Friday, October 24, 2014

Good News Everyone! Feed The Voices in Your Head Now Available in Archaic Book Form

Of all the blogs that have ever existed, Feed the Voices in Your Head can certainly said to be one of them.  Born during the hazy, half-remembered, alcohol-steeped days of my time served in a medium security academic institution (where I learned the hard way to keep tight guard of my scholarly corn hole), Feed the Voices started out as a casual and non-confrontational way to self-publish vast quantities of random writings without having to worry about dealing with the traditional authoritative literary vanguard.  With a complete disregard for traditional writing styles or the medium of blogging, I headed out into the No-Man's Land of the Internet, blissfully unaware of where I might be headed or by what means I might get there. I knew only that I wanted to write, editing and quality control be damned.

In what can only be described as a stunning turn of events, my seven-odd years of blogging have not garnered me the greatness that has not been thrust on so many before me. I'm not sure what my expectations had been back in the tumultuous spring and summer months of 2008 when I began my misadventures in cyberland, which is clearly evident from my early body of work.  I’ve tried to structure my blog thematically around movies as well as, to a lesser degree, other forms of entertainment (TV, music, video games, etc.).  Eventually, a mandate seemed to form out of the online mists, and I began to write with the somewhat clearer purpose of situating whatever cultural artifacts came into the view of my distorted crosshairs within some kind of relevant social context while trying to maintain some sort of my trademark Sarcastic WitTM.

Whether I have achieved that goal to any significant degree is a matter of debate (or not); however, I feel like in the past several years I have made substantial progress in my goal of fucking a stranger in the ass becoming a “legitimate” writer, if only in my own mind.  In keeping with that overall goal, I recently undertook a (significant from my point of view) project to put together a compilation of my writings and publish them in book form.

That book is now officially available over at Amazon.

It was created mostly as a proof of concept that I have the moxy and accompanying, appropriately sized cojones to actually undertake and complete a literary (a-hem) project of a certain scale and also to see if could write for stretches of more than a thousand words without referencing my own cock.  From that perspective, I'd count the book as a partial success (partial mostly because of the cock-referencing thing).  The other reason for compiling and publishing this book was to hopefully establish some sort of validation of my identity from external parties (and maybe even Stephen King) as that mythical beast known only as a "Writer" that has for so long shaped my self-identity.

For the longest time, I had prevented myself from progressing towards my goal using the same, tired excuses that most people use: fear of failure, general laziness and procrastination, not enough time, alien abductions, government conspiracies, etc.  There was also the self-righteousness and supreme confidence of the untested; it becomes incredibly easy to keep yourself positioned safely up on some pedestal without actually appealing to any external authority.

Then earlier this year, I received the necessary kick in the ass from Ryebone in the form of a compilation of some of blog posts in book form.  In between his busy schedule that included strangling a hooker in an alleyway for forgetting to call him "Mr. T" and jerking off in the cream of mushroom soup at his cousin's wedding, he managed to put together this thoughtful and heartwarming gift.  (This was mostly, as it would turn out later, an act of contrition for leaving me for dead in a Turkish prison after he sold me out to authorities for the possession of several pounds of cocaine I had never seen before after what I now realized was a not-so-innocent backbacking trek through Europe and the Near East.)

Using the basic structure of the original, copyright-infringing book that Ryebone had compiled, I set out to polish up the final product, add a few things, and re-publish it for general public consumption.  With the proliferation of self-publishing services currently available, it is now easier than ever to get your work published.  I myself chose to go with CreateSpace, Amazon's self-publishing service, which seems like the easiest way to get your work completed and exposed to as wide an audience as possible.  It also had some basic cover-designing software, which is attractive to a person with zero graphic design ability.  And while the cover (as seen above) isn't exactly going to be winning any awards, it's infinitely better than anything I could ever do on myself or anything I could probably currently afford.

