Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

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Vote for a book! And give us feedback!

Hey, everybody. First off, a big thanks for making our fund drive a success. When we set a goal of $5,000, we worried it might be a little ambitious, but you proved us wrong. Your donations are a vote of confidence that you like what we’re doing, and they’re a good motivator for us to keep on doing it.

At the beginning of the fund drive we promised that if we hit the $5,000 mark, we’d record a special bonus episode that would be free to everyone (not to be confused with the three-pack of special holiday episodes available only to donors). So now it’s time for the first step in making that bonus episode a reality: you pick a book for us to read.

Last year you picked The Silver Linings Playbook, by Matthew Quick (or “Q” to his friends) and I think we can all agree that worked out splendidly for everyone involved. So what’ll it be this year? The only ground rules are that the book has to be written in (or translated to) English, it has to be commercially available as either a physical book or an ebook (we’re not going on a wild goose chase through antiquarian bookstores) and it has to be under 500 pages. It can be a work of fiction, literary nonfiction, or a hybrid of the two. I suppose you could make us read poetry, as long as you understand we’re kinda dumb about poetry.

Ok, so here’s how this will work. Via the form below, nominate any book, as long as it meets the guidelines above. Author and title, please. You can include your justification for nominating it if you want, but that’s not required.

We’ll take nominations for a week or so, after which we’ll post a poll where you can all vote. Top vote-getter will be featured in a future bonus episode of Book Fight! Second place gets a cup of coffee and a set of steak knives. Third place can go fuck itself.

Just kidding! All books are wonderful, unique snowflakes.

Oh, one more thing! While you’re nominating a book, we’re also going to ask you a few questions about what you like and don’t like about the podcast. As much as we might come across as two doofuses (doofi?) who do very little advanced planning for anything, we actually do spend time talking about the direction of the show: how to make it better; how to grow our audience; how to eventually take over the entire literary world and bend it to our will. So your feedback to that end is very much appreciated.

Thanks, everybody, for your support. For your votes. For your kind (and kindly critical!) words. We look forward to another great year of podcasting!

From Tom’s basement to your ears (and hearts):

Mike and Tom


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Annual fundraiser begins

Yes, it’s that time again. The annual fundraiser begins today.

We never went into podcasting to get rich, but we do hope to get some small return for all the time and money we invest in producing a weekly show that’s free for everyone to download. We love doing the show, and we’re going to keep going as long as it’s fun for us. Your contributions can help to support us in that endeavor, enhance the quality of the show, and (we hope) fund at least one road trip for another live show (or two or three?).

This year, we’re running fundraising through Indiegogo, so if you visit our fundraising page, you can see the full story and also track our progress.

Because we are an affiliate of Barrelhouse, which is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, all donations are tax deductible, and there are, as always lots of great rewards for donors. My personal favorite is the Freaky Friday level of $1000, but you may be more comfortable with the $35 level which will get you the holiday bonus pack of three exclusive holiday episodes. Like last year, if we reach our goal of $5000, we’ll record a bonus episode based on your votes. What the hell, maybe we’ll even read Silver Linings Playbook again.

(we won’t).

The fundraising page is here. Please check it out, tell your friends, and if you can spare it, make a small donation to the show.



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Writers Ask: Turkey Day Special

This week, we tackle questions about personalized rejections, the best gifts for writers, and how to overcome writers’ block. Fair warning, listeners: this episode was recorded after a full day of Thanksgiving revelry (and eating!) with Tom’s in-laws. We might be a bit punchier than usual. Witness, for instance, Mike doing his impression of Mark Twain at around the 20 minute mark.

Also: this week we have a sponsor! Please check out Andrew Keating’s new story collection, Participants. If you pre-order before Dec. 3, when the book releases, you can have it for only $7.49. A tremendous bargain, frankly. Andrew’s a great guy, and a talented writer, and deserving of your time and money. After Dec. 3 the price goes up to ten bucks, which is still a great deal when you consider the sheer man-hours it takes to write a solid book of stories (a lot!).

If you’d like to sponsor an episode of the show, visit our Support page for more information. We’re offering episode sponsorships for just $50, as a way to raise money for new audio equipment. That price might not last that long, since soon we’ll be super-famous, and our ad rates will skyrocket accordingly. This is a good chance to get in on the ground floor, by sponsoring an episode which will stay live (and free!) on the Internet forever. We’re happy to advertise a book, a press, or a product or service useful to writers or readers.

If you don’t have anything to advertise, but would like to throw a few bucks our way, we’ve got gifts and giveaways for donation levels starting at just five bucks. Visit the support page for more details, or check out the post directly below this one, which lays out why we’re asking for money, and our goals for the show. I’ve spent the past few weeks geeking out about audio equipment, and can guarantee that if we reach our goal, the show will sound just as good as anything you hear on the radio (well, in terms of audio quality, at least; we’ve still got to work on our This American Life voices).

As always, you can stream the episode here on the site, or download it (for free) via iTunes. Or just subscribe to the show in iTunes, to make sure you get each new episode as soon as it drops.

Thanks for listening!

Download Writers Ask: Turkey Day Special

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