Spelunking the Kindle market, cont’d.

Amazon’s new KDP Select program allows self-publishers to run free-book promotions. I’m running an experiment to see what that means for one of my older titles, Snake People.

Screenwriting gurus and so-called experts

Craig and John look at why the books and seminars purporting to teach screenwriting are generally terrible, trying to reduce the hard work of the craft to a series of formulas and templates.

Why France exhausts me

At the end of any day in which I’ve had to keep up in French, I’m zombie-tired. Research Daniel Kahneman has the explanation.

The Screenwriter’s Bible

With its thorough coverage of basic tenets, some of which are so painfully obvious that giving them attention can do more harm than good, David Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible stays true to its namesake. It is a solid, comprehensive resource for any screenwriter’s bookshelf, but it’s a lot to take in at once.

The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers

Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers provides a universally applicable way of thinking about story without trapping the author into calling it the only way of thinking. It manages to be all encompassing without being suffocating.

The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters

Karl Iglesias’s 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters feels like a broad but basic WGA panel, where successful screenwriters share advice, mostly in the form of useful but familiar cliches.

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit

As you would expect from two members of The State, Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant’s Writing Movies for Fun and Profit is very entertaining. It is also full of useful information for both budding and veteran screenwriters.


If you like 30 Rock and books, you’ll enjoy Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

The Variant and Snake People

If you got a Kindle or iPad for Christmas, I have two short stories you may want to check out. Each works as a nice palate-cleanser from too much holiday cheer.

Readers as customers

Ken Auletta looks at how writers and publishers are trying to figure out their roles in the age of Kindles and iPads.

The Variant, free this weekend

On Monday, I’ll be publishing a brand new short story. In the meantime, I want to offer up The Variant for anyone who might have missed it.

Free ebooks correlated with increased print-book sales

In books and in movies, increased sampling usually generates more sales than it costs.

How much should ebooks cost?

Adding up the publisher’s expenses shows there is plenty of room for flexibility in pricing.

Tales from the script

I’m interviewed in a new book about screenwriters’ experiences.

On Amazon, Apple and dick moves

When Amazon pulled Macmillan’s titles over the weekend, it was a dick move. With the iPad, Apple is setting itself up for a series of dick moves.

Can I use a book without permission?

No! Stop and re-assess. There are at least three options, but simply stealing the plot and characters isn’t one of them.

How I Became…on NPR

I twittered about it while it was happening, but if you missed it, author Steve Hely gave a nice interview on NPR’s Fresh Air this afternoon.

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

John H. McWorter’s book Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue is a worthy look at how English came to be.

How I Became a Famous Novelist

Steve Hely’s book is fast, funny, and will likely become the next movie I write and direct

Spelunking the Kindle market

How many books does Amazon sell on Kindle each day? Is there a classic long tail — and is it even worth being on it? Amazon is incredibly opaque with the details, even when you’re publishing on their system.

Kindle formatting for web geeks

If you feel comfortable hand-coding a site, you can get a book on Kindle in 30 minutes or less.

The Variant, a new short story

My short story The Variant is now available for download, including Kindle.

Kindle for iPhone

Long rumored, and now here. It’s free, and pretty darn good. The Whispersync feature suddenly makes a lot more sense. If you’re reading a book on your “real” Kindle at home, but find yourself with ten minutes to kill at the car wash, you can open the book to the exact same place on your […]

Movie speak

Terms that will save you some embarrassment on set, unless — writer — you start throwing them around like you know what you’re talking about.

Authors’ Guild vs. Kindle

Cory Doctorow makes many of the points I would about the Authors’ Guild’s grumpiness over the Kindle’s text-to-speech function.