Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On Being with Krista Tippet

Thanks to Joanne M. Lozar Glenn, who leads popular writing retreats and workshops in Delaware, I have a new podcast recommendation:

On Being with Krista Tippet
which is on American Public Media

That website also has the best "how to" for new podcast listeners I've seen yet.

As those of you follow this blog know, I'm working on an iBook, Podcasting for Writers & Other Creative Entrepreneurs, which will be available later this summer from Dancing Chiva.

>Listen to my podcasts here.

>Q & A with other podcasters

Tod Goldberg (Literary Disco)

Chris Gondek (Heron & Crane, The Invisible Hand)

Ricë Freeman-Zachery (Notes from the Voodoo Lounge)

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Manuscript is Ready - (Or Is It?) - What's Next?

For the Writer's Center's "Publish Now!" seminar last Saturday June 23, I gave this talk, now a souped-up handout. (Links galore). Help yourself.

Especially valuable in this seminar was historian Ken Ackerman's talk on his e-book venture-- like many authors (including Yours Truly), he is bringing out the ebook editions of his several previously published books. Among them:

The Gold Ring: Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, and Black Friday
Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York
Young J. Edgar Hoover: The Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties

I am crossing my fingers that the Writer's Center will turn this into an annual seminar.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Podcasting Q & A with Literary Disco (Tod Goldberg in Particular)

Literary Disco is now like, totally my totally favorite literary podcast.

As those of you who follow this blog know, I'm not only hosting two podcast series (Marfa Mondays and Conversations with Other Writers), but I'm writing an iBook, Podcasting for Writers & Other Creative Entrepreneurs, which is based on my Writer's Center workshop and will be available later this summer from Dancing Chiva on iTunes. So naturally, I'm interested to know-- and I imagine you might be, too--what other podcasters have to say about podcasting.

Today's Podcasting Q & A is the third in a series (the first was with writer and artist Ricë Freeman-Zacheryhost of Notes from the Voodoo Lounge; the second, with Chris Gondek, host of The Invisible Hand and founder of Heron and Crane, podcaster for several university presses).

So: let's shimmy over to Literary Disco, which is hosted by Tod Goldberg, Julia Pistell, and Rider Strong.

Literary Disco (Tod Golderg in particular) gives the A's to my Q's:

C.M. Mayo: What inspired you to start your podcast?
Literary Disco: Well, we really like talking to each other about books and writing and, at the same time, we were frustrated by the lack of literary podcasts that didn't descend into self importance. The nice thing about the Internet is that if you're into something, there are about 20 million people out there equally into that same thing and it occurred to us that there might just be a few people who were interested in having a good time while talking about literature. We take books seriously, but we don't take ourselves that seriously in the process.

C.M. Mayo: How do you select the guests / topics for your show?
Literary Disco: We pick books we're interested in talking about, which is an entirely subjective affair. We'll look at old books and new books and books we think will be good and books we think will be bad. Truthfully, some of our best shows have been about books we hated -- i.e., Sweet Valley High -- because it's a lot of fun to discuss the mortal pain one suffers while reading something that you hate. By and large, we're driven to talk about books that we want to share with the world for some specific purpose -- it doesn't need to be a hot book or a bestseller or even something current -- but it does need to get our collective interest in some way.

C.M. Mayo: What's the best part of doing the podcasts?
Literary Disco: For us, it's the chance to talk about something we're each very passionate about. But, also, it's just an awful lot of fun for the three of us to get to spend an hour every week or two in each other's online company giggling and talking about stuff. We're basically recording the conversations we'd have with or without an audience.

C.M. Mayo: What keeps you podcasting?
Literary Disco: The fame, the money, the parties with Jay-Z.

C.M. Mayo: (C'est vrai, it's intense.) What has surprised / frustrated / enchanted / bamboozled / amazed you about podcasting?
Literary Disco: The quick and effusive response. We just assumed no one would ever listen and yet just a few days after posting our first episode, we were getting flooded with downloads and emails and strange people demanding we read their books about aquatic alien overlords. Once you get the aquatic alien overlord people, well, you've made it. Oh, and that we all hate the sound of our voices.

