Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Corporations

The Corporations and The Writer ~ Who’s Winning?


My job, besides being the best writer I can possibly be, is to blog five days a week about Reading, Writing, and Publishing.

The Corporation and The Writer

Image Courtesy of ilker ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/ilco

Much of the news these days in those three arenas revolves around the issue of who’s more important—the Reader, the Writer, or the Publisher—and, mostly due to Amazon, where the Distributor fits into the Importance Curve.

A recent article by an author, in Forbes business magazine, drew a sharp image of the relative importance of the Publisher vs. the Distributor, by saying:

“Amazon believes it has figured out how to keep book business vibrant in such changing times. I’m starting to think that the old guard’s ferocity in the current Hachette-Amazon tussle reflects anxieties — perhaps even outright terror — about what to do next.”

I believe the Reader is the Most Important factor in all of this frenzy—the Reader—not a corporation.

Writers aren’t corporations either, even though many “experts” are screaming that the writer Must act like a business, even if they self-publish.

Whether anyone likes it or not, the current overriding goal of nearly all corporations is raising their bottom-lines.

And, no matter what the corporations’ public relations people say, they will sacrifice the needs of the Reader and the Writer if it raises the bottom-line.

Even Amazon, seeming like a god-send to self-published authors, has taken actions that have shaken the limbs of many trusting writers; though they do seem to know how to deliver the goods…

Still, we have authors like Claire Cook writing articles like, Why I Left My Mighty Agency and New York Publishers (for now).

And, to keep this whole discussion about corporations and the writer within the bounds of reality, please refer to my past post, What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?—and, do remember, even books merchandised by corporate publishers have not sold very many copies…

So, to lead you toward some possible conclusions about the Writer vs. the Corporation and where that leaves the Reader, I’ll point you toward an article by Joe Konrath: Collective Narcissism.

Here are just a few excerpts:

“You have to be somewhat narcissistic to believe that what you write will be so desired by readers that they’ll pay you for it.”

“There is no class warfare between writers. Those with legacy deals have no power over those who choose to self-publish. Those who self-publish have no equivalent of the Authors Guild. We aren’t a unified force like the Tea Party. We’re just a bunch of individuals with similar goals.”

“I admit to having some narcissistic tendencies, but the indie revolution isn’t collective narcissism. It’s a bunch of individuals sharing information. But the legacy publishing world is a textbook example of collective narcissism.”

“Legacy folks will probably continue to resist change until the very end. And folks like me will continue to offer an alternate viewpoint.”

I heartily encourage any writer who wants to sell a lot of books, whether they just want to make a lot of money or because they want a lot of readers to benefit from their books, to read that article by Joe…
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Growing Up In The Corporation . . .


Friday and another in my growing collection of Behind The Scenes posts.

If you’re new to the blog, I reserve Fridays for special posts that sometimes explain and sometimes reveal more of the story in my short novel Notes from An Alien.

It’s been for sale since May of 2011 but it’s also been available for no cost.

These Behind the Scenes posts often have spoilers so, if you’d rather not be exposed to them, grab a free copy of the novel and read this post later (not much later, though, since the book is only 96 pages :-)

And, I encourage you to ask me Any questions (about the book or these Behind The Scenes revelations) in the Comments of Any of these Friday posts.

Two weeks ago, I wrote new material not in the published edition—scenes about a boy on the Corporate World of the Angi Star System.

Notes from An Alien isn’t quite science fiction—the similarities of life in the Angi System and life on Earth are sometimes disturbingly close

Also, even if these scenes were taken from some kind of “transcript”, the words would still have to be translated into our language and idiom.

Last week, I published new scenes about a boy growing up on the Religious World of Anla.

Today, we’re back on the Corporate World of Anga.

However, the boy in today’s scenes doesn’t break free of Corporate control

Well, he does, but

Read on :-)

~~~~~~~~~

He was born just before sunrise. The last of eight children.

His parents were the kind of folks who did what the Corporation told them, including the things they didn’t know they were being told—no resistance from these people against subliminal stimuli

It took a certain waywardness of individuality to resist the Corporation—took risks—promised rewards bought at too high a price for most.

So he grew up with both parents having time to nurture him, parents who worked the normal twelve-hour-day—devoting three full hours to be with their son, every day of the week.

The only rough part of his upbringing was that incident with the man named Movar

He’d been the boy’s Caretaker for a year before his parents noticed the nasty streak of independence Saltre was developing.

Saltre himself was relieved when his father picked him up that day and told Movar, in harsh language, he’d better be careful.

Being independent was a problem the boy really didn’t want. It sort of felt like what girls could do to him and he really just wanted to study the Corporate lessons and please his parents and stay calm

~~~

When he was twelve, he wrote a composition that got him a Reward from the Corporation. The end of it said:

“I love my parents and I think they’ll understand when I say I love the Corporation more.

