PULLING BACK THE COVER
ON HIS WRITING TECHNIQUES
I never sent them, tho. I figured now that he is even more high-profile and getting all these other professional journalist articles written about him that take an even more critical eye, my little unseen contribution would just be another boat passing in the night. So I never hit enter, even after I had scratched it out and prepared my blog for a new entry.
Still, because I hate to waste my time, energy and productivity, I made a copy that I will now print as a kind of open letter to James Altucher, and as a fitting conclusion to this excursion into the jungles of fame, finance and internet friendship.
Here it is:
"Wow! James! MSN front page! I caught your ad placement for the riding the crypto wave pitch you've got going now. Very well done... very impressive! This content has got to be a fantastic new initiative for you. You've got all the cred and you should be proud of how you lay it all out in a condensed elevator version of your whole pitch as a thought-leader.
"Tho the format is a lot like many of those money newsletter pitches that are a mere list of promises and vague references, you actually provide all kinds of granular detail. Stock Gumshoe will have no reason to even sleuth around to try and give away your store, ha ha! (Except for the list of truly worthy cryptos, but he'll have to do a lot of DD to figure those out).
"I'm also glad you took my advice and even noted in your later pieces that it's often the connections you've cultivated that are one of the sources of your ability to be an trend-spotter. Kudos for incorporating the idea I suggested while showing how it can be genuine.
"Of course I signed up, I don't have the time to do DD. And in the world... in the entire world.... I think there are about ten people I used to implicitly trust, and you're one of them.
So I signed up but I started writing this to you as the order was processing, and the I got the lifetime membership nag. that was a little off-putting since it's only for a number of people (really? so how do I know when the orders are all filled? will the payment site not display the next nag page at that point?) It's a small thing but maybe just put the 1 year / 2 yr / lifetime choices all on the same page or it almost seems a little fishy / bait and switch.
By that I mean, sign up and you'll get the list. Now sign up again for the super-secret list you can't get for signing up like you just did!
Now, it's a small thing and I know you are a pro so I'm sure it works as call to action for some folks, and it's reasonably priced.
Still, its it those guys at Brassdoor who are doing this campaign? I hate those guys, ha ha. The ABC style is annoying, frankly, a little. You don't need to doll your pitch up like it's some simple Tech Newsletter to suck in some newbies, do you?
Let me lay it all on you (again) since Don and Walt aren't around right now....
Since our last chat I wrote my next book (Trumpocalypse Not). When I had it ready to go I took your advice and went to those guys at the Brassdoor and their site and dropped them a line. I intended to pay them to work their magic and get the algos to think I'm worthy of some kind of media coverage.
Well, of course, few ever have the courtesy to reply to me, so take a guess what happened next. Are you surprised? I think it's like some quantum tunneling or something. My negative spin seems to tunnel straight through the internet to every single person in the world (except you, briefly) and turn them spinning right off even though they have no prior knowledge of me and my pervasive cynicism regarding asshats who can't even configure Outlook to say "thanks for your inquiry, we'll get back to you."
I guess BD don't even have the brains to send something ten hours later that says: "Unfortunately, we have chosen to decline to work on your project because (some excuse that doesn't mention they are so rich at this point they can pick and choose their clients, which means they can make sure to only choose already successful authors thus ensuring their newest campaign can't fail... and you're not that, kid. Pound sand)." So fuck those guys. Yep, and anyone else unprofessional enough to blow prospects off due to their elite position and gatekeeping.
At least if they had common courtesy I wouldn't still be checking my junk in-mail box (page after page of it) to see if their response just got routed to the wrong place by accident, ha ha. Just kidding... I never bothered looking. Don't think my cynicism won't save me a lot of time!
So sure, I wrote a good book. I started a company and put out hundreds of videos. Released over 20 music albums and music DVDs. Wrote numerous articles for my site that were wittier than Winston Churchill on a bender, and sometimes put out my feelers to all those famous connections we all know are the key to it all. I asked you for help and got nothing. I put my book on the Amz and the Goodreads and blah blah blah. And still nothing. It's just one notch above a total waste of time, just like my article about you is probably going to wind up being too.
So it goes.
Heck, I held back on putting out that piece about Gurus that was all about dissecting your style like a good guy, but at this point I might have to put it out after all just to see if while you are making hay with the cryptos I can't make hay with how the algos respect your media presence.
In my piece I'll note that all the connections I have with famous people I use as bait for all of my readers who have wealth-envy are *negative* connections, ha ha. But "just noting them" has to be worth something, right?
So, also, I wouldn't feel right without mentioning I never bothered reading that book I was supposed to read by Singer (until now, at least). Really, you gotta be kidding, right? I honestly went to the library to get it a few weeks after my IM to you but they didn't carry it and I sure as hell wasn't going to buy it, ha ha, I can't afford it for one thing.
If the flow of the universe didn't choose to flow that book into my library then the universe is just telling me "you don't need to waste your time on this." Thanks universe! In a way, it validates his idea but at the same time negates it (because the universe doesn't think his book is worth stocking on the shelves, natch).
But don't tell Brassdoor that I don't have the money to go buy the book retail, ha ha, they sure would never work with me then, right? Well, I might have the money but not for a dumb book by an author you tossed softballs to. By not spending that money i'm demonstrating thrift or some other sort of value dripping with wisdom about life and success, so your advice works after all. :)
Sure, we all know that the fact is it takes money to make money and no one ever got rich by being poor. So that is why once the Brassballs people had all the money they need, they used that money to exploit people's desire to be told by someone rich how it's really done; then they exploit the ignorant and make more money by promising success for a fee.
Why would they want or need to work with anything but the sure thing at this point, an author who they can see ALREADY has done the heavy PR lifting for them? After all, they are at the exploiter stage of capitalism where their position of insider connections and media control means they just have to sit back and wait for fools who don't know their own worth to land in their lap.
After all, if you are the kind of client they would take... you don't actually need them at that point, yet they will claim your success as their own when all they are doing is amplifying something people have been proven to already want to hear.
Wow, such PR, very wisdom.
This is what they call rent-seeking and gate-keeping in the world of humans looking for a meritocracy instead of a patriarchal oligarchy. (Those are bad things, no matter what Republicans might tell you.)
Let me see what kind of work they do with an unknown and I'll tell you if they really are a good PR firm or not.
Meanwhile, because of the rigged game, what typically happens is that they make money and everyone else doesn't because they find a naive writer who is happy to get that "first big break" who lets them extract more of the value the author created then they should be entitled to, and they get richer while the artist providing the actual content gets screwed, just as in the music business. It's all because because they are the gatekeepers of mainstream media exposure based on relationships between a wealthy elite which they have been lucky enough to be born into or penetrate by dint of hook, crook, luck, exploitation, or possibly even (in rare cases) hard work and doing the right thing.
Now, I'm not saying they aren't worth it to you as an author, James, since they are indeed amplifying your message. But at what cost? Probably, since you already have money... the cost is irrelevant to you in a way that it isn't to everyone else. So catch 22 for everyone else.
When people without money need PR so that they can increase their popularity, sell their product and get money... they can't get the PR people to respond because they are not popular or rich yet already. Catch that Catch 22 all up in there? Or did it bounce off your fingertips for an incomplete pass?
Well, it's just more bullshit, as you and I both understand, since it relies on an idea of crony capitalism that is the antithesis of the democratic ideals this nation used to practice in terms of fiscal policy and the socio-economic tapestry of America.