C.M. Mayo: (I get the YA vampires of Gotham, not that I could tell you why. Maybe it's a west coast vs east coast kind of thing, you think?) What equipment do you use to record and what software to edit?
Literary Disco: Rider and Julia use GarageBand and Tod uses Audacity. We each have different mics, but what we've found is that good mics make a huge difference. Our first shows were recorded using crappy mics and it was hard to listen to them sometimes without feeling very frustrated. So don't scrimp on mics.

C.M. Mayo: Any tips on improving sound quality?
Literary Disco: Not screaming helps. Keeping the mic a consistent distance away doesn't hurt. Recording in a sound proof chamber buried beneath the ground would be great.

C.M. Mayo: (You mean not screaming like this?) Um, any tips on promoting podcasts?
Literary Disco: We've subsisted on word of mouth and social media mostly and it helps that each of us had a platform of some kind previous to the show -- Rider is an actor and writer, Julia is part of a very popular improv troupe in addition to be an essayist and commentator on NPR, and Tod is an author and book critic -- so we each have brought a portion of our audience to the fore. We've also thought about starting a rumor about one of us getting into a fight with Drake at a bar or maybe that one of us is really a Kardashian, but thus far we've mostly been content to talk about books we think people will be interested in hearing us talk about and not worrying too much about hit counts. We're making the show for an audience we hope exists out there and thus we're ever hopeful they'll find us, either organically or through word of mouth or through a condition of their parole.

C.M. Mayo: Any other tips for podcasters?
Literary Disco: Try not to be too terribly drunk when recording.

C.M. Mayo:  (Helps not to hit the mic with your forehead.) What podcasts do you enjoy listening to?
Literary Disco: Other People, WTF, This American Life, Rich Eisen, Adam Carolla, The Nerdist and about a billion others.

C.M. Mayo: Do you have tips for podcast listeners?
Literary Disco: Try to wear pants when listening to the show. Really. It's strange that you don't.

C.M. Mayo: What kind of feedback do you get from your listeners, and do you encourage it?
Literary Disco: There's the aforementioned "please read my novel about our aquatic alien overlords" emails, which are always somewhat frightening, because, you know, we live near a body of water...but, generally, the feedback we get is filled with suggestions of books people would like us to read, or comments about how listening to the show is like having three friends sitting in the back seat of their car talking about funny stuff, or it's people correcting us on things we've said on the show, or it's people who want us to know how they felt about a particular book we read or it's people who can't believe we hold X opinion about Y topic. The preponderance of comments we get, however, tend to just thank us for doing the show and providing a little bit of entertainment for them on their lunch break. That's always the best, really, knowing people save us for their lunch breaks. That's sacred time right there.

C.M. Mayo: How do you see the future of podcasting per se / your podcasts?
Literary Disco: We're hoping that podcasts will eventually involve jet packs or flying cars, but we feel that way about the future of most things. Our podcasts will continue to focus on books and culture and will also continue to have guests coming on to talk about their favorite new books. And there's a good chance we'll eventually have a listener or two come on as a guest, too, since it would be fun to do that. We're also pretty sure that in the future podcasts will be in 3D and will also have the properties of an everlasting gobstopper. And by "pretty sure" we mean: god, we hope so.

--> Listen in to Literary Disco at

--> Q & A with Chris Gondek (The Invisible Hand and Heron and Crane)
--> Q & A with Rice Freeman-Zachery (Notes from the Voodoo Lounge)
--> Podcasting for Writers & Other Creative Entrepreneurs

Publish Now! Seminar This Saturday at the Writer's Center

Here's the official announcement from the Writer's Center (Bethesda MD)

