All a writer has to do is to refer people to her/his own web site - if she/he has one. Of course, how do you tell people about it without sounding you're on a panel for promotional purposes only?

#50 ::: jane ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 06:56 PM:

I want to be a B&N or Borders when the PA author brings in h/is/er dump and is handed a bill for thousands of dollars!

The Look would be worth the price of admission.

Jane

#51 ::: Aboulic ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 07:43 PM:

I have to say, my favourite quote from the Wikipedia talk page wasn't "Nearly daily, I am having to change text...".

My favourite is from the full text of the email that's linked to from that page. PublishAmerica's grand parting shot is "Among its more famous authors the company counts celebrity actor Jamie Farr."

All due respect to Jamie Farr, but when I consider that PublishAmerica starts it's with "...six years after its inception, celebrated its 16,000th author under contract...", well, I'm just facinated by the thought of who the other "more famous authors" might be.

I'll let Jamie Farr himself have the last word (from his IMDB entry). "The benefits from stardom as Klinger outweigh any setbacks. It's a double-edged sword. What makes you famous is what interferes with getting other roles. But there are things that never would have happened without M*A*S*H. There certainly would be no Jamie Farr Kroger Golf Classic."

#52 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 11:05 PM:

Fiendish, What Mike Ford Said. And subsequent comments; bearing always in mind that Chad Orzel is a science guy, and those tend to be in short supply when you're putting together a program.

Things not to do:

1. Send the head of programming a note saying you need to be put on the program in order to get your department to underwrite your attendance. Then suggest panel titles to be added to you program that would pass muster with said department. Then give programming a deadine to get back to you.

2. Months in advance, tell the head of programming that you absolutely refuse to be on any panels. When the preliminary program goes up on the website, phone the head of programming and subject him or her to an extensive guilt-ridden headtrip for leaving you off the program. Reduce him or her to a quivering blancmange incapable of returning phone calls or answering e-mail, less than a month before the convention starts.

3. Send the programming committee of [very large annual convention] a letter asking how many program items they've built around your series and your fandom; also asking when they've arranged to have the Dealers' Room shut down to the congoing general public so that you can lead a tour of your fans through its aisles, pointing out booksellers who feature your work, and other approved merchandise.

4. Show up at the worldcon determined to make the programming department understand that they have erred in not scheduling you for a great many panels. Bug them about this repeatedly and at length -- after all, they have nothing else to occupy their time! When Programming Ops continues to be inexplicably obstinate, go to your chosen panels and brazenly try to shoehorn yourself into them anyway. If necessary, lie. Once you're on a panel, spend the hour talking about yourself.

And one more piece of advice: When you're filling out a programming questionnaire, mention your genuine interests. You never know which one might get you on a panel. During the run-up to one Minicon, I think I asked every last person I spoke to during the last six weeks whether they were a baseball fan, and if so, whether they were a fan of some team other than the Chicago Cubs or the Boston Red Sox.

PFiche, I didn't know you'd done displays. You're in the "instant oatmeal" demographic too.

Adolescents discussing sex, yes. Jim has that one nailed.

Julia, Serge, is there some reason you're not mentioning this person by name?

Lisa: I have, more than once, been on panels with a prominent SFWAn who never misses a chance to plug his-or-her work. When this happened several times within one brief period, I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, "[Name], is there anything we can talk about that'll put you in mind of something written by some writer other than you?"

Dori et al., thanks for the links to the PublishAmerica/Wikipedia brouhaha. I'm sorry to say that at the moment, Wikipedia proper says it has no articles on PublishAmerica.

PA's preferred Wikipedia text is their standard press release, which has repeatedly been demonstrated to contain almost as many falsehoods as words. These people are professional con artists. I'm sorry to see that they're making trouble for Wikipedia.

If anyone from Wikipedia is reading this, please understand that PublishAmerica is forever trying to stifle criticisms by making legal threats, but that it has never, ever followed up on any of these threats by taking legal action

CHip, this may come off as special pleading, but if editors and agents tend to only talk about their own books and authors, pray understand that they have little time to do anything else. Otherwise, yes, do shovel them into steel-cage self-promotion death-match panels. There's an existing model you can copy; I'm sure you know all about it.

