For all your main questions, let this be your primary resource. Broken down by section - sorry that I can’t link to the jumps or do fancy-pants coding.

The Basics

So what are you looking for? How do I make the cut?
The goal here is accumulate 50 stories, one for each album. The key word there is “story.” Good essays will be ones people are interested in reading. Great essays will show a clear personal connection to, or extraordinary interest in an album or artist. Here are some good topics:

  • “Me and My Bitch” Made Me Lose My Virginity
  • Man, Donda West Used to Make the Best Oatmeal Cookies
  • As a Licensed Psychiatrist, Here’s How I Would Try to Fix Drake
  • “Mathematics” is Music’s Most Important Statement on Black America
  • Listening to Eminem for the First Time at 58 Years Old
  • Death Certificate is Everything Wrong with West Coast Hip Hop

The book has room for criticism, whether to argue for a different album, or a position on the list, or to say an album sucks. But there will only be room for a few essays like that, (again, need the essays to be diverse) so make sure you give it your all.

This sounds awesome, but I’m not the best writer. Anything else I can do to help?
I’ll do whatever I can to work you in if you want to write. If you don’t, there’s other stuff I desperately need help with at the bottom of this section.

Who is invited to pitch and contribute?
Literally everyone. If you know someone who’d be interested, definitely pass this along.

What albums are available for me to write about?
Find an (almost) full list here. The less popular the album the more likely your pitch will be accepted. Capital Punishment, Paid in Full, and The Main Ingredient will have fewer pitches than, say, Ready to Die. I’m sure. I will be adding 3-4 albums to that roster to make it an even 50, don’t know what they are yet.


Word count?
For your pitch, nothing fancy. A few words that communicate where you’d be heading. For a final essay, assume 600-650 words as a cap. Final decisions will be based on print formatting. Additional words available in select instances, by request.

Any limit on the number of pitches? Do I need clips?
No limit on pitches. Go nuts. Clips are not required, but if you have some sort of benchmark for your writing, I’d gladly look. This is especially beneficial if you’d like advice as you’re putting stuff together. Consider it a tiebreaker.

You’re gaslighting me. No one is doing this.
There’s a lot of people who are doing this! (Update 1/27: at least 25) In no particular order, there’s Worst Song Bracket co-creater rhythm method, longtime kinja music haunts Benoit…Balls, AMagicianNamedGod, FreemanMcNeil, Deadspin faithful like HiLoSilver, and more. Those are just the ones I’ve asked!


How do I send my pitch?
Email preferred. DM is open and acceptable as well, @nss_ds. I won’t stop you from commenting here but nothing will be green-lit unless there’s another way for us to communicate. If you’re on kinja, don’t forget your username!

You said there were other things you might need help with?
YES. I definitely, definitely want to hear from people who can help with graphics, proofreading/copy editing, KDP formatting, and incorporation of LLC’s. Email me.

The Scheduling Stuff

What does the schedule for all this look like?
Here’s my best guess:

  • First pitch deadline: 11/14ish
  • Second pitch deadline: 11/21ish
  • Storyboards / rough drafts: 12/5
  • Second drafts: 1/3
  • Final edits (from me) and acceptance: 2/6

I have no idea. But certainly no rush.

First pitch? Second pitch? Drafts? What the hell?
Only one essay per person will be selected for the first pitch session. Second pitch is to fill in the holes. You will be eligible for at least one more essay. For drafts, let’s chat about your stuff, or send me a storyboard, or a framework, or something. No one wants you to lose work you didn’t have to.


When does the book come out?
As soon as I figure out KDP and form a LLC and edit 50,000 words while holding a day job.

The Money Stuff

Does this pay?
Yes – in royalties, so really the answer is “sorta.” The share is 0.8% of the net per essay. Before you roll your eyes, please remember there are 100 essays in this. If you’re doing this for the money, look elsewhere. The royalties are really just to make sure you’re compensated if the book is a smashing success. Hopefully we’ll make it to paper bills!


I’m a professional critic / musician / writer who’s willing to advertise the book and my participation. What can you do for me?
At the least I would give you a 1.4% share. Email me.

How will royalties be distributed?
After 90 days from initial sale and in $9.99 intervals after that. Bonus points if you figure out why $9.99.

Anything else?
You will get purchase options on the proofs of the book, which are about 40% off and only available to contributors. The logistics of that are TBD.


Licensing & Editorial

What are the license terms for my work?
If your submission is accepted, you’re giving a non-revocable exclusive commercial license for the book and subsequent editions. This remains in effect so long as the book is offered for sale with your essay included and without interruptions of 60 days or longer. You are free to use and advertise your work without restriction outside of the Kinja network for non-commercial purposes.

Wait, I can’t publish or advertise my work on Kinja?
I mean, probably not. Ask me first. Let’s remember the goal: sell books. Most of you are known for your contributions (and I use that generously) to Kinja. If everyone takes the path of least resistance and reprints their work there, there is very little incentive for people to buy the book.


Who has final edit?
It’s a mutual option. Either of us can bail right up till the end. I will obviously do what I can in advance to tell you if this is headed toward becoming a smoking crater so you are not producing anything that won’t get picked up.

Do I have to use my Kinja name / Twitter handle?
Your byline should reflect the name people know best. Most likely there will be a SHORT area where you can include your real name and other internet activities, if you’d like.

And if I want to remain anonymous?
You will remain as anonymous as possible, including to other contributors, and I will defend those rights to the fullest extent so long as doing so doesn’t make this project insolvent.


Publishing and Legal-ish

How is this being published?
It is expected this will go exclusively through KDP and CreateSpace on-demand printing. The formats will likely be B&W mass-market paperback, B&W Kindle, and full color in a mid-size format. It is TBD if there will be a color offering for Kindle.

What is the legal structure of this co-operative here?
TBD, but almost certainly a singly owned LLC.



10/27/16: First release
1/27/17: Reflected that I have no idea what the schedule is