We are all geared up for 'Publish Now!' this Saturday! If you're working on a manuscript of any kind, don't miss this opportunity to learn the ins and outs of digital publishing and network with top industry professionals. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with coffee & pastries. A Brown Bag lunch will be provided. The seminar concludes with a wine & cheese reception at 5 p.m. More information follows:
Take Your Writing from Manuscript to Book & ebook in the New World of Digital Publishing
Saturday, June 23
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$100 non-members, $85 members,$50 students
Registration fee includes networking lunch & reception
Call 301-654-8664 or visit for more information.
- “The New World of Publishing” will be led by Justin Branch, a publisher with Greenleaf Book Group, whose clients range from well-known brands such as John Gray and Kanye West to debut authors.
- Ken Ackerman & Neal Gillen will present “The Non-Traditional Publishing Experience.” Ackerman has authored four published books and is founder of Viral History Press. Gillen is the author of eight self-published novels.
- “The Story – The Manuscript is Finished – Or is It – What’s Next?”, led by C.M. Mayo, author of The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, a Library Journal Best Book 2009; Miraculous Air and Sky Over El Nido, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, among many other works. Her presentation will answer the question, How do I know when my manuscript is ready to be published, and whose help do I need to get it there; for example, a private editor, writing coach, or trusted reader?
- “Developing Your Marketing Plan,” led by Ally Peltier, chief editor, writer and editor of Ambitious Enterprises and Angela Render, owner of Thunderpaw Business Intelligence & Network Systems Management and author of “Marketing for Writers,” will break down what a successful manuscript is and how to design your own program for marketing it.
Legal & Business 
- Attorneys Laura Strachan and Cynthia Blake Sanders will demystify copyright, fair use and commercial speech laws, which are changing rapidly in the new world of publishing and help you understand who owns your manuscript. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Marfa Mondays #6: Marfa's Moonlight Gemstones

Now live: my podcast interview with Paul Graybeal, owner of Marfa's Moonlight Gemstonesthe 6th is a series of 24 podcasts about Marfa, Texas and environs apropos of a book-in-progress (as yet untitled).
It was no exaggeration for historian Walter Prescott Webb to describe the Big Bend region as "an earthwreck in which a great section of country was shaken down, turned over, blown up, and set on fire." In short, there is ample evidence of millions of years of dramatic geological activity, with the craggiest of mountains to rocks of all kinds, from mammoth piles of boulders to pebbles. In this interview with Paul Graybeal, owner of Marfa's magnet for rock hounds, learn about agates, thundereggs, and more. 


[UPDATE: Transcript now available]

Related links to surf:

Moonlight Gemstones

in which Graybeal makes a brief appearance. 

About the Marfa Mondays Podcasting Project:

On flybigbend's YouTube channel:
Flying over La Junta
Flying over El Solitario

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tyler Cowen: Be Suspicious of Stories

A thought-provoking TED talk by one of my favorite and most creative economists.

P.S. See my previous post about The Story Is True by Bruce Jackson.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Podcasting Q & A with Heron & Crane Podcaster Extraordinaire Chris Gondek

Both for myself (I love to listen to podcasts while working in the kitchen or driving and even, I admit, while hacking away at the Himalaya of email), and for the sidebars in my forthcoming iBook, Podcasting for Writers & Other Creative Entrepreneurs,  I'm on the hunt for listen-worthy podcasts and podcasters to interview. Last week on this blog, I interviewed writer and artist Ricë Freeman-Zachery-- a big inspiration to me, and whose "Notes from the Voodoo Lounge" podcasts I enthusiastically recommend to you, especially if you're aiming to nurture your creativity.

Chris Gondek's podcasts of author interviews are a treasure trove of informative listing. I found him, serendipitously, when I received the newsletter from University of Texas Press about their new publications and noticed, tucked up in the left hand corner, a link to their new podcast series.  It turns out that Chris Gondek, (pictured right), an MBA, pioneer podcaster, and owner of Heron & Crane, not only produces and hosts the podcast series of author interviews for University of Texas Press, but also for MIT Press, Harvard University Press, University of Chicago Press, and several other clients. Plus, he hosts his own podcast series, the soon-to-end (oh, alas) Biography, and the ongoing and excellent  Invisible Hand, a monthly podcast on business, economics, and strategy that began back in (triple wow, is this not Paleozoic?) 2005.

Here are his As to my Qs:

C.M. Mayo: What inspired you to start the Invisible Hand?
Chris Gondek: I started TIH because 1) I always wanted to host a talk show and podcasting allowed me see if I could do it, 2) I ended up with more questions than answers after getting my MBA and thought it would be an interesting way for me to explore some of the issues that were bothering me.

