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bio website johansens.us
location Michigan
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visits member for 2 years, 3 months
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1d
comment First-time author…can I publish in English in Mexico?
I don't see why the question is "too broad". It asks about a single, very specific fact: Is it possible or practical to publish a book in Mexico that is written in English? I would think that is subject to a very direct answer: Either no, it is difficult or impossible to get books published in Mexico that are not in Spanish; or yes, this is done routinely. One could, of course, add additional details, like names of publishers who publish English books in Mexico, etc. But you could say that about many questions.
1d
comment First-time author…can I publish in English in Mexico?
@user8727 What's the big deal? The first sentence of the question is unnecessary extra detail. Everything else is completely relevant to the question. If someone went on for 20 pages with the story of her life before getting to the point, yes, that might call for some (gentle) criticism. But one extraneous sentence is hardly cause for rudeness.
1d
comment How to name characters of unspecific nationality and race?
@MacCooper But if "well, that's a translation into English" is considered valid, then you could, say, call a character "John", and say, "Well, that's not necessarily an English name. It could be an English translation of Juan, or Sean, or Jean, etc."
1d
comment How do you convey nonverbal utterances?
That is, don't do anything special. Just use the interjection as a word.
2d
comment How to choose a good/suitable pseudonym
RE #1: Someone who generally writes children's stories, but decides to take a stab at pornography, might well want to use two different pseudonyms (or his real name and a pseudonym). Anyone who knew of the pornography would surely be hesitant to buy books for her children by this author, and people who had heard of the children's books and was looking for porn might think "what sort of sex novel would someone who wrote The Fuzzy Bear Goes to the Park write?" Yes, that's the extreme case, I can imagine wrestling with the question for less divergent genres.
Mar
25
comment How to name characters of unspecific nationality and race?
Interesting thought on surnames, but I think it breaks down. Sure, there are people named O'Higgins in Chile. But they're surrounded by people named Fernandez and Rodriguez and Garcia. If EVERYONE in the story has an Irish-sounding surname, I'm not going to think, "Oh, this could be set in Chile, because there are people there with Irish surnames". Barring explicit information, I'm going to think, "This must be set in Ireland."
Mar
19
comment Least distracting method of citing in a book?
(b) it's not at all clear what would constitute a convincing defense. If someone says, "I don't believe the claims about physics made in this book because the author didn't use the MLA citation style", convincing them otherwise would require a rather radical change of mindset, which would probably take a book in itself.
Mar
19
comment Least distracting method of citing in a book?
This style is unfamiliar enough that you might give a couple of sentences explaining what you are doing and why. I've done that sort of thing in a couple of my books, like including an introductory paragraph to explain why I included "real life" examples of database concepts I'm trying to explain, or why I used a certain translation of the Bible for quotes. But for something like this, I wouldn't see a need to "defend" the choice against potential criticism. If a reader discounts the information in your book because they don't like your citation style, well, (a) that's just silly, and ...
Mar
17
comment Attributing a real quote to a fictional character
@MacCooper You're perfectly free to "adapt" quotes. If you substantially change the wording, even if keeping the same idea, then all copyright issues go away. You might still be accused of plagiarism, but plagiarism isn't a crime, it's an academic violation, and if you're writing a novel and not a term paper, that's not an issue. At that point it just becomes a matter of whether you do it well or do it poorly.
Mar
17
comment Attributing a real quote to a fictional character
@MarcWolvesheir But by dropping the "become a monster himself" you've lost all that was clever about the original quote.
Feb
24
comment Does “reversing” characters provide enough of a “disconnect ”to defend against a libel suit?
@dmm But anyway, I don't think you can libel a fictional character. If I accuse Darth Vader of child abuse for torturing his daughter, he can't sue me for libel.
Feb
24
comment Does “reversing” characters provide enough of a “disconnect ”to defend against a libel suit?
@LaurenIpsum I believe in the U.S. a copyright now lasts for life of the author plus 70 years. Anonymous works are good for 95 years from date of publication. That's for things published after 1978, terms before that were much shorter.
Feb
20
comment What are the copyright limitations for adopting a ficitonal character's name as your Pen Name?
If it's a word that existed before this writer chose to use it, as LaurenIpsum says, than it has LESS trademark protection, but not none. The words "burger" and "king" were common words before the fast food place came along, but that doesn't mean you could get away with opening your own place and calling it "Burger King". Names with made-up words, like "Linux", have a higher level of trademark protection than names using existing words, but the latter are still protected. That said, I don't know how the law would apply in your case. Which is why I'm posting this as a comment and not an answer.
Feb
11
comment How do sci-fi stories hold up if their premise or details become discredited?
... down to your writing skill: If you do it well, people will say, Wow, cool, that was a really clever literary device. If you do it poorly, people will say, What a lame literary device.
Feb
11
comment How do sci-fi stories hold up if their premise or details become discredited?
RE deliberately write "retro SF". As someone on here mentioned, there is the whole "steam punk" genre, which isn't exactly retro, but sort of. I recall years ago reading a couple of books that tried to update Buck Rogers by putting in explanations of why the seemingly out-dated technology really would be used in the future, how impossible inventions could work, etc. I'm afraid I forget the titles, but they had "Buck Rogers" in them and were published in the 1980s, I think. I can't think of an example that's really what you describe, but why not? Like many "gimmicks", I think it all comes ...
Feb
11
comment How do sci-fi stories hold up if their premise or details become discredited?
I'm sure that there's technology described in SF stories today that 100 years from now will be considered equally laughable. Of course I don't know exactly what that is. There's an amusing game there. Some simple technologies have been in use for centuries because high-tech solutions are no better. I read an article years ago saying that an example of a perfect technology was the simple mechanical can opener. Sure, you can make it electric, but that doesn't really help much and it makes it non-portable, etc, he went through a whole discussion.
Feb
2
comment Using a pen-name: possible legal issues
Hmm, people get trademarks on names all the time. I'm quite sure that if you tried to start your own line of clothes and called them "Calvin Klein" or "Levis", you'd be sued and lose very promptly. Maybe they mean that you can't trademark a name as an identifier of a person, rather than a product. If you could than all the "Jim Smith"s in the world could be sued, and what are they supposed to do, change their name because someone else made it to the trademark office first?
Jan
23
comment Distribution, a competition with myself
My point about total sales was just this: Unless you are already famous, no one except a few friends and relatives is going to be saying, "Hey, I heard Porton wrote a book. I wonder where I can find it?", and then your problem is to steer them to the channel that gives you the highest royalties. Your problem is to get people out there to know that you have written a book that they might be interested in, and to get them to buy it ANYWHERE. I quit keeping track, but I think I sold about 700 copies of my last book through Amazon. I sold I think 3 through my personal web site.
Jan
23
comment Distribution, a competition with myself
... You talk about how radio ads would mostly or all lead to Amazon sales rather than personal site sales. Probably true. But if you don't run the radio ads, how many of the people who might have heard the radio ad and bought on Amazon, find some other ad that drives them to your personal site, versus how many will never hear of your book at all? Unless you have a substantial advertising budget, I suspect that the answer is that very, very few people who do not hear one ad will hear another.
Jan
23
comment Distribution, a competition with myself
You're missing my point. My point is not, How many total copies do you sell? But, are sales on one channel taking away from sales on another channel, or are they sales that you would not have made otherwise? Is the choice you are facing between, say, 1000 sales on your personal site plus 1000 sales on Amazon, versus 2000 sales on your personal site? Or is it 1000 sales on your personal size plus 1000 sales on Amazon versus 1002 sales on your personal site, because most of the people who bought on Amazon would never have bought on your personal site? ...