Cartoon: Bernie & Phil Learn the Hacks of Life

Young revolutionary creators inevitably become old reactionary creators. Or, as various mythologies demonstrate, young heroes all too often age into old tyrants.

The following is a case in point all of us would do well to remember.

If we value artists, we should pay them benefits

Speaking of “How Authors Make Money,” this insightful look into the problems of new creatives of all kinds is from The Guardian in the UK. But its message is as universal as its reasoning is sound.

Britain’s creative industries are packed with people from privileged backgrounds. It doesn’t have to be that way
by Penny Anderson

From September, artists in Ireland will be permitted one year on unemployment benefit without having to look for work, to allow for time to pursue their practice, rehearse, or develop a portfolio. Keep in mind that the country’s equivalent of jobseeker’s allowance is worth £168.50 per week even before rent payments are added (in the UK it’s £73.10) meaning that even one year provides valuable security. That time, quite simply, will take the heat off.

The scheme was announced by the minister for employment affairs and social protection, Regina Doherty, who stated: “In Ireland, we hold a very special place for the arts and I hope that through this initiative we can create some breathing space for creative people to flourish.”

If only we could do something similar here. Well, we used to, with the old-school enterprise allowance. Countless musicians, actors, artists and dancers benefited from this scheme, as they were able to start a new business, while being entitled to the equivalent of jobseeker’s allowance, without having to seek other work for one year.

That compares to the current situation where under the terminal basket-case known as universal credit, claimants – including artists – must spend 35 hours per week “work-seeking”, rather than “art-making”. There is a massive drawback to treating art as any other job. “Cultural industries” (and once again with feeling, all artists hate that phrase) generate plenty of income for the nation, while also encouraging tourism.

But not all artistic output can be sold, nor does everything arty generate income for its owner and maker – especially more challenging work, such as performance or conceptual art….

Read it all at

How Authors Make Money

Think you know how writers make money? Frankly, you might know some of them, but Nathan Bansford, author of the  Jacob Wonderbar series absolutely nails it, and certainly opened this TVWriter™ minion’s eyes wider than I ever would have thought possible.

by Nathan Bransford

Yes, yes, we all want to write books that move people and change the world. But, uh, how exactly do authors get paid? Read on, friends. Here’s how authors make money.

In this post I’m going to cover all the different ways authors make money from their books:

  • Traditional publishing
    • Advances
    • Royalties
    • Subrights (through a publisher)
    • Subrights (direct)
  • Self- and hybrid publishing
    • Direct distribution
    • E-book distributors
    • Hybrid publishers

Note that this won’t cover other ancillary ways writers may make money like “freelance gigs” and “scrounging for spare change in the couch at your parents’ house.” It’s going to focus on the books part.

How authors make money through traditional publishing

Before we get to fun things like advances and royalties, let’s start with a word about literary agents.

In order to secure traditional publication, chances are an author will need to find a literary agent. Agents do not charge authors until their work is sold, except for ancillary expenses like photocopying and postage.

When an agent sells a book or other rights on behalf of the author, they receive 15% of the proceeds in perpetuity in the case of domestic rights, and 20% of the proceeds for foreign rights, which is split 10% between a primary agent and 10% between the subagent.

So when you’re doing your book economics calculations, be sure and lop 15% off the top if you work with an agent (which, you should. They earn that commission).

How book advances work

When a book publisher is interested in a book project, they will offer the author an “advance,” which is a sum of money in exchange for the right to publish the book. (Here’s more on publishing contract terms).

An advance is the author’s to keep regardless of how many copies the book sells, as long as the author fulfills the terms of the publishing contract….

Read it all at

Larry Brody: Live! From Paradise! #55 – “Return of the Ghost Dog”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to  the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.

In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.

Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.

by Larry Brody

Ever since I mentioned the Ghost Dog, readers have been asking to know more about it. So here’s the latest update.

It begins, as does so much here on the Mountain, with the Big Red Chow Dude. He paid us a visit last Tuesday afternoon and looks in good shape. No new wounds or scars, and his coat is thick and lustrous.

Emmy the Pit Mom’s M.O. when her True Love comes calling has been to race to the front door so I’ll open it, and then, when the Dude pops up onto the front porch ignore him the way a wasp ignores Gwen the Beautiful’s flailing arms.

