Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How To Be... an Incredible Hulk (and an Indie Life post)

Okay, so this entry may seem like an odd choice (my wife totally disapproves of it), BUT, if you follow along to the very end, it will all make sense. Probably. I think it will. It does in my mind, anyway. Besides, in a comment back on this postRusty said that growing up to be the Incredible Hulk
was his childhood dream, and I felt like that deserved some recognition. I wanted to dig up old bones; he wanted to "turn into an enormous green rage monster."

But how would one really go about doing that?

Well, my first bit of advice is to be the age of a middle schooler. They have the whole flying into a rage monster thing down. Most of us grow out of that, though, so what other way would one have of becoming a Hulk?

Well, in pretty much every version of the Hulk out there, the first thing you need to have is some pretty serious anger issues, ideally that you're suppressing. For some reason, gamma radiation will release this suppressed anger while also turning you green. Unless you become the a red hulk.
But, then, I'm not actually sure they used gamma radiation on those, so let's just stick to green. Which takes us back to gamma radiation, which is the second necessary ingredient to Hulkify yourself.

Originally, this gamma radiation was delivered via a gamma nuke, but I don't suggest this as your option. Also, it turned him grey
which isn't as impressive in that he looks more gorilla-ish, but he does dress better. Sometimes. But I digress...

More recent iterations of the Hulk have included such things as genetics research and bioengineering, and, honestly, those things put the idea of something Hulk-like into the realm of possibility. We are already working on programs to produce results like this. Okay, maybe now quite like busting out of your clothes and turning colors, but still...

At any rate, if you really want to be the Hulk or Hulk-like, I would bet there are plenty of programs that you could volunteer to join for "testing." I'm sure there will be a lot of paperwork to fill out. Mostly paperwork involving non-disclosure agreements and, um, whatever those things are called where you don't hold the other people responsible when you burst into a green rage monster.
There may also be private individuals who would not need you to sign all of that messy paperwork.

The point is that, if this is something you really wanted to achieve, it's not out of the realm of possibility anymore.

This is also an Indie Life day.
People seem to always want something for nothing, and I get that. I do. Free is good, right? But that's not really what I'm talking about, because free implies that the giver is making a gesture. It's his choice. No, what I'm talking about is when people work the system to take advantage of a situation to get something for nothing.

For a while, Amazon allowed, through it's affiliate program, people to get something for nothing. Just by listing the daily free Kindle listings on their site, an affiliate could earn money from downloads that Amazon wasn't making any money off of. It went on for quite a while before Amazon put a stop to it. The thing that gets me about this is that these people that were taking advantage of what was basically an oversight on the part of Amazon began complaining as soon as Amazon said it would no longer pay affiliates for free downloads. Basically, if we don't make any money from it, you don't make any money from it. I don't see anything wrong with that.

A lot of these people that run these sites advertising free books have been yelling very loudly, though, not that it's doing them any good. Personally, I just don't understand how anyone can feel justified in complaining about not getting something anymore that they were, in effect, stealing to begin with, but they are.

To make up for this lack of income, many of these sites want to, now, charge the author for these services, services that many authors didn't know they were receiving in the first place. On the surface, there's nothing wrong with this; my issue is the way some of these sites are going about it. They want you to have a free offering (to pull in clicks) and a paid option which will earn them affiliate money from Amazon. In effect, they want to be paid from both sides at once. And, maybe, that's okay, it's the way some of these sites are going about it that bothers me along with the fees they want to charge the authors for the service.

Which is how this applies to Indie Life. It's important, as an independently published author, to not get roped into paying more for a service than you're going to get back from using it, and most of these kind of sites are going to do just that, charge you more for the service than you will make from it. Sometimes much more. So what I'm saying here is "be careful." Before you spend any money to promote your book, make sure you do a full evaluation of the service. What kind of traffic do they get? What kind of experience have other authors had? Are they upfront with you and will they answer your questions?

I've gotten pretty used to seeing authors posting about how they spent $50-60 to promote on one of these types of sites for a day and how they only made $10 from it. There's no way to cut that so that it's good for you as the author. Don't be roped in by promises of increasing your visibility or broadening your reader base if your just feeding someone else's thirst for free money. At that point, you may as well be working with a vanity press.

Remember, the money should flow to the author, not from the author.


  1. At this rate, the industry will make more money from authors than it will selling books.

  2. Now, I understand why I loved the Hulk - it was the secret rage inside ;)
    As to the Amazon/list thing - interesting. I guess people will always try to get their hands on money. It's like all things, keep your eyes open and be careful.

  3. Hmmm.... I think I wouldn't be good as the Hulk. I have plenty of rage, but I blow it off too fast to build up any useful amounts. ;-)

  4. I've never even visited a site like that.
    And I'd make a lousy Hulk. No anger issues.

  5. I think I'll pass on radiation and genetic testing. Too risky.

  6. Maybe I could just stand by the microwave for a while and that would work? Despite my anger issues I never really liked the Hulk. He always seemed too stupid to me. I like smart heroes.

  7. I couldn't agree more with you. Since I self published my book, every creeper has come out of the woodwork offering their skills in promoting my book.

