MaxBarry.com
will dance for food

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Thu 27
Jan
2011

Metrics

What Max Reckons I can’t believe people keep getting surprised by Facebook. They use your personal information to make money. They have no financial interest in your privacy but a huge one in eroding it. It’s been like that since forever. I saw a guy post that he was “continuously shocked” by Facebook’s privacy invasions. How can you be continuously shocked? At some point, don’t you realize this is simply the way it is?

Anyway. I didn’t mean to write about Facebook. I meant to write about technology. I’m allowed to do more geeky blogs this year, because I have a book coming out about cyborgs. So check this out. This is Amazon’s AuthorCentral Metrics. It shows how many of my books are being sold and where:

This is a free service to authors. There’s also a history:

Last time I had a book published, I had to wait ten months for a royalty statement to find out whether anyone bought it. Machine Man I’ll be able to follow in almost-real-time. I’m not sure whether that’s useful for anything, other than satisfying impatience. But still.

Here’s what I really want. The screenshot below is from YouTube. A while back I uploaded a video of my daughter being incredibly cute. YouTube tracks whether people watch all the way to the end, and, if not, where they give up, to create a graph of “attention.”

I want this for books. I would kill for it. I want to know at which point people are putting my books down, or giving up on them, so I can write better ones next time. I want to know which parts they re-read. It’s got to be possible now, with e-readers. Get on that, Amazon.

Wed 19
Jan
2011

Copyedits

Machine Man Look at me! I’m clinging to life here. I’ve been so sick I couldn’t even reach the razor. That was for the first few days. Then I started to like it. I have about twelve hours of this Man Grizzly look left before Jen realizes it’s voluntary.

Copyedits off to Vintage today. I pity the fool who has to typeset this mess. I went nuts. And I don’t even know what most copyediting symbols mean. I had to guess.

It’s 2011 and publishers still print out manuscripts, manually scribble on them, and type the whole thing in again.

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