C.M. Mayo: How do you select the guests for your show?
Chris Gondek: When I started, I literally had a list of about ten authors whom I wanted to speak with about books they had written. I thought it would take a long time; it took about four months, give or take. I then started to solicit publicists. Now, I get pitched books, but I will pursue an author if I read about a book I think would be interesting for the show. I’ve done enough shows now that I have had repeat guests and I do show a preference for them.

C.M. Mayo: Is it possible to listen to Invisible Hand shows before 2012?
Chris Gondek: Yes, but ;) I restrict access to older shows more for bandwidth issues than anything else. I also like to find out which older shows there is still interest in. It also is helpful when I have to dig into the archives and do a repeat, something I thankfully haven’t had to do too often.

C.M. Mayo: What's the best part of doing the Invisible Hand podcasts?
Chris Gondek: The best part of TIH is the fan letters I get occasionally. They always seem to show up on crappy days. 

C.M. Mayo: Any tips for podcasters?
Chris Gondek: Take care of your listeners- respond promptly to them, etc- and they will take care of you. Also, always ask for feedback on iTunes.

C.M. Mayo: About the wonderful The Biography Podcast... you're discontinuing it?
Chris Gondek: My last interview for TBP will be tomorrow [6/7/2012] and the series finale will be released on 6/15/12. TBP has a small, but very loyal, audience, and I need to give everyone some closure. I will miss it a great deal. I actually would have ended it sooner, but the guest that was going to be my last one talked me into continuing with the show, if for no other reason than to do a show with him for his next biography. 

C.M. Mayo: What inspired you to start the series?
Chris Gondek: Working on a failed biography (Sensing a theme…) I only had one rule during the run of TBP: I’d never do shows on Napoleon, Lincoln, Churchill or Hitler. A guideline was to try to pick people that weren’t common biography subjects.

C.M. Mayo: How did you select the guests?
Chris Gondek: Roughly the same as TIH, though I never really got pitched by publicists. In general, biographers are keen to talk about their subject and their work, and I always tried to make sure I talked with them about their craft as well as their subject.

C.M. Mayo: You have many clients, including several prestigious university presses. For a publisher or writer looking to hire help with their podcasts, what are some of the things they should be sure to look for / ask?
Chris Gondek: How long have they been doing this? Listen to samples. Ask about turnaround time. Ask to see their sample contracts. References.

C.M. Mayo: How long does it typically take you to prepare for an interview, and then to edit?
Chris Gondek: Prep time depends on the book. Editing generally takes about an hour to ninety minutes, once I have all the pieces together.

C.M. Mayo: Why and when did you start podcasting (in general)?
Chris Gondek: I started in 2005. My reason is in the TIH section

C.M. Mayo: What keeps you podcasting?
Chris Gondek: The listeners and the access it gives me to people who have a book to promote. The show has been going on long enough with enough reviews that I have a great deal of credibility.

C.M. Mayo: Is there anything you wish you'd known when you started (but no one told you)?
Chris Gondek: I wish I could say yes, but I got into podcasting very early in the game and no one knew what they were doing. It was- and still is to a large degree- a fairly forgiving medium. Scratch that. One thing. Get on Feedburner from the start. You will need listener stats at some time and you might as well start at the beginning. One last thing. Longer interviews aren’t necessarily better interviews.

C.M. Mayo: Why did you select your hosting service? Would you recommend it, and if so, why (or why not)? 
Chris Gondek: I use and have been satisfied with their services.

C.M. Mayo: What has surprised / frustrated / enchanted / bamboozled / amazed you about podcasting?
Chris Gondek: I have been downloaded over a million times. I still can’t get my head around that. Also, it has led to me doing TV interviews for UCLA about once a year. I have three shows coming out this month. Doing TV is so different than doing audio, but it’s also a blast.

C.M. Mayo: What equipment do you use to record and what software to edit?
Chris Gondek: I do most of my shows on a landline, though I will use Skype if the guest prefers. Phone hybrid into a 4 pot Sennheiser mixer into an external sound card into a Mac. I splurged on an Electrovoice microphone for myself and it was worth it. You get a much warmer sound. I record and edit in Sound Studio.