Serge, waving around copies of your last two novels is well within the bounds of propriety. Propping them up in front of you for the duration of the panel is ... less appropriate.

Jane, that's a charming scenario. Let 'em find out what kind of price tags come with premium placement.

Aboulic, I've got nothing against Jamie Farr or Buddy Ebsen, both of whom wrote moderately passable novels that failed to inspire legit publishing houses with a desire to publish them. But when a publisher is claiming 16,000 titles, and Jamie Farr is the biggest bragging point they can come up with, there's something seriously wrong with their program.

Making Light's generally recognized post about PublishAmerica.

Making Light's other post on the subject.

#53 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 11:26 PM:

The Wikipedia article seems to be up and available right now:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PublishAmerica

#54 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 11:29 PM:

On PublishAmerica, see this page on Vanity Presses

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PublishAmerica

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PublishAmerica

Currently, there's a bit of question about the neutrality of the PublishAmerica post; people need to let Wikipedia know that It's All True and More Besides.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:PublishAmerica

#55 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2005, 11:48 PM:

Since I suspect Serge is far more tactful than I, I'm perfectly willing to say mention that it was a panel with Sharon Lee, Susan Krinard, Denise Little, and Catherine Asaro, officially. Unofficially it was All About Jacqueline Lichtenberg.

The other panelists were astonishingly bright and perceptive, and I was offended on their behalf, as well as annoyed that they kept being interrupted.

The audience too was good--Steve Miller and others made very perceptive comments from the floor.

I sometimes think my classroom experience might be helpful as a panel moderator, but in a class room I can tell idjits to leave if they won't play nice. I suspect that's not an option at a con.

#56 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 12:12 AM:

Teresa -- I was thinking not of editors/agents who speak of work they know (which is understandable) but of those who hammer on program departments to make space for their pets -- who may or may not be able to do anything more than stammering when they don't have a keyboard in front of them.

Lisa: I am thinking Lichtenberg should be pronounced persona non grata at conventions; she has \always/ been a hassle. One of the more commanding moderators I know was quite proud of having held her to [less than ten minutes for her longest speech]. I've also heard of someone (may or may not have been her but I think it was at ConJose') flat-out lying to the moderator about having been approved as an add-on by Program Ops.

#57 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 12:12 AM:

Lisa Spangenberg mused:

I sometimes think my classroom experience might be helpful as a panel moderator, but in a class room I can tell idjits to leave if they won't play nice. I suspect that's not an option at a con.

It's always an option...

(and a guarantee that you'll be talked about for years to come, one way or another, at that!)

#58 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 12:16 AM:

Teresa -- I was thinking not of editors/agents who speak of work they know (which is understandable) but of those who hammer on program departments to make space for their pets -- who may or may not be able to do anything more than stammering when they don't have a keyboard in front of them.

Lisa: I am thinking Lichtenberg should be pronounced persona non grata at conventions; she has \always/ been a hassle. Many years ago, one of the more commanding moderators I know was quite proud of having held her to [less than ten minutes for her longest speech].
I've also heard of someone (may or may not have been her but I think it was at ConJose') flat-out lying to the moderator about having been approved as an add-on by Program Ops.

#59 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 05:36 AM:

Tactful, moi, Lisa? I guess. One reason why I don't name names, Teresa, is that I didn't know that it was OK to do so on your site. It's not like trashing someone's work is known to foment good will, a convivial atmosphere, and all that, especially when one doesn't know if the trashee might have lots of friends here or might actually be lurking around under a Secret Identity.

I must say though that I am curious about whoever it is that displayed all the books in his Hornblower-like series across the table, well into the space reserved to the other panelists. That sounds REALLY nerdy.

As for your saying that "...waving around copies of your last two novels is well within the bounds of propriety. Propping them up in front of you for the duration of the panel is ... less appropriate...", I was rather surprised upon reading that. I'd have thought that waving a book would have been more inappropriate than simply displaying it. But your comment is duly noted.

#60 ::: Paul Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 07:07 AM:

Things not to do: (to get on con panels)

Why do I have this nasty feeling that you didn't have to invent any of those?


#61 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 07:29 AM:

There's a couple of "Hornblower-like" SF series that I know of, one of them a particularly obvious line-of-battle in space setting, the other being focused more, it seems, on "rum, buggery, and the lash".