    Hugs and chocolate,

    Tweeted and shared.

  8. Being the Hulk must cost a fortune in clothes. Don't think I'll bother thanks.


  9. That's a career choice I wish I'd stayed committed to. "What? You didn't bring me that snickers bar I asked for? Arrrrrroaorrrrr!"


  10. Rusty's ambition reminds me, in a way, of my daughter's dream job at 2-3 years old: space kitty princess. The space and princess parts seemed at least theoretically attainable. The cat part would probably require some compromise.

  11. Instead of turning green, could I gain another foot in height, please? A five-foot woman has to get pretty darn angry to be impressive. Then again, losing money on advertising would make me angry.

  12. "Be careful" is a good rule for any undertaking. And if someone offers to turn you into the Hulk to promote your book, I'd say read the small print very carefully.

  13. Hmm... I don't know if I'd be a very good Hulk. It takes me a lot to get angry. I'd be pretty pathetic, lol. Start laughing when I get to the point of tearing out of my clothes.

  14. Maybe it's because I've never been a teenage boy, but being the Incredible Hulk never sounded too appealing. But now I'm thinking it might not be too bad (especially for all those times I'm too short to reach things on the top shelf).

  15. My 6 yr old thinks the Hulk is the man. Of course, knowing him, that makes sense. I mean, who doesn't want to be the intelligent guy who can smash bullies?

    Thanks for the heads up/warning. =)

  16. HM C: Yeah, it's amazing how many more ways there are for authors to lose money now that self-publishing is an option.

    T.: They will, and I understand that, except for the part where they think taking advantage of someone else is okay.

    Misha: You'd just turn into the Hulk a lot.

    Alex: I was like that -before- I had I had kids. heh (Not that I have issues, but, before I had kids of my own, I hardly ever got mad about anything.)

    S.L.: Where's your sense of adventure?

    PT: Oh, well, you just haven't read Peter David's story arc with the smart Hulk.

    shelly: It's pretty amazing, isn't it?

    Jo: Yeah, I bet it does. You'd need a sponsor or something.

    Rusty: "Don't make me hungry. You won't like me when I'm hungry."

    TAS: What an interesting career choice. Still, by the time she's old enough to make a career out of it, the kitty part may actually be an option.

    Sandra: Oh, yeah, you can do that. The Hulk gets taller when he's mad.

    Cassie: Maybe you could be the Humor Hulk?

    Kate: He can jump really high, too, so there could be a lot of advantages.

    Crystal: True. So true.
    Or rude people in cars. "Hulk smash!"

  17. Lauren: (oops... Sorry, I missed you the first time through!) I'd say always read the fine print.

  18. When I was a kid I wanted to be Superman if anything since that was the only superhero I knew about. Then when I got a little older and started expanded my comics horizons I enjoyed reading about the superheroes but did dream about being any of them.

    Getting paid for free downloads? Duh--don't know why anyone would expect that.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  19. Funny, I never thought of wanting to be the Hulk, but after seeing the Avengers movie and how he can control it--then that wouldn't be so bad.

    Good luck with being indee. I have a lot to learn about it--I'm still trying to go traditional, but in a few years if it still doesn't work I will consider it.
    Kids Math Teacher

  20. Couldn't we just talk about Mark Ruffalo before he goes all angry and green? sigh.

    And I always feel bad for vulnerable writers who fall prey to basically pick-pockets out to get their cash. There's so little money to be made for most midlist authors, let alone the independently published ones trying to gain some traction with an audience. Just adds salt to the wound to see people get ripped off on top of it all.

  21. Lee: I only ever wanted to -be- Spider-man, though, if I could choose a super power, it would be super speed like The Flash.

    It's like that experiment where people were given free money for a month. After receiving the money every day, when the experimenters quit handing it out, they found that the people that had been receiving it felt as if they were, now, entitled to it.

    Lucy: Well, good luck with going traditional. With the way things are, right now, traditional scares me. A lot.

    L.G.: I know. It's pretty horrible, and it's as bad or worse than vanity presses.

  22. Hmm. Not sure if a possibility of becoming the Hulk would justify all the NDAs!

  23. Fortunately, my daughter has moved on to other ideas since. Most plans from her these days seem to involve the arts and/or teaching. That's a path I know only too well...

  24. TGE: I'm sure some people would sign anything and any number of anythings to get to be the Hulk. Besides, once you are the Hulk, how is anyone going to enforce those things?

    TAS: That is probably a little more feasible. At least for the moment.

  25. Overuse of steroids seems to produce the closest approximations to "Hulks" in today's world. (Well, they don't turn you green, but the strength/bulk/rage are all there.)

  26. Li: Yeah, that's true, but, still, just a pale imitation. Until you can go green, it's just not the same.

  27. This is clever and funny. I may have to do a post about the Hulk myself someday. I assure you it would be very different from yours but I hope as fun.
    A to Z'er, Jagoda from http://www.conflicttango.com

  28. Jagoda: Well, let me know if you do so I can check it out.

  29. LOL!! As a woman, I prefer not to be an enormous ugly green thing. haha!

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

  30. Kristen: I don't know; She-hulk is considered pretty hot.