C.M. Mayo:Any tips on improving sound quality?
Chris Gondek: Never call Texas. They have bad phones. Beyond that, if you are recording at home, deaden your recording area as much as possible. Mattress pads from Bed Bath and Beyond can be surprisingly effective.

C.M. Mayo: Any tips on promoting podcasts?
Chris Gondek: None. TIH got blogged about early in its run and has been in a good position on iTunes thanks to longevity and the ratings. Ask listeners to talk up the show.

C.M. Mayo: What podcasts do you enjoy listening to?
Chris Gondek: I’m putting on my sheepish grin to admit that I don’t listen to podcasts. I have in the past and can endorse “In Our Time” from BBC Radio 4 and selected episodes of “The Night Air” from ABC in Australia.

Later, via email, Chris recommended:

C.M. Mayo: Do you have tips for podcast listeners?
Chris Gondek: Use the same skills you would when separating the wheat from the chaff when listening to the radio.

C.M. Mayo: Any pet peeves about other peoples' podcasts? (Not necessarily to name names... just trying to find things for new podcasters to avoid...)
Chris Gondek: Nothing annoys me more than interviewers who think they are the guest. Do your homework, ask the question, get the hell out of the way. If you don’t agree with something in the answer, that’s what follow ups are for. I can talk interviewing until the cows come home so I’d better leave it there.

C.M. Mayo: What kind of feedback do you get from your listeners, and do you encourage it?
Chris Gondek: I get the nicest e-mails from listeners. I always ask them for feedback on iTunes or to send me e-mails or to join the page on Facebook. If you don’t have listeners, why are you doing a show?

C.M. Mayo: How do you see the future of podcasting per se / your podcasts?
Chris Gondek: Just remember: Starting a show is easy. Ending a show is much harder.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ricë Freeman-Zachery: Q & A on Creative Podcasting

Recently I came upon a quote by marketing mystic Seth Godin which, google as I may, I can't find again. To the best of my recollection, it went something like, the most valuable thing you have isn't your time, your money or your health-- it's your creativity. And, boy howdy, after five decades on this planet, I know that is true. As as I prepare my iBook, Podcasting for Writers & Other Creative Entrepreneurs, which will be published by my imprint, Dancing Chiva, this summer, I've been surfing around for listen-worthy and especially creative podcast series to recommend. I've also been asking questions of some these various podcasters, which I aim to include as sidebars in the iBook itself. One of the most fun, interesting, and jump-up-and-down inspiring podcasters I've come upon is Midland, Texas-based writer and artist Ricë Freeman-Zachery, who blogs at Create Mixed Media and whose podcast is Notes from the Voodoo Lounge: Interviews with Artists, Rants, Ideas, Opinions. How to pronounce her name? Why does she have that bright red hair? What's with living in Midland, Texas? Check out her welcome video here. And check out her amazingly creative art and her many books, which include:

Destination: Creativity 
The Life-Altering Journey of the Art Retreat

Ideas and Inspirations from Working Artists

Making Room for Making Art

Creative Ideas for Transforming Clothes and Accessories

Here's more to love about this bodacious podcaster: She signs her emails 

~~Here to inspire you~~

Herewith her very generous A's to my many Q's:

C. M. Mayo: Why and when did you start podcasting?
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: I started podcasting in October, 2009. My day job is interviewing mixed media artists for profiles for half a dozen publications. They give me 1,500 words, and of course when I talked to the artists, I was getting a TON more information--fabulous stuff that I wanted to share. So I started doing podcasts. At first these were just random, whenever I had some extra time, and they went up on my own blog. Then in 2010 my publishers launched and hired me to help edit and to do a weekly podcast, so now they're regular and go up on CMM, on my own blog, on my podcast host's blog at Libsyn, and to subscribers through iTunes

C. M. Mayo: Is there anything you would do differently now with your podcasting, given what you have learned? 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: I don't think so. 

C. M. Mayo: What keeps you podcasting? 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: I think of people like me, who live somewhere where there's not a lot of artistic inspiration or community, who don't have the opportunity I have for talking to fabulously inspiring people. I do the podcasts for them. I love to imagine them doing handwork in the evening, maybe, listening to the podcast and making notes in their notebook. 

