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063: To Be a Hack or Not to Be a Hack

Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick
Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick
063: To Be a Hack or Not to Be a Hack

It’s time for episode 063 of Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick, in which I explore the fact that great artistic expression is not necessary for commercial / financial success in self publishing. What does that mean for those of us who want our fiction to add meaningfully to the culture? Would it be better to write fast, simplistic, books to have a better chance at subsidizing high art? What the heck is high art, anyway, and who am I to decide..?

Also, an update on my creative endeavors, including new manuscript words and a new market for all of my published works.

Links and Topics Mentioned in This Episode

  • Scenes are being written and a schedule is shaping up for my work in progress Shadow of the Outsider, the follow-up to my novel Light of the Outsider and the novelette “The Perfumed Air at Kwaanantag Bay.”
  • Hey, would you like a whole episode on the subject of story architecture, with an emphasis on the structure, terms, strategies, and tactics I employ writing fiction? Leave a comment!
  • All of my books are now available in the Smashwords e-book store! Go get ’em.
  • This episode was inspired, in part, by a quote from the documentary filmmaker Brett Morgan, as heard in his interview on WTF with Marc Maron episode 1365:  “If you’ve seen it before, why in the world are you doing that?”
  • This episode was inspired, in another part, by a sub-thread in the Wide for the Win Facebook group in which I participated.
  • The patron community receives the uncut, unedited version of every episode. For this episode, they’re privy to almost 30% more content! Want in on that? Become a patron for at least $5.00 per month (cancel any time) and get a bunch of other perks and special access, too.
    • Around thirty people listen to each new episode of this show during the first week it’s released. Every month the member community has at least twenty members, I will donate 10% of net patron revenue to 826 National in support of literacy and creative writing advocacy for children. Let’s go!
    • Oh, and speaking of patronage: This episode was made possible in part by the patronage of listeners like you, including Ted Leonhardt, Chuck Anderson, and J. C. Hutchins! Want to support the show and be listed in the credits, plus get lots of other goodies, perks, and exclusive access? Become a patron with a $5 monthly pledge!

Love Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick and would like to make a one-time donation in support of the show? Donate via PayPal or leave a tip via Ko-Fi, with my grateful thanks.

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The Music!

The opening theme song of Sonitotum is “Anastasia” written, performed, and recorded by yours truly, Matthew Wayne Selznick. You can hear or buy the full song on YouTube, Spotify,, iTunes, or just about anywhere you can buy or stream music online.

The closing and interstitial music is a little ditty I call “Gwinton,” also by yours truly, Matthew Wayne Selznick. It’s super-short and really just a looping thing, so it’s not available outside of the show.

On both songs, I play a 1972 Gibson Ripper bass guitar and a Fender “Bullet” Squire electric guitar. On “Anastasia,” the drums are performed on an Akai Professional MPD218 MIDI drum pad controller. For “Gwinton,” the drums are royalty-free loops found in the excellent Mixcraft Pro Studio software, which was also used to record, mix, and master both “Anastasia” and “Gwinton.”

Podcast Production and Hosting

Sonitotum is usually recorded using an Aurycle a460 large diaphragm studio condenser microphone through a Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD (audio interface for directly connecting microphones and musical instruments to a computer). Outdoor / remote episodes are often recorded using my Audio-Technica ATR-3350IS omnidirectional condenser lavalier mic. The show is edited and mixed in Adobe Audition. The episode files are hosted and delivered by; the website is hosted by Dreamhost.

Interested in starting your own podcast? Need help managing your existing show? I can help you like I help The What Matters Most Podcast and The Possibility Podcast with Mel Schwartz, among others. Reach out!

Affiliate Declaration

Many of the links in these show notes are to products and services with which I have an affiliate relationship. This means that when you purchase that product or engage in that service, or, in some cases, related products or services, I may receive a modest commission at no extra expense to you. This is a great way to help support Sonitotum and my related creative endeavors, so thanks for doing business with these companies!


Sonitotum, including the Sonitotum podcast media, is released under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License. You are free to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format under the following terms:

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

The full license can be found here.

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