The second never appealed to me. The first, I think, goes on a bit too long, every book trying to be that little bit bigger in scope than the previous.

#62 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 07:57 AM:

Heck, there's a guy out there touting his infallible method for turning your POD title into a bestseller -- which is an interesting proposition, given that so far no one's had a POD bestseller. The fact that it's literally physically impossible for a POD title to be a bestseller might have something to do with it.

The latter doesn't necessarily rule out the former. If word-of-mouth publicity generated by the POD book got you a contract for a good size normal print run which became a bestseller, it would be reasonable to consider that turning a POD book into a (non-POD) bestseller.
The only plausible way of doing so that I can think of is to write a book capable of being published normally, and then choose to go POD first out of sheer perversity...

#63 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 08:28 AM:

By the way, Lisa, how come you remembered who was on that ConJose panel?

#64 ::: Fiendish ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 09:33 AM:

Teresa: I thank you and Mike and Chad kindly for the advice. After much typing and untyping, I did send a friendly email to the convention people, and said if they had need of a Fiendish Writer, who writes X and Y and Z, then I would be happy to take part in their fine convention -- they had but to tell me when and where.

#65 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 10:19 AM:

Serge the Hornblower pastiche, of the rum sodomy and the lash variety, is by David Feintuch.

Feintuch not only had his books running in front of the other panelists, he kept talking about how "productive" he was--one of the other panelists, who was exceedingly courteous and tactful, was C. J. Cherryh. He had, I think, four or five books out at the time.

And I remember who was on the Con Jose panel because I took notes. I blogged most of the panels I went to. Plus, they were interesting people with smart things to say. And they provided many lists of Things to Read, when they could get a word in edge-wise. Everyone by Lictenberg was suggesting books other authors had written, with genuine enthusiasm.

#66 ::: Fuzzy ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 10:25 AM:

> people need to let Wikipedia know that It's All True and More Besides.

Actually, it kinda ruffles Wikipedian feathers to have a bunch of people show up just to comment on a single article. Just FYI.

#67 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 10:35 AM:

Teresa: For my sins, yes, I was a POP and package designer at my last job.

Lisa: I'm glad you 'fessed up to Lichtenberg, as I have an insatiable curiosity and Googled "ConJose 2002 romance" and came up with a panel listing, but only Sharon Lee, Susan Krinard, Denise Little, and Catherine Asaro were listed, and I was left maligning their immortal souls, wondering which one it could possibly be.

Maybe there should be a Wiki for con etiquette, or a Miss Manners or Quentin Crisp for the con, since I would have never known half of this. (The only Con I go to currently is Comic-con, and it's so large and informal and boisterous in many ways that I suspect that it may be a different world. Although we still have our share of people monopolising the microphone. Two years back, I went to see an artists panel moderated by Irene Gallo, and there was this fellow from the audience who went on for almost ten minutes about how no art directors would take a look at his portfolio, despite many gentle hints.)

#68 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 10:43 AM:

CJ would be tactful even toward those undeserving of it. Anyway, I've heard of Feintuch. I was in the lobby of ConJose's main hotel, chatting with a writer who had had dealings with him and what I heard made me not inclined to give Feintuch a try, and not just the part where he apparently described starships that looked like tropical fish.

As for Lichtenberg, she was a bit nerdy at that panel. We did wonder what would happen when Sue wound up with her on that Cascadia panel about Andre Norton. Lichtenberg was rather well behaved. Much better than the panel's one male member (and yes, I'm quite aware of what I just wrote). Let's put it this way - Sue expects that a drastic drop in Hell's temperature will be require to occur before she gets on a panel with him. I did point out to her that he is dismissive of most women's opinions and that she wasn't singled out. His name? Wild horses couldn't drag it out of me, but I'll point. By the end, I knew exactly what someone sitting behind me meant when he said to his neighbor that this person usually had someone called Larry being his minder.

#69 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 10:54 AM:

I know of two web pages by experienced SF/Fantasy convention attendees with excellent etiquette and survival advice. The first one was presented here, copied from another site:

Worldcongoing

And then here's C. J. Cherryh on Common Convention Courtesy (scroll way way down; I apologize in advance for the page design; it's very hard to read, but worth the effort).

