Social Media and Cost-Benefit Ratios



That title really makes you think I’m going to say something important here, but I’m not.  I’m just going to say that I spent the day cleaning up some of social media accounts.

I announced the upcoming closing of three twitter accounts and consolidated under @craigsoffer, which is the Twitter account that has my real name, and a Twitter feed that reflects my real thoughts and feelings.

Then I got lost in trying to figure out, once again, which accounts should post to which other accounts.


I think the full “Soffocles” experience for now will be limited to the following:

Twitter: @craigsoffer

Tumblr: where I’ll focus on the indie comic I’m developing and reblogs from the world of comics. which will remain the hub for the time being.  I may open a blog for my company, Puzzled Sphinx Productions, LLC, but I’m not sure yet.  I think my goal is to give my readers and fans one stop shopping here at, even though the blog name tends to confuse people.  You can also see some of my stuff at 


On the one hand, I enjoy all this social media computer geek stuff I get to do; on the other hand, I’d rather be in a dark box somewhere, working on my novel.  But it’s a modern world, and I think it’s key to embrace the new that comes along if you want to stay relevant.  Or become relevant in the first place.

Amazon One-Click (Part 3 in a Series)


I suppose the next development in my relationship with Amazon involves the one-click button.  For a long time, I was afraid of this.  How could it possibly work?  It’s not going to be one click.  It’s going to be one-click, plus what’s your password, plus which address do you want to use, plus which credit card do you want to use, ad infinitum.  Screw it.

Of course, that isn’t at all how it works, is it?  Provided you’ve set up a delivery address, provided a primary credit card, and entered your password recently…it works!  You click once and bam!  You’ve already paid for a book.  Who could this possibly harm?

Since then, I have to admit, I’ve one-clicked a lot.  I have the one-click disease.  Well, oh, crap, I have to go.  See that, breaking the fourth wall stuff?  Anyway, I do so I’m just going to add that I FOUND A CURE or the one-click disease, that involves another aspect of the Amazon service.

Before I go, I want to add that at this one-click stage I was emotionally in a very iffy place.  Part of me sensed that Amazon was too big, too powerful, to be good for the rest of us.  But I was buying, and reading, more books than ever.  That had to be good, right?

Did I love them, or was I terrified of them?  The only thing I knew was that I was buying a lot of ebooks from them, but that I’d also want to step in front of a train if the Barnes & Nobles on Seventh Avenue in Brooklyn closed.  Or any of them, for that matter.  Not to mention the awesome Park Slope Community Bookstore, only a few blocks away.

So I decided to try B&N’s website again, see how things had come along, check out the Nook software.  And I’ll tell that story next time.  For now, before you one-click, think twice.

Head over to my Facebook page and throw me a like over there.  I’m thinking of blogging more regularly than I have been since I opened my first wordpress blog many years ago, and I’m hoping for more interaction.

Peace and love.



The Secret Histories of Scott Snyder | The Comical Librarian


The Secret Histories of Scott Snyder | The Comical Librarian.

A great round up of Professor Snyder’s work (well, that’s how I think of him because he was one of the Professors in my MFA program).  Snyder is an amazing writer, phenomenal teacher, and incredible human being.  I own every comic The Comical Librarian talks about here, and he’s done a great job of summing up what has been thus far an amazing career.

via The Secret Histories of Scott Snyder | The Comical Librarian.

Traditional Publishing vs. Self Publishing


TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING VS. SELF-PUBLISHING, the title fight on tonight’s card, ladies and gentlemen.

In this corner:

Print’s not dead.

Traditional publishing still exists.

Some authors still have their books edited by fabulously gifted editors, improving the books many times over.

Literary agents still stake clients (sic.), and still make sales to traditional publishers.

Times are tight and most advances are not what they used to be.

The publisher will decide, along with many other things, how much your book will cost.

Unpublished unknowns still have access to all of the above.

And in this corner:

Print’s not dead because we want it to live.  It’s still neat.

Traditional publishing still exists but so does the horseshoe crab.

Some authors have the faith to pay, out of pocket, for freelance editors to edit their books.  Many, many skip this step and let Aunt Myra edit the text because she went to school back when they still taught grammar.  Others aren’t even sure what an editor does or how they do what they do…all part of the magic world whose threshold they once longed to cross.

Literary agents spend their days checking out what’s hot on Wattpad and similar sites and sometimes reach out to these authors and offer to represent them.  Some of these authors tell those agents to go lick buffalo balls.  Others make minor tweaks to some kickin’ fan fiction under expert editorial guidance and become worldwide phenomena by repackaging sex.

There are no advances as such in self publishing, although some new publishers (including my own newborn company) are primarily there to soothe entry into the twin paradises of document formatting and platform building (a euphemism for shameless, unending, soul-shredding self-aggrandizing online promotion) and are considering or already offering small advances.

You decide how much your book is going to cost (mostly) but ninety-nine cents or even zero cents may just be the sweet-spot.

But there is no one, absolutely no one, anywhere in the world, standing between you and your first book sale.  Or your one millionth. 


Well, it’s not going to be a thirty-one second Tyson knockout or even a forty minute heavyweight fight.  This one’s going to go on for a long time, the tide of battle ebbing back and forth.  


Right now, I’m splitting the difference.  Since getting my MFA, I’m more committed than ever to having a novel published by one of the houses I’ve esteemed since childhood.  (In regard to science fiction, my shelves shine with books I’ve loved from Tor, Baen, DelRey and a few others.)  This is not a logic-thing, it’s a me-thing.

But that doesn’t mean I’m a blind fool, which is why I started Puzzled Sphinx Productions, LLC.  Because I’m not blind, just puzzled.  A wise, puzzled guy. Get it?  Working with indie artists, indie filmmakers and other indie writers, the company is already involved with one short film and two new comic books series that will knock everyone’s undergarments askew.

Craig the novelist is happy hiding in a closet with a typewriter.  Soffocles, writer of comics scripts, teleplays and screenplays is happy to dive deep into all the diginew.  

What about you, fellow writer?  Pleased as punch to publish on your own, or planning to pursue more traditional paths?  Comments welcome below, and likes are on for comments (and I think I know what that means.)

Ezekiel, introduced by J. Michael Straczynski to  Spider-Man's world to stir up the entire mythology.

Ezekiel, introduced by J. Michael Straczynski to Spider-Man’s world to stir up the entire mythology.