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John Scalzi’s take on Yog’s Law

So, John Scalzi had a response to my post about Yog’s Law, and we still disagree.

As I mentioned in the comments over there, the beauty and power of Yog’s Law is in its simplicity. Once you start talking about spending money with your publisher hat on rather than your author hat, that’s when things get conditional, and Yog’s Law stops being so useful.

And, by my reading, Scalzi’s Self-Pub Corollary boils down to “Keep your rights and spend wisely,” which is straight up normal business advice, as far as I’m concerned.

Which is not a slam against Yog or his law. Some years ago, it saved me when I was a noob looking for any way in. I just think it is not as useful as it once was.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 22nd, 2014 08:29 am (UTC)
Now you have to knife-fight to the death.
Jun. 22nd, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
He's younger, leaner, and quicker. I choose to duel with backhoes instead.
Jun. 22nd, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
now that I would buy tickets to see =p
Jun. 22nd, 2014 10:50 am (UTC)
Yup, I agree with you.

I'd further say that Scalzi's Rule ("You control all activities based on your money") has a fairly common failure mode.

The usual tendency of the first-time investor or entrepreneur is to attempt to over- rather than under-control anything they're paying for. Often, the best thing to do is to relinquish control to someone who knows what they're doing. I've seen a number of businesses threatened or actually sunk by founders being over-controlling.

Of course, you then need to find someone who's actually competent and trustworthy, but at that point we're back in the land of "standard business advice".
Jun. 22nd, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
A lot of the worries expressed in that comment thread is that they'll be paying someone who will do nothing for them--that doesn't go away just because you control the rights or whatever.
Jun. 22nd, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
A friend who is a writer and ex-magazine editor was hired by a writer who had not been happy with the reviews of his previous book to edit his forthcoming book. My friend enlisted me to check for any typos that they might have missed. The process was insane. The writer was convinced that everything my friend suggested would damage the book in some way, to the point I actually had to do YouTube searches to show that some new physical locations and character names matched old comedy bits which could distract the reader. My friend needed the cash and hung in there: I'd have e-mailed it all back with a three word phrase, the last two being '"this noise."
Jun. 22nd, 2014 08:36 pm (UTC)
To me, a good editorial process is not a back-and-forth. The editor does the work and returns the manuscript all marked up. They answer any clarifying questions. They should not have to argue with the author to convince them they've made a mistake. That's a waste of time.
Jun. 22nd, 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
True. These were, fortunately, along the lines of the Robert Crais novel that said the Federal Penitentary in Washington State was on Mercer Island: distracting to those that have been to Mercer Island, but not a show stopper to those who are out-of-area. The book was well-written, and I hope sells better than the first novel in the series.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )