The Mark Lawrence Forum Experiment

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Madness

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« on: September 27, 2017, 12:50:09 am »
So... I've started a Mark Lawrence fan forum a la SA v1...

Mark Lawrence has already responded:

Quote from: Mark Lawrence
I've never really felt that's a great thing. Probably better for an author if any discussions etc happen in more general spaces where they can catch the eye of new readers. So rather than a dedicated reddit subforum, use r/fantasy etc.

Ultimately, I'd like to find Mark Lawrence's Madshire/whoever to pass it off to. But for now I'm very interested in where this goes from here.
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Redeagl

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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2017, 01:43:18 am »
Pretty douche-ey reply, imo.
“The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before?”

- Chronicler of the Chroniclers

Madness

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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2017, 03:15:00 pm »
I'll refrain from comment :).
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Redeagl

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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2017, 04:27:02 pm »
I'll refrain from comment :).
I meant Lawrence's reply, just in case anyone misunderstood ;)
“The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before?”

- Chronicler of the Chroniclers

Madness

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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2017, 12:23:30 pm »
I knew what you meant ;).
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Sausuna

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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 01:19:01 pm »
Pretty douche-ey reply, imo.
Why do you think that? Maybe I'm not getting it. I can't comment on the veracity of his logic, given I have no numbers to go off of (and it'd be a seemingly hard topic to delve into). But it seemed tame enough.

Redeagl

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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 01:27:48 pm »
Pretty douche-ey reply, imo.
Why do you think that? Maybe I'm not getting it. I can't comment on the veracity of his logic, given I have no numbers to go off of (and it'd be a seemingly hard topic to delve into). But it seemed tame enough.
He basically said " If you want to talk about my books, do it in a way that makes me money or no fun for you!!!!". That's a douche
“The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before?”

- Chronicler of the Chroniclers

Wilshire

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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 01:32:43 pm »
Pretty douche-ey reply, imo.
Why do you think that? Maybe I'm not getting it. I can't comment on the veracity of his logic, given I have no numbers to go off of (and it'd be a seemingly hard topic to delve into). But it seemed tame enough.

There's some disillusionment going on. People want everyone to think their well-intentioned ideas will be positively received by all. This was clearly not the case.

Not that I don't get where he is coming from. If your main focus is book sales, I'm sure he's absolutely right. You aren't getting new sales by making a place for fans to hang out.

But on the flip side, its about community. Not everyone feels comfortable sharing their opinions in a bar filled with strangers. Some people want a comfortable place to hang out with their friends and talk about things they have in common.

To each, their own.

I suspect that Redeagl, and Madness, likely wanted authorial buy-in, given the propensity for Lawrence to be seemingly everywhere on the internet. It appears, though, from that singular comment, that the author's efforts are largely to drive book sales, rather than truly build a unique community of friends and compatriots.

Hopefully that clears some things up. Sometimes more words help clarify :) .
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Sausuna

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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2017, 01:41:01 pm »
Pretty douche-ey reply, imo.
Why do you think that? Maybe I'm not getting it. I can't comment on the veracity of his logic, given I have no numbers to go off of (and it'd be a seemingly hard topic to delve into). But it seemed tame enough.
He basically said " If you want to talk about my books, do it in a way that makes me money or no fun for you!!!!". That's a douche
I find that to be an unfairly malicious interpretation. Especially given the very liberal rephrasing. From the sounds of things in Quorum, there are probably insurmountable philosophical differences on the topic as well.

@Wilshire - Fair enough, that sounds like a much more understandable framing of the situation to me.

Wilshire

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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 03:41:16 pm »
I do my best to not get overly excited ;) .

Minor differences, or small misunderstandings, can quickly lead to large divides. I'm sure Lawrence really just doesn't have the time or interest to understand fully what someone making a dedicated fan forum is attempting to do.

From his POV, given a more generous reading, he is framing the effort from his experience. Taking the suggestion for making a fanforum as "hey, I think this will help sales!", to which he responded "probably not".
For what its worth, I agree.

No one's got the time or energy to explain that the point really isn't directly sales. In fact, no consideration to sales is really being made - its entirely besides the point. The idea is to connect people that, despite there being dozens of other places to do so, have not or will not ever connect. Through those unique connection, who knows what interesting things might arise. For, say Madness or Redeagle, the conversation looked more like "hey I want to make this neat thing for you", to which the response was "don't bother, that's a waste of time".
For what its worth, I get why that's frustrating too.

Of course, neither faux conversation took place. Just two people talking past each other. I don't thing any harm was intended.
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Madness

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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 05:41:02 pm »
For documentation purposes, this is the comment I just wrote on Lawrence's recent blog, as there is a very good chance he won't approve my response, especially given that I included a link to the forum in my name (as I wrote in my response, I thought it suddenly seemed rude if I were to link it in my reply). Excited to see whether or not I'll be censored from his blog - life, so quirky sometimes ;).

Quote from: Madness
Two unexpected responses so far. It would almost seem that I should apologize...

For anyone interested, with respect to the author, I've created a fan forum for Mark Lawrence. I won't link it in my reply, at this point it seems rude of me, but you can navigate there by clicking my name.

To your facebook response and this post, Mr. Lawrence, given the respect I have for your online presence and your love of data, I thought you'd be more interested in seeing the data this social experiment generated or, as per your dismissal, otherwise have data to cite in refutation.

To quote again my reply to your facebook comment, "I'd love to source the data but at the very least it might be a space to consolidate the disparate links regarding your fandom as well as allow for a discussion of ambiguity in your texts - since most general online mediums frown on parsing specifics from individual texts.