C. M. Mayo: Why did you select your hosting service? Would you recommend it, and if so why (or why not)? 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: I love Libsyn. I'm completely self-taught on this, so I tried out several other hosts before I found Libsyn. It was pretty much disastrous--complicated, not user-friendly, too much advertising, etc., etc. I'd almost given up when I found them. 

C. M. Mayo: Why did you choose the name "Notes from the Voodoo Lounge"? 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: My blog is Notes from the Voodoo Cafe, and the podcasts are a little more laidback. I think of my blog as where I work--a cafe with lots of energy and lots going on--and the podcasts as a lounge where we kick off our shoes and just chat. With wine or a fancy drink in a martini glass with a plastic animal on the rim. 

C.M. Mayo: What has surprised / frustrated / enchanted / bamboozled / amazed you about podcasting? 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: I'm always astounded when someone posts a negative comment on one of the podcasts. It doesn't happen often, because most of my listeners are fabulous people with excellent manners, but every once in a while someone without those manners will say something snarky. I have to remind people that my guests are taking time out of their workday to talk to me *for free*. It's a gift we're giving people--the podcasts are all free, of course--and if they don't like it, they can just go about their business without telling us about it. On the other hand, I appreciate it when someone sends me a private email to alert me about sound quality or something--that's always helpful to know. 

C. M. Mayo: What equipment do you use to record and what software to edit? 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: I have an iMac, and I use Skype for the phone call, with a headset, and Audio HiJack Pro to record the conversation (I'd like to use my iPhone, but there's no phone recording app I can use). I edit in Audacity. I don't use GarageBand because I starting podcasting on a PC, and by the time I switched to a Mac, I'd already gotten comfortable with Audacity. 

C. M. Mayo: Do you have any tips on improving sound quality? 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: Not really. It's an issue for me. Because I use Skype, internet speed is crucial--dial-up would NEVER work. Some guests use Skype, but most are on a phone. Cells are really iffy. I ask my guests to sit down in a quiet room--I've talked to people who were chewing (raw carrots, apparently), working out on the treadmill, walking along a busy street, or sitting in the yard by the bird feeder. It doesn't sound like much to them, but you can really hear it in the recorded conversation. You might think walking on your treadmill is undetectable, but it makes you sound slightly out of breath, kind of like an obscene caller panting on the line. 

C. M. Mayo: Tips on promoting podcasts? 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: No clue there. I totally suck at marketing and promotion. 

C.M. Mayo:  What podcasts do you like to listen to? 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: I've never listened to a podcast all the way through. Lord knows I've tried, but I usually run screaming from the room. 

C.M. Mayo: Any pet peeves about other peoples' podcasts? (Not necessarily to name names... just trying to find things for new podcasters to avoid...) 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: Omigod. Yes. Yesyesyesyes. Most podcast hosts seem to think the program is all about them. They talk about their dogs, their recipes, their menu, their colds, their kids. When I tune in to hear someone talk to Mr. XYZ, that's the person I want to listen to, not some host I've never heard of rattling on about how many friends she has on Facebook. I could go on, as you can imagine, but I'll stop there. Oh, and hosts who are practicing their Sexy Radio Announcer Voice. Please, people! 

C. M. Mayo:  What do you see happening to your podcasts in the future? (Say, 10 years from now?) 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: I have no idea. I love doing this and hope to do it as long as I have fascinating people who are willing to talk to me. But I'm guessing that in 10 years there'll be some fabulous new technology that will allow me to do something completely different and even more amazing. Something closer to my dream of a bunch of us sitting around a table talking about creativity and letting everyone else feel like they're there with us. 

C.M. Mayo:  Do you sell your amazing art? 
Ricë Freeman-Zachery: Thanks, but no. I used to try to sell the artwear I made, but size is a huge issue, and rather than trying to make things to fit other people, I decided to just make myself an entire wardrobe of SoulWear--clothes I love that mean something to me. It's a wonderful adventure, and I'm having a blast. 

--> Listen in to the latest podcast at the Notes from the Voodoo Lounge: "Jill Berry Talks About Copying (And a Whole Lot More)"