“Not really more in feeling but more because one day my parents will die, as we all will, and then what will I have to support me?

“The Corporation will always support me if I dedicate myself to its Standards, its Procedures, and its Guardianship.

“You may think I’m being too passionate but I must say, the Corporation loves us, in an expert, controlled way.

“We owe It our lives. We owe it all we can do for It.”

~~~

When the boy reached his seventeenth birthday, the present he appreciated most was the Notification of Apprenticeship.

His mother had wrapped the log-in code-chip in pretty paper and smiled strangely as she handed him the parcel.

After he opened it, he said:

“Mom! Apprenticeship!! Holy Space!!!”

“Saltre, let’s not use such loose language, ok?”

“Oh, Mom, everyone uses that, even my Instructors in Stakeholding.”

“Well, I guess I’m not up to speed, Dear

“Oh, Mom, you’re just fine and—”

His abrupt stop made his mother nervous. She’d tried to hide it from him.

“Mom, I’m sure they’ll find a way to stop it

“Perhaps, Saltre

She’d been diagnosed with Iteration Syndrome—repeating simple actions beyond usefulness. It wasn’t blatant yet and she could still, most often, control it.

Still, Iteration Syndrome could lead to a charge of Unsuitability, with the bleak prospect of becoming a Candidate for Advanced Corporate Experimentation.

“Saltre, if I must go away some day Please know that whatever happens I’ll still be of some use to the Corporation and you’ll have a lot more Credits in your account.”

Her smile collapsed when Saltre said:

“Dying would be easier

“Nonsense, Dear. I’d still see you sometimes. Your Father would be able to spend even more time with you. And—”

Saltre interrupted, with obvious despair in his voice:

“And, you’d be helping further the Corporation’s Grand Goals.”

He couldn’t stop the tears

~~~

“So, I’m thirty years old

“You’ve done so much, Saltre.”

“I’ve done what I had to do, Gorma

“But, being a Supervisor already, that’s amazing!”

“Easy. You know it.”

“I’m Well, I just don’t like that much Simulated Recreation

“It’s the only way to be sure you can stand the effort necessary to succeed.”

“I know but isn’t a walk in the park a way to relax from being Undesirable?”

“Obviously not, Gorma. You’re right at the edge. You’ve had two miserable Evaluations.”

“Well, maybe all I’m good for is becoming a Candidate for Advanced Corporate Experim—”

“Shut up!”

“Saltre I’m sorry I didn’t mean—”

“Shut the fuck up!!”

~~~

When he was thirty-one, all hell broke loose.

He’d known about the loss of ShipOne—the treacherous actions of the Captain—the apparent defection of most of the crew

He’d been working in the Department of Space Assembly—overseeing part of the early phase of ShipTwo’s hull construction.

He’d been struggling with how to get the workers to extend their shift-time—too many were dying on him.

His last Evaluation had recommended, if performance was not improved, Special Intervention—loss of his position as Supervisor and only rumors about the medical procedures

He tried talking more with his workers.

They were the worst of the lot—barely above Undesirable, but he struggled to encourage them.

Word reached his Superiors and he was called in for another Evaluation.

~~~

“Have a seat, Saltre.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Having problems?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Talking to your workers?”

“Well, sir—”

“Hold!”

Saltre knew the command—shut up ’cause you just screwed up.

“You think you know better than the Corporation?”

“No, sir.”

“Then, why the excess interaction? Why not just use the approved hand signals and the Plasma-Prods?”

“Sir, I think maybe the Plasma-Prods are part of the reason the workers are dying off so fast.”

“You think so?”

“Maybe

“Raw Speculation. Dangerous, Saltre.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I see you’re down for a possible Special Intervention

“Yes, sir.”

“What can we do to help you?”

“Anything you recommend, sir.”