#70 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 11:01 AM:

Thanks for the links, Lisa. :) They can be my lunchtime reading.

#71 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 11:09 AM:

I recommend a bookmarklet called "zap colors" for reading page designs like the Cherryh page linked above. It's available with some other useful zapping bookmarklets.

#72 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 11:10 AM:

Dave Bell noted:
There's a couple of "Hornblower-like" SF series that I know of, one of them a particularly obvious line-of-battle in space setting, the other being focused more, it seems, on "rum, buggery, and the lash".

The second never appealed to me.

Not enough dinosaurs.

#73 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 12:09 PM:

I wish I'd read all this stuff about Wikipedia etiquette before committing the great naughtiness of amending my own entry. Personally I'd find it just too embarrassing to insert promotional material ("A novelist in the towering tradition of Isaac Asimov, Charles Dickens, George RR Martin, Lionel Fanthorpe and Robert Stanek!"), but apparently I shouldn't even have amended the link to the former Ansible archive site that's no longer being updated. Mea maxima oops.

Dave

#74 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 12:13 PM:

Teresa: Julia, Serge, is there some reason you're not mentioning this person by name?

Partly what Serge said about discretion being the better part of valour, etc, but mostly because the culprit who most sticks in my mind had only just turned pro at the time, and may have learnt better by now.

I'm very serious about it teaching me a valuable lesson about what not to do. It was something I knew intellectually, but seeing a panel turn into a war between new pros for advertising time really drove it home to me how very easy it is to slip over the line and forget that not everyone is as interested in the new baby as the proud parent is.

#75 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 12:27 PM:

Besides, Julia, there is the fact that this site is run by two editors. Imagine the following scenario...

Jerky Blanderbuss's novelization of Lord of the G-strings has become wildly popular, so much so that it has spawned a whole best-selling series. People on this site trash the series, or remain silent on the subject, even Jerry, who posts as Bobbit. A few years from now, Jerry comes up with a proposal for a new space-adventure series called Hornyblower and Tor is very interested. Jerky blows Tor off, pointing that Patrick & Teresa remained silent when his earlier oeuvre was attacked.

#76 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 12:35 PM:

Dave: I think that falls under the Wikipedia equivalent of what free software developers call the "obvious bugfix rule"...

#77 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 01:11 PM:

Dave--

It's been a while since I was spending much time on Wikipedia, but I doubt anyone will object to your fixing clear factual errors in your entry (like updating the URL) or indeed in any entry. What we were wary of was the sudden descent of several new participants working on a single article, especially one that there was significant disagreement about.

Serge--

With regard to your unnamed sexist, I doubt I'd have been comforted by "oh, he's dismissive of all women, it's not just you" given that this person is still allowed on panels and such and treated as a respectable member of the community. (And yes, if I'm reading your pointing right, I suspect I know reasons for his being so treated.) But consider this for a moment: suppose a panelist were being rudely dismissive of another panelist's opinions because he or she was black, or Jewish. Would you have tried to reassure your friend with "It's not just you, he's a known racist" or would you have backed her (or him) in complaining to whoever ran con programming?

#78 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 01:31 PM:

I agree wholeheartedly with you, Vicki. I only suggested to my wife that she dismiss the whole situation because I didn't want her con to be ruined by that well-known pompous ass of a moron of the SF field.

#79 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 01:39 PM:

Ah, Feintuch. I quit reading that series very early on because I couldn't stand the main character. Or his theology, for that matter.

#80 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 04:35 PM:

I want to read more SF with sodomy (the good kind) in it. I know: I'll write some and publish it through PA, then write to Programming for WorldCon and tell them they have to let me be on the panels on Engineering Nanomachines so I can talk about my buggering books!

That's the Bizarro me, of course.

How many of you have seen the t-shirt that says

SO DO MY
So do my friends
So do my neighbors...

#82 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 05:32 PM:

So do my dino

#83 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 05:38 PM:

Lisa, thank you for the links.

