The Black Hat Riddle Bewares Writing

There are serious problems in publishing right now with black hat authors. Nobody is talking about it either, because the cost of speaking out is simply too great. Scammers are increasingly litigious. Dirty tricks abound. White hat writers are suffering in other ways too as readers come to mistrust any name unknown to them, and the only entity with enough power to enforce any kind of justice doesn’t like going on patrol. But maybe there is something else we can do.

My first introduction to the concept of black hats and white hats was not via cowboy movies – I am not American and my own cultural milieu was less focused on that… frontier – but from Philosophy classes as a college student. Particularly what is known as the Hat Riddle (or the Prisoner Hat Riddle).

There are many variations, but in the version I heard, four cowboys – two wearing black hats and two wearing white hats – are captured by banditos who decide to have a little fun with them. They bury the cowboys up to their necks in sand so they can’t move or even turn their heads. The banditos swap their hats around so each cowboy doesn’t know which color hat they are wearing. And then they are asked to guess… and if they get it wrong, they die. Read More…

99 Books and 99 Authors at 99c (with $990 in prizes) Marketing Writing

Apologies for the blog silence while I put the finishing touches to Let’s Get Visible. I’m poking my head out of the writing cave to tell you about a very special promotion I’m taking part in today: 99 authors who have dropped the price of their 99 books to 99c for one day only. There are also $990 worth of prizes up for grabs, and you can find out more here (where you will see the line-up of participating books. Amazon is featuring 80 of the participating books as a very special Kindle Daily Deal today  – including my historical A Storm Hits Valparaiso –  and it will be fun seeing how high the books go. I’m scheduling this post in advance, as Read More…