Sunday, January 14, 2007

Some Dude Named Brian Konradt Writes an E-Book about Writing about Poker

I'm not sure which is the best way to lead into this little turdlette. On the one hand, I could go with the "more proof that poker has entered the mainstream" schtick, but on the other, I could just do the ol' "see the Worm Ouroboros consuming its own tail" thing.

Hell, here's a gratuitous image of the second one.

What got me going was seeing teh Interwebs flooded in recent days with spammed press releases for an E-book about writing poker content for fun 'n' profit, authored by some dude named Brian Konradt. Brian who? Shoot, I figured that someone who could put together an entire book about writing and selling poker stories out to have sold a bunch... or a few... or maybe even one, but no, no such creature exists. Therefore, the Ouroboros thingy above is slightly more applicable, since it also involves mythology.

Anyhoo, Mr. Konradt's missive --- intentionally not linked, nor mentioned by its proper title --- shows up the guy's true colors: He's one of these predatory types who writes for writers, owning a whole bunch of domains where he spews about what other poeple need to do to sell their work, and lately seems to have identified poker as one of several niche markets where he can repurpose his own basic canon, toss in a few poker-specific references, and con a whole bunch of people into buying something that's probably the poker-writing version of, to paraphrase a great Stephen King line, a dead rat in a Lucite block.

To this aim, Konradt soliticited a bunch of other poker writers for submissions a few months back, the call appearing on some writer's forums. They got to send their tales of how they write poker stories, and he lists them as contributors, repackages it, and claims the profits and the book sales for himself.

Nice scam. The "writing for writers" market is self-perpetuating, and this Konradt dude plays the game pretty well. While no list of the contributing writers --- this being the folks who actually know something about poker writing --- appears, I was able to deduce a couple of the "contributors" through other means, and I didn't recognize their names, either. Now, it's likely that some recognizable folks did get taken send their writing advice to Konradt, and one can only hope that now that they've learned their lesson, they won't be stupid enough to make the same mistake a second time. There's absolutely nothing wrong with good will, and sharing insights with other writers, as I did recently for one newer poker writer making his debut pilgrimage to a big tournament, the Aussie Millions. But that's a whole lot different than being silly enough to send insights off to someone like this Konradt, clearly a leech who exists by marketing to other people's dreams. He seems a good marketer, at that. But a book about poker writing by someone who's never sold a poker story (as far as I can determine), is ludicrous.

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