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Why Linkbacks are Better than Reposting

• 4 weeks until the release of The Mermaid’s Madness [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy]!  Early reviews are starting to pop up.  Romantic Times called it quick-paced, engaging, and a great read.  Rhonda Parrish, who won the NCADV auction for an ARC of the book, posted a nice review here.  ::Happy dance::

• I’ve said before that it’s okay to write crap in a first draft.  For me, this helps me get to the point where I can figure out the story and rewrite to actually make the thing work.  Dean Wesley Smith offers an alternate approach.


Welcome to everyone who showed up after yesterday’s Neil Gaiman Facts post!  Lesson to self: if you want more blog traffic, joke about Gaiman groping Ellison.  Huge thanks for the linkbacks, the comments, and the extra Gaiman facts.  (The comments include some very funny suggestions.)  Y’all gave me a serious case of the warm fuzzies :-)

No love, however, to the very small minority who simply copied and reposted the whole thing without asking.  Way to harsh my warm fuzzies, people.

I was torn about whether I should even say anything.  I’m not planning to go all DMCA on anyone’s ass over this, but it bothers me.  Maybe I’m oversensitive after dealing with the whole Google Settlement mess, I don’t know.  But here’s the deal: reposting someone’s work without permission is rude.  It’s also illegal, but in this case I’m more annoyed by the rudeness.

The primary reasons I post stuff like the Gaiman list are because it’s fun and because I love entertaining people.  It makes my week to get comments from folks telling me they laughed so hard their significant other came in from the other room to find out what was going on.  It’s a high like nothing else, and I love it.

There’s a secondary reason, though: the crass, greedy, totally commercial reason.  When I write and post this sort of thing, it brings new traffic to my sites.  New people who might remember my name, who might decide to stick around on the blog, who might even decide some day to go out and buy one of my books.

If you repost the whole list, you’re taking away some of those new visitors.  Is it a terrible, crippling blow to my success as a writer?  Not at all.  But it is rude.  So don’t do it, ‘kay?

Enough on that.  I love 99.44% of you, and I’m not going to let the other .56% spoil things.  So as a reward for reading this far, here are a few more Gaiman facts.  Enjoy!

  1. Neil Gaiman writes faster than Harriet Klausner reads.
  2. Neil Gaiman solved the Rubix Cube in 7 minutes. One-handed.
  3. Chuck Norris could roundhouse kick Neil Gaiman in the head. But Neil Gaiman could write Chuck Norris out of existence.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.



( 62 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
I saw someone posted asking whether a T-shirt could be made - it occurred to me that proceeds from that should probably go either to you, or to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (which is one of the organizations Neil champions).
Sep. 8th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
That's a good idea -- I'd go with the CBLDF, myself. I'm still waiting to hear back whether Gaiman has any objections to the idea.
(no subject) - arielstarshadow - Sep. 8th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - bookdraco - Sep. 8th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 8th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bookdraco - Sep. 8th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mtlawson - Sep. 9th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 8th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
I think you mean .56%. *)
Sep. 8th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
...beat me to it!

(no subject) - pmrabble - Sep. 8th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 8th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - comrade_cat - Sep. 8th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rosefox - Sep. 8th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - comrade_cat - Sep. 8th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 8th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
Are they reposting your list with or without attributing it to you? Do you object to reposting even with proper attribution?
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
Reposting the whole thing with attribution is better than reposting without, but it's still not cool. From the legal perspective, it still violates copyright law. From the personal, folks are much less likely to click over and read my own site if they get the full list elsewhere.

Like I said, I'm not going to head out on a copyright crusade over this. But much cooler when someone posts something you like to just share a link and possibly a snippet of the content, as opposed to the whole thing. (Unless the author has given permission, in which case go nuts with it.)

Does that make sense?
(no subject) - thelauderdale - Sep. 9th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kenllama - Sep. 9th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 9th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 8th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
The one downside to my work trip to Puerto Rico* is that it occurs when The Mermaid's Madness is released, so I'll have to wait until I get back to read it. (I don't think Amazon will ship to a hotel in Puerto Rico, and I don't know my room number yet, anyway.)

* Assuming Tropical Storm Whatsits isn't attracted by the number of planetary scientists (read: astronomers) gathering in one place -- especially since our last meeting in normally-rainy-in-fall Ithaca was perfect fall weather.
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
Somehow I don't imagine you're going to get much sympathy on this one :-)
(no subject) - beccastareyes - Sep. 8th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 8th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beccastareyes - Sep. 8th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 8th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beccastareyes - Sep. 8th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
I learned a lot from the writing group I was in back in the early 2000s, but it can be hard to find a good group, and a bad one can do more harm than good.

I don't agree with everything Smith says, but given his success, it's obviously working for him :-) Maybe I need to rethink some of my own assumptions about my process...
(no subject) - tsubaki_ny - Sep. 8th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 8th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
Lesson to self: if you want more blog traffic, joke about Gaiman groping Ellison

Wait. That was a joke?
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
Jim, there's a Mr. Procter and a Mr. Gamble on the phone. They want to have a word with you about that 99.44% comment....