#84 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 06:25 PM:

Tying two arcs of this discussion together, the most egregious use of the bookhenge and repeated spot ads I've seen was by an author on the Atlanta Nights or PublishAmerica panel at Balticon. Even if I remembered her name, which I don't, I probably wouldn't finger her--she had apparently learned the self-promotion reflex during her victimization by PublishAmerica. Not that I really want to see her on a lot of panels, but I doubt she's that much of a convention regular anyway. Unlike the wonderful Capclave panelists and GsoH, whom I hope we didn't wear out.

#85 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 07:40 PM:

More practically, maybe authors who do too much self-promoting at cons should be required to buy and maintain a table in the dealer's room.

I worked the T-shirt table at the last Minicon and the signing table was right next to me. All of the authors who were regular congoers didn't have any books with them. We couldn't even find nameplates for some of them. But the occasional new author/congoer would almost always prop all their books up in front of them. A couple were giving away things with their URL and/or book names on them.

#86 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 09:00 PM:

Yep. Gave up on Feintuch when the character committed the sin of despair and started dictating to God what He could and couldn't forgive.

#87 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 09:07 PM:

Dave Luckett wrote:

> Yep. Gave up on Feintuch when the character committed the sin of despair and started dictating to God what He could and couldn't forgive.

I actually enjoyed them all the way through, as much for the wallowing in guilt and despair as anything else. They were kind of like a touchy-feelly Doc Smith. I suspect I was supposed to take them more seriously than I did, but what the hell...

I'm more perturbed by tales of authorial egomania further upthread - they make me less likely to pick up a book of his again.

#88 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2005, 09:44 PM:

Steve: I agree. There are so many talented and nice authors out there (naming no names, but a quick glance at the left edge of a certain website will give you a hint) that I don't really need to give my money to yucky ones.

Dave: Yes, a thousand times yes. Calvinism has always given me the willies, but what's-his-name the viewpoint character takes it to the point of insanity. And it's so boring! I remember those books as being two pages of plot followed by fifty pages of moping, repeat until pages used up.

#89 ::: Vassilissa ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 04:20 AM:

I'm not too surprised. His login name still seems to be Writeman, which suggests to me that he's still coming to terms with his identity as an author.

He has an 'about writing' page in which he seemed a little amazed that fans would write and give him feedback and ask questions.

I don't object to Midshipman's Hope half as much as I do to his fantasy duology. The sex, the domestic discipline, the mummy issues, and above all the horrible way the three combined... If he'd actually set *out* to write a fetish novel, it would have grossed me out less.

#90 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 07:03 AM:

Nearly daily, there are pages on this site with sodomy and dinosaurs mentioned. Someone who has never sodomized a dinosaur (based on the outlandish anatomical errors often on display here) keeps making pages with this as subject. How do I keep myself as main authority and person with last word on dinosaur sodomization subject on site. Please Help!!!

#91 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 07:04 AM:

If I go to convention can I push t-shirts of dinosaur sodomization or would that be rude?


#92 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 07:06 AM:

actually, dammit I just got a vision in my head of a stereotypical frazetta conan riding (if you get my drift) a wide-eyed frantic tyrannosaur from 'behind'. I believe with the miracle of modern graphics manipulation this image may well be within reach!

#93 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 08:06 AM:

I think that calls for a baffled look.

Or maybe a copy of issue #37 of Bisexual Bobcat Bondage Babes.

#94 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 08:48 AM:

How can Feintuch's stuff be touchy-feely AND about rum, buggery and the lash?

#95 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 08:53 AM:

Speaking of Frazetta, Bryan, have you noticed that the artwork for the Narnia film shows Tilda Swinton as the Evil Witch riding a sleigh in a setup very similar to Frazetta's.

As for Swinton playing an Evil person... It's like the Duane/Morwood miniseries about the Nibelung having Julian Sands playing a warlock. Next thing you know, someone will ask Robert de Niro to play a mobster.

#96 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 09:21 AM:

There are more things under heaven and earth, Serge... :)

#97 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 09:54 AM:

Serge: there isn't actually any sodomy in the Midshipman's Mope books, all of which I have read and enjoyed, but only the first of which I can sensibly recommend, and then only to people who have read Starman Jones nine thousand times and love it to bits.

But the way they combine space-Hornblower and angst, plus long voyages to other planets, is what makes them worth reading.

