Cost of Creation

Mpepper/ May 16, 2024/ Think Pieces

I’ll say it again: the onus of the cost of creation is shifting towards the creators. Which means that marginalized voices are becoming even further excluded because they cannot afford to create. Used to be, a writer came up with a book, or a play, or a film script, and sold it to people willing to invest in it. The

Read More

Playlists in Books

Mpepper/ February 15, 2024/ Think Pieces, Writing

Because this subject has blown up recently, and I have feelings about it. I’ve never read a book with a playlist printed in it. I doubt I read the kinds of books and/or authors that would feel compelled to include a playlist. So… yeah. There’s something somewhat juvenile about that, something that (to me) screams “newbie author.” High school mix

Read More

The Tropification of Book Marketing

Mpepper/ January 15, 2024/ Think Pieces

A year or so ago, I was encourage to make an “arrow chart” of each of my books. If you’re an author or reader, you know what this is: an image (often animatic) showing the book with a bunch of arrows describing the tropes in the story. I suck at this kind of thing, but I tried. (The animatic one

Read More

Thinking Back on 2023 (Writing)

Mpepper/ December 13, 2023/ Think Pieces, Writing

We have once again arrived at the time of year where we reflect, usually in the form of lists. Best of, worst of, etc. I’m doing all that on my YouTube channel with the books I read this year, so be sure to check it out. But over here I’m going to look at 2023 in terms of my writing.

Read More

Gatekeeping Criticism

Mpepper/ October 27, 2023/ Think Pieces

Not all opinions are made equal. Everyone is entitled to one, of course, and now that pretty much everyone in the world has a public platform via social media, everyone is able to broadcast their opinions to the populace. In many ways, this is a good thing. Hearing various points of view, getting different “readings” on a text (as we

Read More

Book Reviewing: Four Stars = Not Enough?

Mpepper/ September 25, 2023/ Reviews, Think Pieces

So I stumbled onto this story via social media. (I’m not someone who frequents Reddit, but that’s where this led me.) And I have to say I think ESH. But, at the same time, there is no easy or “correct” answer. Allow me to summarize: a book reviewer (who evidently reads and reviews a lot of books and says they

Read More

On the Internet, You’re Replaceable

Mpepper/ September 22, 2023/ Think Pieces

There’s a semi-popular mode of thought that floats around fairly regularly as a social media post. Basically, it’s a reminder that your job will replace you if you die, so you shouldn’t live for your job because it doesn’t really care about you. The same is true of social media. No one will miss you if you leave. We like

Read More

Social Engagement

Mpepper/ September 19, 2023/ Think Pieces

Being ignored wasn’t the worst thing that could happen to you as a kid. It was, one supposes, better than being actively bullied. But with the rise of social media and the emphasis on engagement, being ignored can feel like being buried alive. As I work through a few personal issues, I’ve come to realize that feeling like an outcast—something

Read More

Not All Media Is for All Audiences

Mpepper/ September 7, 2023/ Think Pieces

This feels like a basic concept, but based on continuing social media arguments, it seems to bear repeating. Creators—writers, artists, etc.—are told many times over to “consider their audience” when creating a work. “Who is this for?” is the standing question. Sometimes, it’s just for the creator. In any case, it should always be for the creator… and then, ideally,

Read More

Are Self-Published Authors “Real” Authors?

Mpepper/ January 3, 2023/ Think Pieces

This old chestnut of an argument has recently reared its head again: “Self-published authors aren’t real authors.” (See also: “Self-published books aren’t real books.”) So, of course, let’s go through the debate once more. What this pronouncement almost always boils down to is the idea that, in order for any book or author to be “good,” they must go through–and

Read More