Sep. 8th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
After reading this entry, I have to apologize. I did not repost 20 Neil Gaiman Facts, but I almost did. I actually assumed you were repeating an internet meme you really liked & had reposted from somewhere else. Maybe I should have recognized your style, but I didn't.

As an aside, I thought the Gaiman groping Ellison fact was the best too.
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
No apologies necessary. For one thing, you didn't do it :-) For another, that's a reason I hadn't considered, and makes perfect sense.
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
But Jim! Don't you know that Neil Gaiman wants to be free?
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
Information does not want to be free. Information wants to be bound, gagged, and spanked hard.

I refuse to speculate as to whether this applies to Mr. Gaiman as well...
(no subject) - kenllama - Sep. 9th, 2009 02:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - melissajm - Sep. 8th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Chuck Norris could roundhouse kick Neil Gaiman in the head. But Neil Gaiman could write Chuck Norris out of existence.

This may be the best thing I have ever read on the internet.
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you :-)
Sep. 8th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
I think you were right to say something. That's beyond tacky. (They didn't even post a link back to your blog?)
Sep. 8th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
Pfft, Gaiman...I've been busy grabbing people and shoving them straight at your Princess page.
Sep. 8th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Ha. I haven't even linked back in my blog (yet: thanks for the idea!), but I emailed several members of my family with a link to the post.
Sep. 8th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
This topic actually sprang to mind when I began reading the post. ^_^ I discovered the comic recently, and have taken up lurking in the discussion boards lately.
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 8th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Sep. 8th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 8th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
Mostly I was just glad you gave me something to write about (and plus, I had fun coming up with a few of my own even though they felt inferior).

I'm always looking for sneaky ways to shove the readers of that blog to writers I know/like.
Sep. 8th, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC)
Those are great! I especially like the haiku and the one word being worth a thousand pictures :-)
Sep. 8th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
And perhaps even:

- When Snake Oil salesman comes to town, he is selling Neil Gaiman pickled in a jar. Applied liberally, Neil Gaiman cures writer's block, copyright infringements, agentlesness and athletes foot.

Oh, and I'll be giving you a shout out on my Twitter later on - just links, no copy/paste, promise.

Sep. 8th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
I took away the reposts and changed it to links, as a courtesy.

However, I think it's a little spurious to say that I "took away" any new visitors to your site. Like 2 people read my blog regularly to begin with, and my blog is not an advertisement site for your work. You weren't "owed" any possible visitors, since I could have just not mentioned you at all. I've only done so because I've thought alot of your posts are interesting, or funny, and I was considering picking up one of your books.
Sep. 8th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
Absolutely zero interest in arguing the point with you.

Thank you for changing the repost -- much appreciated.
Sep. 8th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
Neil Gaiman creates his worlds in three days. And does not need to rest afterward.
Sep. 8th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link back to my blog...seems appropriate considering the subject of this post ;)

I also adored your Neil Gaiman list :)
Sep. 8th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
I haven't reposted your list - that would be uncool, for all the reasons you've given above - but, by linking to it, I probably have succeeded in cheapening it by association. I treated it as a meme, and tried something similar <http://punktortoise.livejournal.com/21138.html> for Sean Williams (who's not yet the completely overshadowing figure that Gaiman is, but who looms decidedly large in Australian spec-fic, at least). Now, of course, I'm as worried about getting written out of existence as Chuck is...

But I really do think this has all the makings of a stand-out meme. Pick a well-known figure (who you're pretty sure has a sufficiently good sense of humour to appreciate, rather than litigate) and come up with your own list of at least ten larger-than-life facts about said figure.

If there were any justice in the world, there'd be a Hugo category for it. (Of course, if Neil himself had penned your list, there would be...)
Sep. 8th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
I don't think you've got anything to worry about. This sort of list started, as far as I know, with a list of Chuck Norris facts. (Google "Chuck Norris Facts" and you'll have enough reading material to last the week.)

Also, loving the line about Sean Williams' dislike of the H note :-)
Sep. 8th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
I forwarded this to a humor newsletter before I saw your objections. I did add the link at time I sent it. Let me paraphrase Joe Haldeman as an apology:

I die. I fall down. Everyone who looks upon me sickens and dies. O the embarrassment.
Sep. 8th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Not a big deal. And if you'd asked, I would have said okay to that one anyway :-)
Sep. 8th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
Reasonable request!
Sep. 9th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
I linked you to several friends the night someone linked to it. Some of them were pretty hilarious and creative. Kudos!
Sep. 9th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Delighted you enjoyed 'em!
Sep. 10th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
Speaking of the Google Book Settlement, did you see the most recent news from PW? Apparently the copyright office had Things To Say about why the settlement is not only totally illegal, but unconstitutional.

We'll see where things go from here, of course.
Sep. 10th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
Yep! About friggin' time. The general consensus I've seen from most writers is "Where were you guys months ago when this all started going down???"
( 62 comments — Leave a comment )


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