#98 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 10:00 AM:

Thanks, Jo.

#99 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 10:32 AM:

Will Shetterly writes of properly moderating a panel in his new blog. I don't know how to specifically link to a certain post, sorry:

shetterly.blogspot.com

Great minds etc.

#100 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 10:34 AM:

So, you would recommend the first Feintuch, Jo? I've always had a weakness for space adventures where they go into the unknown. Which is why, to use a TV comparison, I liked the old Star Trek, despite the stupid mini-skirts and the dinky visuals, while Enterprise boldly went where the Vulcans had gone before.

#101 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 12:27 PM:

Will E., it's just being part of the community. I got the bug from Madeleine Robbins and Sherwood Smith, both of whom were talking about pushy panelists on their livejournals. Then I noticed it here, too. (I check Electrolite's main posts daily, but I skip the threads when they appear to be about something like PublishAmerica. I have enough things to want to change, and PublishAmerica's already being tackled by good people.)

#102 ::: Paul Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 01:14 PM:

Midshipman's Mope

Was this deliberate or a wonderfully serendipitous typo?

I remember Feintuch posting on rasfw for a while - a quick scan of Google's archive suggest that he mostly responded to posts on his own works, but he didn't come across as either an egomaniac or egregiously self-promoting.

#103 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 01:50 PM:

Serge: Tilda Swinton playing only evil characters ... I wouldn't call Gabriel in Constantine evil precisely. Not entirely clear on the concept, yes, but not evil. Now, Christoper Walken's Gabriel in The Prophecy, there's evil. And another guy who's gone into a role niche - wasn't there a SNL skit with Christopher Walken reading stories to children, and the children crying in horror?

#104 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 02:23 PM:

Well, I still wouldn't want to deal with Tilda's Gabriel, cd.

Never saw that SNL skit with Walken. Sounds quite funny. Ever heard him read Poe's The Raven in the movie Dead Zone? Very sad.

#105 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 02:42 PM:

"Never saw that SNL skit with Walken. Sounds quite funny. Ever heard him read Poe's The Raven in the movie Dead Zone? Very sad."

Ever see him dance in Spike Jonze's video for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice"? Now, *that's* entertainment.
Christopher Walken is, always was, and will forever be, the Man. I offer the following exhibits:
A- "Suicide Kings"
B- "The Rundown"
C- "Illuminata"

#106 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 02:58 PM:

Never saw Walken in those, Will. I do miss the days when he played good guys, like in Brainstorm, but he was great in the first two Prophecy movies. (I'll ignore the one with Jennifer Beal.)

#107 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 03:32 PM:

True, Tilda's Gabriel is not nice (and non-nice in a completely different way from the Gabriel of the Hellblazer comic), but at least she has a reason for her actions. (And what is it with Gabriel - both Constantine and The Prophecy had Gabriel as "bad guy"?)

#108 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 03:36 PM:

Gabriel was a good guy in The Twilight Zone. There was an episode with Jack Klugman playing a musician and a loser until he comes across a man called Gabe who has this great trumpet.

There was also Jack Benny as an angel down on Earth to blow his trumpet at midnight because it's curtains for us.

#109 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 04:08 PM:

For me, Tilda Swinton will always be Orlando.

#110 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2005, 07:39 PM:

Will Entrekin wrote:

> Christopher Walken is, always was, and will forever be, the Man. I offer the following exhibits:
A- "Suicide Kings"
B- "The Rundown"
C- "Illuminata"

Missed my fave - _King of New York_. Well, that and the Fatboy Slim filmclip.

#111 ::: Theresa ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2005, 02:49 PM:

You can watch the Fatboy Slim "Weapon of Choice" music video featuring The Man here:

http://theonenetwork.com/music_videos/fatboy_slim/2907/weapon_of_choice.html

#112 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 08:44 AM:

As for your saying that "...waving around copies of your last two novels is well within the bounds of propriety. Propping them up in front of you for the duration of the panel is ... less appropriate...", I was rather surprised upon reading that. I'd have thought that waving a book would have been more inappropriate than simply displaying it.

I think the idea is that you wave the book, say "This here is my book", and then put it away. Continuing to wave the book all the way through the panel would of course be somewhat inappropriate.

