“Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Unholy Night (among other titles), is being sued by Hachette Book Group for breach of contract,” reports Locus Online this week. Hachette says they agreed to publish two new books from Grahame-Smith after publishing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in 2010, and they did receive one manuscript, but the second one, after some months delay, was, according to The Guardian, “too short and substandard, ‘in large part an appropriation of a 120-year-old public domain work’ (unnamed, but presumably 1897’s Dracula).”
As a result, Twitter users are running with their own ideas for .
For months, the news on Twitter has been that they don’t know how to monetize their platform of 232 million users. We’ve seen some advertising and promoted messages, but apparently they don’t make enough money. Ian Schafer suggests Twitter and its many critics don’t know what kind of company it actually is.
Maybe Twitter is deciding that it’s identify is to censor in the name of social justice.
For years, social media companies have been besieged by a new wave of progressive advocacy groups who demand restrictions on political speech under the guise of preventing “online abuse.” These are the groups who now make up Twitter’s dystopianly-named “Trust and Safety Council.”
That council has acted within the last few hours to suspend popular conservative tweeter Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain). Before this, they were slowing down the use or discovery of certain hashtags, as described below.
Breitbart.com argues for organization for all of us.
Conservatives and cultural libertarians are the most likely constituency to rise up, as they are the ones being predominantly targeted, but this is really a battle that should be taken up by all social media users. The Twitters and Facebooks of the world are not like the media empires of old; they are entirely reliant on users. Properly organised, users could hold them to account, in a way that would make investors sit up and listen — but they are not yet properly organised.
Sean Minogue writes about writers using social media for better or for worse.
Unreachability and self-seriousness used to define many of our best-known authors, but the public appetite for writerly swagger in both old and new media is at an all-time low. Jonathan Franzen, for example, continues to spark minor firestorms with his pooh-poohing of Twitter: “I see people who ought to be spending time developing their craft […] making nothing and feeling absolutely coerced into this constant self-promotion,” he said on BBC Radio 4’s Today program. Franzen is behind the curve, but not because he doesn’t like Twitter. It’s his fundamental misunderstanding of social media that makes his opinions so quaint.
In the end, social media are just other platforms for authors to speak or ignore as they wish.
Twitter is channelling writer angst, gripes, and chuckles over things people say to established writers.
“Oh, you’re a writer? When I retire, I want to write a book too.”
“So are you still writing or are you working now?”
“I really like your work! Will you write for us? Oh, we don’t pay.”
How do you spell conflabigation? You’re a writer, aren’t you?
I love your work. It’s just like, oh, that other guy, you know?
And then there’s this one from Guy Gavriel Kay.