But as I said in thread on the forum for me it's a social experiment and one I hope might facilitate you and your writing somehow."

To this post, some thoughts:

- A portion of members registered to any given online social media platform are lurkers only and not content generating members.
- Those who participate on any given online social medium generally only do so on one or few but very rarely many or all.
- When adding a new social media platform to a preexisting habitual repertoire of social media behaviors, participating members rarely give up the previous platforms of previous use (unless the new medium replaces all the same uses as the older platforms – this is why people participate on more than one online social medium at all because they allow for different functionality).
- It is a very small subset of your overall readership who might even choose to discuss your books in greater detail online or work to consolidate links regarding your already prolific personal outreach and facilitation in and of the greater Fantasy reading community on a dedicated fan forum site. These are the fans who already do prosthelytize your works on any other appropriate online social media platform and in real life - it would seem unlikely, to me, that they would cease doing so just because you now have a dedicated fan forum (assuming, of course, that your existing readers who talk about your work on reddit/facebook/GDFRW/etc aren’t just there to talk about your works only).
- Your extensive online outreach is not negated by the existence of a novel community and network of your fans.

I am a big fan of what you’ve accomplished with your outreach and your personality as expressed online. I've always liked that you (usually) try and bring data into any given conversation, especially those pertaining to writing and authorship in today's publishing contexts. I've also had a great interest in learning how humans organize, how information travels through human networks, and how individuals exercise agency in large-scale, complicated, and diverse kinds human social organizations. For me this is an experiment, if nothing else - though, the impetus to take fifteen minutes, create a fan forum, link it on r/fantasy, GDFRW, Fantasy-Faction, and Malazan Empire arose from discussing with one of your prospective future readers how big your fandom is and how much you are personally respected online, which reminded me of when the Malazan Empire fans were going to create a dedicated subforum for you there.

TL;DR, I'm interested in where the forum experiment goes from here, given that it might have well failed on its own before your comments, which are no doubt the nail in its coffin. I respect that you perceive dedicated fan forums to have a detrimental impact on sales. As the forum currently has five members, I'm going to let it live for the moment, despite your rejection.

If at some point in all your data you find a dip in your sales that can be even remotely related to my starting your fan forum, let me know and I'll shut it down promptly.

Thanks...
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Madness

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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 05:55:26 pm »
Otherwise, so far:

- I created a Mark Lawrence fan forum after Knee That Bends and I discussed him starting Prince of Thorns in Quorum.
- I linked on Grimdark Fiction Readers & Writers facebook group, as well as, r/fantasy, Fantasy-Faction, and Malazan Empire (who years ago were going to created a dedicated subforum for Lawrence there).
        - On linking the forum around, I took no lessons from MG and impulse posted. I probably would have gotten a greater initial response had I waited til the next afternoon and posted shortly after 12pm, rather than in the evening when I created the forum.
- The Grim Tidings Podcast hosted, in half, by the Admin of GDFRW linked the fan forum - but Grimdark Magazine did not.
- A member of the GDFRW shared it to her personal wall with Lawrence tagged, to which he responded with the quote from my opening post in this thread.
- Mark Lawrence made a post on his blog, elaborating on his not having (or wanting) a fan forum.
- I responded, as seen above this post.

Moving forward, if Mark Lawrence approves my response to his blog the link in my name will get occupy one of the most prominent possible positions relative to Mark Lawrence's established online fan network (since - and I have to assume - the greatest concentrate of Mark Lawrence fans most frequent his blog for information about Mark Lawrence and his work).

Criticism of my actions and/or words are invited and welcome :).
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 05:57:35 pm by Madness »
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Redeagl

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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 06:24:38 pm »
A few points from me. Opinions are mine, not Madness's. He can't come up with opinions as thoughtful as mine unless he becomes truly faithful in his worship of Akka.:
- Lawrence did not reply to our replies to his original comment ( We disagreed with him. ). Then completely ignored Madness's request to share the forum's link.
- Lawrence did not comment at all in the multiple public posts about the forum, like Madness's original post in GDFRW, and The Grim Tidings Podcast, but chose to comment in the personal wall of a GDFRW member.
- Lawrence decides to post a ( Rather stupid IMO.)  blog post as the reply.
Redeagl's conclusion: That's douche-ey.
“The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before?”

- Chronicler of the Chroniclers

Sausuna

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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 08:07:42 pm »
Madness, seems like a very well thought and written post. Well done, I say. And about as respectable a disagreement as one can have.

Redeagl, it isn't his responsibility to comment on the matter (assuming he saw it previously) or even give researched debate on it. And I'm not sure why you feel as though you are entitled to such. So strongly that you feel it appropriate to both call him names and tell people not to buy his books.

Redeagl

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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2017, 08:38:49 pm »
Madness, seems like a very well thought and written post. Well done, I say. And about as respectable a disagreement as one can have.

Redeagl, it isn't his responsibility to comment on the matter (assuming he saw it previously) or even give researched debate on it. And I'm not sure why you feel as though you are entitled to such. So strongly that you feel it appropriate to both call him names and tell people not to buy his books.
Ignoring passionate fan projects completely kills it and most importantly, is certainly " not a good adequate". ( :P  ) .And yes, he certainly did see it previously, he sees every single post made about him in FB groups he is active in. As for my strong feelings, discovering that an author whose books I greatly enjoy, is not " a  very good guy" in first person does that. Like I said, I really liked his books ( Except Red Sister. That was shit. ), but I also recommend against them. Is that bad?  It's just my opinion, that Lawrence doesn't deserve your money.
“The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before?”

- Chronicler of the Chroniclers