#113 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 10:29 AM:

I picked up Orlando in a giveaway with a UK Sunday paper a couple of weeks ago.

[rummages]

Sunday Telegraph...

One of the other Sunday papers gave away The Wild Geese. Not really a choice

#115 ::: Fidelio cries Spam Ahoy! ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2006, 04:25 PM:

Well, OK, maybe it's not the Great White Spam, but it surely appears to be a variety of spam, and worth rending in the try-pots, even if all the links embedded in the rambling screed are to Places that Don't Exist.

#116 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: January 19, 2006, 09:40 PM:

(A very late note, fuer which I abjectly apologize.)

This fiendish writer thanks everyone for their advice about panels. It seems the friendly Boksone people have kindly agreed to allow this one to participate in panels. (And yea, I chew my nails in anticipation and apprehension!) I hope to see many or all of you kind folks there, and will strive to avoid the numerous pitfalls mentioned here.

*wanders off to study protocol books*

#118 ::: abi does a spammy dance ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 07:44 AM:

And points at both Comment 114 and the more recent Antipodean entry at 118.

#119 ::: abi does a spammy dance ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 07:45 AM:

And points at both Comment 114 and the more recent Antipodean entry at 118.

#120 ::: abi does a spammy dance ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 07:47 AM:

And points at both Comment 114 and the more recent Antipodean entry at 118.

#121 ::: Mary admires Abi's enthusiasm ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 08:16 AM:

On a perhaps related note, the ML server is a bit slow this morning.

#122 ::: Dan Hoey also sees comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 08:19 AM:

What abi danced, #114 and #118. And nobody can dance spammy like my sister abi. But this isn't showing up in the Recent posts list. Have our hosts put a filter on the Recent posts list that blocks spam announcements?

#123 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 08:23 AM:

There is in all storytelling the Rule of Threes*. Three Little Pigs. Three Billy Goats Gruff. Three rings for the elven kings, under the sky. A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi.

Why should the spammy dance be any different?

-----
* There's also a Rule of Sevens; be glad I didn't invoke it.

#124 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 08:47 AM:

Abi danced a spammy dance,
Spammy dance, spammy dance,
Abi danced a spammy dance
Early in the morning.

Mary watched her dance the dance,
Dance the dance, dance the dance,
Mary watched her dance the dance
Early in the morning.

Hoey joined her in her dance,
In her dance, in her dance,
Hoey joined her in her dance
Early in the morning.

Soon the spam had gone away,
Gone away, gone away,
Soon the spam had gone away,
Early in the morning.

#125 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 09:50 AM:

Macdonald made it go away,
Go away, go away.
Macdonald made it go away.
And there was much rejoicing.

#126 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 09:53 AM:

"Abi danced the mystic dance of notice-giving and gazed off towards the dawn as the slimy and glaucous tendrils of spam slowly evaporated in the life-giving rays of the sun."

#127 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 10:06 AM:

Bruce @127:
What I was actually doing after posting that was cleaning out our GFT* wheely bin, which smelled like rotting excrement and had a goo in the bottom that appeared capable of killing maggots.

So yeah, slimy and glaucous. Next time, if I do a little dance, will Jim come over and make it evaporate†? I can offer him a bed for the night.

-----
* Groente-, Fruit- en Tuinafval: garden and kitchen waste, collected weekly from a wheely bin. You can get special biodegrdable bags (they dissolve after 2 weeks), but we didn't know** and were putting our waste directly in. It didn't take long to get pretty amazing.

† Because you know he has a kit for that, and is trained to use it.

** Foreigners, y'know.

#128 ::: Mary sees spontaneous poetry ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 02:27 PM:

#125, #126

I propose that all future spam-spotting should be done in verse.

#129 ::: ethan sees hysterical laughter ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2007, 03:31 PM:

Y'all can't see it, though, because I don't have a webcam.

#130 ::: John Houghton spots honest, topical spam ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2007, 09:21 PM:

But spam it is, corrugated spam.

#131 ::: Lee sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2010, 02:28 AM:

@ 135

#132 ::: Mary Aileen suspects spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2011, 10:21 AM:

#137 is a complete nonsequitur, and the URL in the name is a commercial link that matches the subject of the comment.

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Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.