Wednesday, August 22, 2012

That DBW list... Heinlein's Rules... Dr Joanne Benford... and stuff

Further to Monday's post, in which I mentioned that DBW had published a new ebook bestseller list; and I also mentioned, in passing, that the methodology of the list was 'not entirely transparent'.

Well, it turns out that the list was constructed using methods which were even less transparent than I thought. The list is reportedly the work of Dan Lubart, who, among other things, is a senior Vice President at Harper Collins. This revelation has made some people suspicious, and I can't blame them. Nate Hoffelder gives an overview.

Not that I care very much about this, or am remotely surprised. Never a day goes by without me finding out something new about how the political, business, financial, and other worldly empires, all lie to us, cheat, steal, manipulate, and otherwise benefit themselves at the expense of ordinary folks who just get on with their lives. We are getting used to it.

Dean Wesley Smith is not going to be terribly surprised either, one feels. In his latest, and very sensible, remarks about agents, he makes reference to Heinlein's Rules. I think I've read these before, but any writers who haven't might usefully read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them. Versions appear in lots of places, such as here.

Oh yes. And before I forget... I have, in my time, been rather rude about creative-writing courses at universities. In intemperate moments, while not entirely sober, I may, inadvertently, have described those who teach such courses as often talentless and otherwise unemployable. So it's a bit of a relief, really, to come across a story which I can use in my defence. Most UK newspapers have a version of it: here's the Telegraph's.

PS I wonder where Dr Benford got her PhD.

PPS It was from the University of Sunderland. And apparently, according to one academic who has looked at it, it's a crude cut and paste job. So, next question, who were the internal and external examiners?  


DF said...

Thanks for the terrific post and links. But as DWS might say, I am clearly wasting my time with GOB if I am not working on that next novel. :) Cheers.

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