Friday, August 10, 2007

Okay, here's the secret...

Ernest Tubb
Better songwriter than Rowling? selling as many books as Rowling has and becoming the next big thing.

Write the first several pages of your own 'chosen one' story and try it out on Digg.

What's Digg? On this one, we can trust Wikipedia:
Digg is a community-based popularity website with an emphasis on technology and science articles, recently expanding to a broader range of categories such as politics and entertainment. It combines social bookmarking, blogging, and syndication with a form of non-hierarchical, democratic editorial control.

News stories and websites are submitted by users, and then promoted to the front page through a user-based ranking system. This differs from the hierarchical editorial system that many other news sites employ.
But if you don't trust Wikipedia -- and why should you since even you can edit it! -- then go look at the Digg site itself, which will tell you:
Digg is all about user powered content. Everything is submitted and voted on by the Digg community. Share, discover, bookmark, and promote stuff that's important to you!
Dig it? Everything is submitted and voted on. Hmmm ... everything? Even this description of what Digg does?

Leaving that meta-recursive question aside, one can instantly see the applicability of Digg for testing the popularity of one's stories. This is a bit like market research, I suppose, but more empirical.

Brent Stinski, formerly a doctoral student at Cambridge University working on a doctoral thesis about the psychology of art and entertainment, has had the same idea and has set up Media Predict, a website that tests the popularity of creative works in various media (among the other things that it tests), so you could also try posting your stories there, I reckon.

If only this had been available to Ernest Tubb, who had to labor in vain for six long years and seven failed records before hitting paydirt in 1941 with the country single "Walking the Floor Over You." Why, he could have waltzed across Texas several times in the years that passed before he became successful! But if he'd had access to Digg or to Media Predict, then he could have just waltzed right out the door and laughed all his wealthy way to the bank with popularity as immediate as that of Rowling.

So, that's the secret to selling as many books as J.K. Rowling. Just test them first using Digg or Media Predict. And send that $50.00 that you owe me to my Kyung Hee University address.

Some may suggest that I've not really revealed the crucial secret, namely, how to write that bestseller in the first place, that I've merely revealed a clever marketing technique. True -- and thanks for calling me clever -- I did promise to reveal that "crucial secret to writing a hero's tale that sells millions and rakes in billions," didn't I?

Well, here's the crucial, terrible secret: Nobody Knows.

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