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Meme Weaver
November 18, 2011 5:06 AM   Subscribe

Meme Weaver In which "the author tries—and fails—to cash in on a big idea". Warning: skippable full-screen ad alert. Behind it is an article in the Atlantic (the magazine, not the ocean). Of possible interest to fans and critics of the popular science genre of books, Wikipedians, and underdog/failure sympathisers.
posted by nthdegx (7 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Other Wikipedia books were in the pipeline. Some of their authors had higher platforms, bigger ideas, and pithier titles than mine. The clock was ticking. After six months, my editor finally wrote me. Not surprisingly, he no longer liked my book. Too complicated for the average trade reader.

And this is where he should have freed the book on the Internet. He'd already done the work, so it's impossible to lose anything. And maybe it'll be interesting to someone.
posted by DU at 5:22 AM on November 18, 2011

Meme Weaver, or Why I Have Far Too Much Integrity to be a Vulgar Success.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:33 AM on November 18, 2011

Very cool breakdown of what goes on at this level when trying to write a book. Maybe the book really just wasn't any good, or maybe it's just that Big Ideas are actually really really rare. When they work, that is awesome and useful even when they're wrong. But they usually don't even work.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:58 AM on November 18, 2011

The author Marshall Poe is also a member of Metafilter.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 6:11 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

And this is where he should have freed the book on the Internet.

Funny you should say that....
posted by IndigoJones at 6:39 AM on November 18, 2011

>Meme Weaver, or Why I Have Far Too Much Integrity to be a Vulgar Success.<

I didn’t really read it that way, I thought he was saying he didn’t have the skills to do that. It was kind of refreshing since so many people are sure they could be rock stars if only they were willing to sell out.
posted by bongo_x at 11:23 AM on November 18, 2011

Where was the, uh, editor in this process? I thought a writer traditionally had an editor to guide her with creating a book. Oh, the lunches, the creative conferences, the praise from staff, the editor's criticism, suggestions, and notes written on the manuscript....
posted by exphysicist345 at 12:26 PM on November 18, 2011

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