Readers and authors deserve a great place to congregate online. Sure, the written word has many homes. But most fit poorly with the cadence of books. Authors write extremely long dispatches — so we’re mostly bad at Twitter. Facebook basically charges us to reach the readers who proactively seek us out and follow us, which is kind of evil (plus, we’re cheapskates). I love Goodreads and recommend it to everyone. But as its name avows, it’s geared more around readers than authors.
As for blogging, it’s more like an alternative to our main gig than a means to support it. Blog daily, and you’ll have no time to write books. Blog quarterly, and nobody — literally, nobody — will keep checking in to see if you have a pulse. Independent and emerging writers have many direct routes to readers (I’m especially enamored with WattPad). But publishers keep most of their output away from those channels. And so authors who work with publishers are still seeking a place to truly showcase our work and gather a following.
I’m speaking at a tech conference in New York City tomorrow. Yesterday, I had a tantalizingly odd conversation about a bio that someone assumed I had written. So I went to the conference website to look up my profile, and — Oh. My. God:
“He is one of the most successful authors of all times and his books can mesmerize. He is also an entrepreneur and after being so successful he still carries a decent behavior and very down to earth attitude. He is none other than the very talented Robert Reid.”
Self-confidence has a place in a bio. But certain lines should not even be approached. This one, for instance:
“He went to the very popular university called Harvard University for his MBA degree. He has been a superstar with his work. One of his books was named as Architects of the Web created stir in the market and it was outstanding. The book was solely focused on the Silicon Valley and was very well crafted and written by this genius.”
Renting cars and driving around town simply doesn’t pencil out.
Despite being situated in a roomy part of Burbank, a hotel I just visited charges $35 per night for parking.
Luckily, I give airport rental counters the widest possible berth — a choice which is mainly about saving time for me. As a writer who’s not prone to motion sickness, I’m fully productive in the back seat of a Lyft or UberX. This means every avoided hour of driving is an extra hour of sleep, fun, or (all too often) work. I always kind of assumed this made good economic sense too. But I never bothered to run the numbers on it.