“Very good.”

~~~

Advanced Corporate Experimentation really wasn’t all that bad.

He got to sleep late, the food was very good, and he didn’t mind the sex, though he wished they didn’t change the women so often.

He didn’t see anyone else but the women and they didn’t stay long after the act

The Simulated Recreation was especially good.

After a few months, he began to confuse Simulated Recreation with life in the living space.

His interactions with the Experimenters, through the Plasma Communication Console, was becoming challenging.

He couldn’t seem to please them

They kept telling him he was doing just fine but he didn’t feel like he was doing all that well.

The extra drugs made him sick but that would vanish during Simulated Recreation.

It happened nine months after the Experimentation began.

Just after a particularly bad injection of multiple drugs, his Simulated Recreation began to change.

He felt like he was a child again

He began to relive episodes with his mother

He’d lost connection with any form of reality—heard his mother say, “Nonsense, Dear. I’d still see you sometimes. Your Father would be able to spend even more time with you. And—“

He ripped the cord from the Plasma Console and strangled himself.

~~~

Report to The Advanced Experimentation Oversight Office

At 09:38:64, Saltre Mesurn terminated self. Experimentation yielded valuable data. Full results being collated.
~~~~~~~~~
Read more Behind the Scenes posts…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

GRAB A FREE COPY of Notes from An Alien

Select as many as you like:

Banned Books Week plus Secret Banning . . .


Yesterday began Banned Books Week sponsored by American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American PublishersComic Book Legal Defense Fund; the Freedom to Read FoundationNational Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; National Association of College Stores; PEN American Center and and Project Censored.  It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Back in May I published a post called Book Banning (Open & Secret) and The Politics of Publishing, which, in honor of Banned Books Week, I now repost

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This blog’s visitor numbers, by country, show the United States taking an oscillating percentage between 50 and 70%.

I’m happy, living in the U.S., that there are that many folks from other countries visiting and hope their number increases

Still, many people see the U.S. as leading the way in democratic freedoms.

Sad to say, politics and corporate agendas are swiftly eroding true liberty in the U.S. and it becomes particularly painful when I see its action in the publishing industry.

But, publishing houses are corporations and are, in turn, owned by larger corporations

And, corporations and politicians are the current “masters” of humanity.

My novel treats of this phenomenon but goes further and has the corporations completely absorbing politics—no more parties or candidates, just The Corporation

Perhaps my book will be banned one day………

Yet, even though freedom to publish is aided by all the initiatives in self-publishing, the political climate is darkening and the pall of population control is widening.

What of the non-fiction world, where authors attempt to uncover plots against freedom and clear the murk of political obfuscation?

It’s becoming somewhat like the novel, Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

In case you’re of the mind to ignore the dangers from crushing oppression of humanity’s freedom, I dare you to watch this video:


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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

Book Banning (Open & Secret) and The Politics of Publishing


This blog’s visitor numbers, by country, show the United States taking an oscillating percentage between 50 and 70%.

I’m happy, living in the U.S., that there are that many folks from other countries visiting and hope their number increases

Still, many people see the U.S. as leading the way in democratic freedoms.

Sad to say, politics and corporate agendas are swiftly eroding true liberty in the U.S. and it becomes particularly painful when I see its action in the publishing industry.

But, publishing houses are corporations and are, in turn, owned by larger corporations

And, corporations and politicians are the current “masters” of humanity.

My novel treats of this phenomenon but goes further and has the corporations completely absorbing politics—no more parties or candidates, just The Corporation…

Perhaps my book will be banned one day………

Yet, even though freedom to publish is aided by all the initiatives in self-publishing, the political climate is darkening and the pall of population control is widening.

What of the non-fiction world, where authors attempt to uncover plots against freedom and clear the murk of political obfuscation?

It’s becoming somewhat like the novel, Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

In case you’re of the mind to ignore the dangers from crushing oppression of humanity’s freedom, I dare you to watch this video:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Of, By, For… The People…


I have a video to share but it needs a bit of explanation.

Like most presentations for a “Cause”, there can be misunderstandings or possible misinformation.

The video is mostly about a problem in the United States of America but other countries are not unfamiliar with the issues.

I should make clear that this blog is about Reading, Writing, and Publishing but the video won’t necessarily seem to bear on those topics.

What might need to be pointed out is that, if the issues portrayed in the video are not resolved, reading, writing, or publishing a book may end up being luxuries most folks can’t afford—either in money or time.

Also, there’s a link between the video and the novel I published, Notes from An Alien.

In the book, events are shown that display the worst aspects of corporate control of government.

The last thing I should explain is that the video, which is quite well done from a technical standpoint, does take just a bit of cinematic license in its portrayal of relationships between events—most often the juxtaposition of clips is a powerful aid to understanding—in a few cases, it might be misleading

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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com