We’re talking cutting the poor guy dead. He stays with us for however long it takes for Emmy to at last welcome his presence with some fancy bowing and wrestling. Then, as soon as he feels certain she still loves him off he goes.

Usually in the dead of night.

This time, though, Emmy made no pretense of not loving him. She barked so I’d do my doorman act, and then, lo and behold, she went right into the jumping and dancing.

Pure joy is what I saw, with no ego protection. A beautiful sight.

The kids weren’t as happy to see their old man as Mom was. Which didn’t bother Dude in the least. He doesn’t demand love, just respect.

As usual, Decker gave his daddy a wide birth, even though he’s bigger than the Dude and quite a fearsome country warrior himself. As for Belle the Skittish, she put up with the Dude’s sniffing and sighed with relief when he turned away.

Now’s where the Ghost Dog comes in. Our experience with the Ghost Dog began several months ago when Chet the No Longer Unhandyman told me how some nights when he looked out from the Annex he’d see another dog the general size and shape of Emmy’s pups lying asleep in the clearing.

The other dogs never barked at that one, and no one ever saw it but Chet, although I tried to stay up and take pictures one night. But the night after the Dude arrived, it made its presence known.

Gwen was upstairs in bed, and I was downstairs at the computer. Decker and Belle were locked in the dog yard for the night, and Emmy and the Dude lay together on the front porch.

Suddenly Decker and Belle began barking, and Emmy and the Dude joined in. Emmy ran full-out into the woods, hind legs flapping out from her body like Dumbo’s ears. The Dude, being—after all—a “dude,” and very, very cool, loped after her.

None of this was any big deal. Happens all the time. But then, from inside the house, right in front of the kitchen table, came more barking, deep and gruff, and the sound of dog claws scrabbling on our cedar floor. Like another dog eager to join the chase.

Except there was no other dog.

The barking and scrabbling hurried past me, to the front door.

And nothing, absolutely nothing, was there to cause it.

I went to the door. Opened it. Out went whatever presence had honored us, joining the rest of the chorus, and the chase.

“I didn’t know Emmy was in the house,” Gwen called down.

“She wasn’t,” I said.

Gwen came to the railing.

Peered down.

“Oh,” she said quietly. Just “Oh…”

A couple of hours later Emmy returned alone. The next morning as I fed the horses I saw the tail of a large, reddish-tan dog wagging in the air out of the corner of my eye. When I turned to look at it, the tail was gone.

That evening, when I prepared the dogs’ dinner, I saw the same tail wagging at another place in the clearing. And again it vanished when I tried a direct look.

The Ghost Dog?

What else? No one’s ever gonna convince me otherwise.

Only problem is, although this sounds like an answer it’s really another question. Because I’m still clueless about what—or who—the Ghost Dog is.

There’s one thing I do know, though. Whatever was here barks like a dog. Scrambles and gives chase like a dog. Wags its tail like one too.

Reacts like a dog in all ways.

I’m thinking it must love like a dog too.

So how I can do anything other than love our Ghost Dog in return?

Love & Money Dept – TV Biz Happenings of the Week Ending July 22

TOSHIBA Exif JPEGLatest News About Writers & Other Mostly Living Things That Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

Uh-oh. Last week’s return of yer friendly neighborhood munchman’s formerly adored column, Love & Money, tanked even worse than Katherine Heigl’s new Netflix series will if it ever actually makes it to the air.

We know why nobody wants to see Ms. Heigl’s next project. It’s the same reason nobody wanted to see her previous failures – nobody fucking can stand her onscreen persona.

But this is me, Timothy Tyler Muncher my very, very, very loved self. How in the name of all that’s holy, unholy, and whatever’s in between did last week’s launching get exactly one (1!) recorded view between last Thursday and yesterday?

Have I become that obsolete already? After only a 4-year absence? Am I cursed? Reviled? Or, or – omg, I think I’ve got it – forgotten?

‘Scuze me while I – choke – sob….

Our Beloved Leader, Larry Brody (the guy with the highest Amex Black Card limit on the planet who after all these years of occasionally faithful service, still refuzez to pay me) sez that the only reason I’m even here this week is that the WGA-ATA war hasn’t had any major developments (although this particular occurrence and the thinking expressed here may end up more important to future writer/agent relationships than it seems).

