Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Am I Famous Yet?

OK. This is just getting silly now.

I mean, £82.00 !

Eighty two sodding quid for the latest bound proof to go on eBay! I mean, yes, it does have that gorgeous touchy-feely textured cover and all but... eighty two fucking quid!

So, um.... yes, I've been watching eBay. Call me sad; I don't care. The first one to be auctioned off went for £22.50. Couple of weeks later one went for £52.00 -- which was kind of a holy fuck moment fer me -- and then a couple more appeared. How could I not keep my eye on the interweb to see just how much someone is willing to pay for one of the bound proofs? And clearly I'm going to be puppy-piddling-the-carpet-excited at the fact that people are paying over a hundred fucking dollars. And then, you also get to see what they put in the descriptions... you know... "the next Jonathon Strange" or "hailed as the next Harry Potter" or "ALREADY nominated for THE Most Over-Hyped Book OF THE CENTURY award!!!" You know the kind of shit I mean.

So yeah. Other writers watch their Amazon rankings; me, I just check in on eBay every week or so to see if any of the proofs are changing hands, and if so for how much. Hey, everybody likes validation, don't they? It's not like I need it. No. I can quit any time. I can just walk away... waaaaaalk away. Anytime. Aaaaaaaanytime now.

You know, there's gotta be a horror story about some writer glued to his PC watching the interweb, second by second, Googling his name, checking Amazon rankings, watching the eBay auctions, not eating, not sleeping, just hitting the Refresh button again and again and again, and thinking, Am I famous yet? Am I famous yet? Are they reading me? Do they crave me? Do they want me? Am I famous yet? I wonder if that's a typically writerly paranoia or if it's just the particularly attention-seeking wannabe rock-stars like Yours Truly, Sad Bastard who have that desparate craving for the next fix -- a few words here, a nod there -- as if without that validation it will all just flit away in the cold breeze of disinterest. I think in that horror story the writer would just watch the Google results whittling down gradually to a couple of pages, one page, a few hits, one hit, and then nothing. And a lone scrap of blank white paper, the first page of the novel the writer should have been spending his time fucking writing, would blow from the desk where the writer had been sitting... and was no more.

But, man, the point is, now I understand the whole Amazon ranking obsession thing that other writer's have mentioned to me. That shit is addictive. And while I haven't got hooked on checking that yet, rightly or wrongly, there's a buzz about Vellum that means it's selling on eBay. And seeing people bidding for your book - fuck, it's like a big pile of Grade-A coke sitting on the glass table, all cut-up and sorted into smily faces with shit-eating grins that just say, Snort me. Go on. Pander to your most arrogant pretensions. Revel in your over-inflated ego. Dive right in and frolic in the attention. Man, this shit is top-notch. Eighty-two fucking quid. That ain't no cheap speed cut with detergent, boy; that's a fucking pure-as-the-driven-snow, white-powder-of-ego all time fucking high.

Someone needs to start a Betty Ford Clinic for attention junkies, swear to God. I'll be the first customer.

Bollocks, I think I'm going to have to cut this entry short. I need to check how much the Vellum postcards (postcards?!?! WTF?!?!) are going for now on eBay.

Come on. Come on. Am I famous yet?


Blogger gary gibson said...

"But, man, the point is, now I understand the whole Amazon ranking obsession thing that other writer's have mentioned to me. That shit is addictive."

Gee. I wonder who you could mean?

7:59 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Hey, I was being good. Naming no names, pointing no elbows.

But there's gotta be some support group we can join, man.

10:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Start piddling that carpet, dude...


10:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

guess we shall be seeing you wearing a big pampers from now on!


12:31 am  
Blogger Paul F Cockburn said...

I never really thought of Al being into nappies...

4:57 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Eeeew, no. No man-baby malarkey for me, no sir! I shall be weeing freely, widdling and piddling with no thought for carpets or boots.

Yeah, I just noticed that Witch Spell Books after I posted the above entry. Fucking A.

5:57 pm  
Blogger Shawn Scarber said...

Jeff Vandermeer thinks your "the shit" so you soon will be.

6:01 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

I'm just glad that "the" is in there.

But yes, I saw Saint Jeff's latest blog entry. I'm sure he meant to say "next big ego" though. That makes so much more sense.

1:43 am  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Talking of addictive... have you tried Googlefight? You get ten times more hits than me... but maybe there's other Hal Duncans out there, whereas I am (afaik) the only Yvonne Aburrow on the web.

2:50 pm  

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