As with any cultural development, there are both positive and negative consequences to self-publishing. On the one hand, quality work that otherwise would never have seen the light of day or the subsequent financial dividends has more of a chance to shine through, while on the other hand, you're also setting yourself up for a deluge of crap that you have to trudge through--willingly or not--to get to the good stuff.  Feed the Voices in Your Head: Volume I probably falls somewhere in between.

I'm not going to argue for the literary merits of this book.  It is mostly a stepping stone to bigger and better things, and motivation to actually go and finish the novels and other writing projects that I have, until now, not had the balls to go and complete.  If the book sells a few copies, that would be nice, obviously, but I'm not counting on it or really expecting it too.  If, when I publish my first novel, and that falls flat on its face, well, that might be another story.

Nope, sorry.  All of the unwritten rules involve some
arrangement where a cock ends up in your mouth.
From a practical standpoint, this book seemed like the best way to try to "monetize" this blog, which was another motivation for putting it together.  A lot of strategies employed by bloggers to make money directly from blogging seem to revolve around some form of advertising or marketing sponsorships/ affiliations.  I can't come up with any rational argument why either of these avenues would constitute a breach of integrity (barring some extreme examples), but my current limited readership probably makes any advertising scheme completely untenable, and if I'm going to sell something, I'd prefer to have a product of my own making to sell.    

Of course, any sort of monetization for a blogger is built mostly upon a cornerstone of consistency, which--admittedly-- hasn't exactly permeated my writing schedule.  In a medium where near-constant updates are of paramount importance in building readership, I can't realistically expect to garner top numbers when four out of my seven years of blogging have included an average of roughly (or less than) one post a month.  Although, this is a trend I am attempting to remedy, both in service of growing readership and of honing my craftsmanship.

With all that being said, I do feel it is necessary to address several issues that I had to wrestle with when looking at this book from a consumer's standpoint.  I mean, the nature of this book is such that low (or no) sales won't hurt my ego, but the reason anybody publishes a book is first and foremost so it will get read.  Also to pay off old debts to the mob.  But mostly the artistic validation thing.


Feed the Voices in Your Head: Volume I is largely made up of a collection of posts from this blog, with some supplementary material. Now of course, you might be asking yourself why you should pay for content that is (largely) available for free online.  Well, that's actually a pretty fair question that your mom would probably be proud of you for asking.  

1) Step into the light, my child.

As tends to happen with blogs and other online digital media, content tends to get buried in various electronic archives quicker than gangsters can bury former companions in shallow graves in the sands of the Nevada desert.  This book highlights pieces that may have been long-forgotten to the world and that people wouldn't otherwise have read unless they took the time to go back and read every single blog post ever made on a blog, which, of course, everybody has time for.

2) Power to the person

Even though music is largely available for free through the magic of radio and the even greater magic of digital sharing, people still find it in them to support the artist by buying his/her album.  There's an unwritten rule (open wide...), among my friends and I at least, that even though music may somehow come into our possession free of charge, there is still the social (even moral) imperative to support any artist whose music we enjoy by actually going out and purchasing said music.  I'm not saying I'm entitled to be paid for the all of the shit that I put out on my blog, but if you like my shit, then there are worse things you could spend your money on/in support of.

3) Welcome to the Stonecutters

On the other hand, if you're going to be shelling out money for content, it doesn't hurt if you get some more bang for your buck.  So, I have included some exclusive content in Feed the Voices in Your Head: Volume I not available anywhere else.

4) Remember the colons

Ever try to read through shit on the internet only to be put off by terrible grammar and questionable syntax?  Well, for all of you grammar Nazis out there, this book now offers all of your favourite content but now with 30 percent more grammar.

5) Spread the love

Didn't you learn anything from Haley Joel Osment in PAY IT FORWARD?  By buying this book, you might literally be helping to save the world as we know it.  Perhaps the better question then becomes can you really afford NOT to buy this book?  I think the answer is pretty clear.

If you can think of any better reasons to give me your hard-earned cash, feel free to leave a comment detailing why.


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