LB also has opined that the problem last time out was that I spent too much talking about the Arch Enemies Known As Executives instead of writerz.

I’m not sure LB is right (actually I know that he’s a lefty, physically, psychologically, and strategically), but just in case, here’z the latest writerz only info.

Oh, sorry Ms. Heigl, guess that means I can’t talk about the travesty of Firefly Lane cuz although you’re the star and executive producer (does the term “oy vay!” mean anything to you, my singular reader whoever you are?) you at least haven’t claimed to be writing this tale about, as Deadline.Com put it:

Tully, a force of nature: magnetic, ambitious, reckless, and fiercely loyal. Still bearing the scars of a traumatic childhood, she is dogged by inner loneliness, even as she goes on to fabulous fame and fortune as a journalist and talk show host. Her saving grace is her best friend and soulmate, Kate, with whom she shares an unshakable bond.

Why am I so sure you aren’t the writer? Mostly because even this facile trash seems way too deep for somebody who called her own starring vehicle, Knocked Up “a little sexist.”

I mean, little? Yikes.

So, moving on without her, munchaderamus is proud to present the latest about the following chazari (Um, that’s a Yiddish word for the kind of crap it takes one Acme Ton O’Chutzpah to ever mention to another human being.


THE MUCH LOOKED FORWARD TO (by cinema illiterates and utter morons in general) TV version of Snowpiercer seems to gathering, you know, steam, at TNT, most likely because Graeme Manson, co-creator of Orphan Black has been brought on to save the series from itself.

Gotta admit I’m more than a mite puzzled about how that’s going to be done, especially since the trailer shown at Comic Con seems to follow the abysmal original so loyally. Maybe all the characters will be clones of Tatiana Maslany? Now that’s something this munchhauser would watch!

SPEAKING OF HIGHLY RESPECTED WRITERS, the Stan Lee created series Restless is being developed by David Greenwalt and James Dalessandro. Greenwalt is a veteran of Grimm – a sort of not-too-bad series that lasted about a million and a half years (well, 5 years anyway) longer than it should have, so the dude must have some special writing powers, yeah? – and James Dalessandro known for the historical novel 1906 and the TV movie Citizen Jane, about a woman who goes after a brutal murderer even though he’s also her bf.

Will these guys turn Restless, a concept featuring a “Native American homicide detective [who]…begins to inherit the mystical powers of his…ancestors after his father’s death” remains to be seen. But like so many of us demented outsider, munchterbator lives in hope.

ANOTHER SHOW I’M PSYCHED ABOUT (yepperz, I’ve got a very soft definition of “psyched,” I admit) is Tina Fey’s unnamed series starring Ted Danson as “a wealthy businessman who runs for mayor of L.A. for all the wrong reasons.” Gotta love any show mocking zillionaire politicians, amiright? Especially when the mockingest bird I’ve ever met (yeah, and worked with, but that’s neither here nor there…or iz it?) Tiny Fey her consumate self, is the creator along with Robert Carlock of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt reknown.

ROUNDING OUT THIS WEEK’S DELIGHTS is the newz that Greta Gerwig is co-writing and possibly directing a film based on everybody’s favorite advert for plastic surgery at the earliest age possible, Mattel’s deliciously inappropriate albeit delightful Barbie Doll herself.

I know that strictly speaking I’m not talking about TV here, but even with the genius Oscar nommed writer-director of Lady Bird in charge and the so often scatologically evil Margot Robbie playing the – ahem – titular role, let’s face it, boys and girls, moms and dads, and terrifyingly unctuous uncles and gramps, doesn’t it seem to you that no matter what approach Grets (yeppers, know her too and can call the lady what I damn well please) takes to this material it’s still going to be something more suitable for midnight showings at home than a MeToo fundraising permiere?

That’s it for now, munchalados. Here’s hoping I’m talking to more than one of you this week. Don’t let me down now. I’m looking forward to an avalanche of comments showing that you caught on to which of the above bragged-about relationships above I was being truthful about and which were outright frauds, lies, and boobymeisses.

Seeya next week, munchadiddlehoppers, with more chazari about what the writers we’re all most envious of are up to! Unless LB pulls the plug–

Oh Christ, waitaminnit. He wouldn’t do that, would he?! Would you? LB, I love ya like a brother, you know that. LB–