Over 50? William Shatner Wants To Mind-Meld With You

William Shatner

William Shatner is daring to go where no author has gone before. The original Star Trek captain is using modern technology—Kickstarter—to fund a campaign to publish and market a new book. The topic: modern technology, and how those 50 and above can use it to find their way in the workforce. “There’s a disparity about the age of people over fifty,” Shatner says. “They want more. Of course, they can give more. The problem is that employers are loath to give more until they … [Read more...]

Stop Criticizing Ghostwriters (And Their Clients!)

Zoe

Zoe “Zoelle” Sugg, a young woman who has developed a massive following in the online world for her fashion and beauty videos has just come under fire for allegedly using a ghostwriter to help her write her novel. Her publisher, Penguin, all but threw her under the bus, failing to speak up in her time of need. The novel only happens to be the fastest selling novel in the history of that publishing firm. Her integrity has been shattered and her v-logging (regular video accounts of her … [Read more...]

How Some Literary Agents Are Keeping Themselves Off The Endangered Species List

Are literary agents an endangered species? Not quite, but things are much harder for them, given the massive and continuing changes in the publishing industry. Publishers responded to the economic meltdown in part by slashing advances to authors, which means that agents are getting fifteen percent of increasingly smaller deals. The top houses are even offering authors—even some big-name celebrities—zero dollar advances. Fifteen percent of zero is, um, zero. Additionally, the major … [Read more...]

This is Your Captain Speaking, And He Ain’t Happy

Pilot

So I’m taking one of those Delta vans from one terminal to the other at JFK when a young guy in a suit and tie sits down next to me. It’s late, and we’re the only people in the van aside from the driver. We get to talking. Turns out he flies for Delta. But that doesn’t mean what you or I might think it means. It doesn’t mean that he’s ex-military, commands a six-figure salary, struts through the airport like a colossus, and makes $250,000 a year. Instead, he told … [Read more...]

The Smoking Crater Theory of Civil Liberties

Patriot Act

After 9/11, the U.S. Congress put together a bill called the Patriot Act, a grab bag of goodies the intelligence community had long craved. The intent was to remedy problem areas in the gathering and use of intelligence on our enemies at home and abroad. To oppose the Patriot Act was, well, unpatriotic, and it passed both houses of Congress rapidly and with little dissent. President George W. Bush signed the bill into law within sixty days of 9/11. There were definitely problems. … [Read more...]