It’s Not Easy Running a Geeky Business

Carol Pinchefsky has written virtually 2,000 articles about geek tradition for shops reminiscent of,, and Over the previous 20 years, she’s watched fantasy and science fiction develop from a distinct segment curiosity to an enormous cultural pressure.

“There used to be a point where I knew everything there was to know about geek culture because it was contained within a few spheres,” Pinchefsky says in Episode 504 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “But now there’s such a proliferation that it’s a little overwhelming. I actually can’t keep up. And that’s sad for me, but also incredibly exciting.”

As a freelancer, Pinchefsky is aware of firsthand how arduous it’s for science fiction geeks to make a dwelling doing what they love. “The market is hot as a geek writer, but it’s not as lucrative as I would like it to be,” she says. “So what I’ve been doing recently is using geek references in business writing. I’ve written articles on ‘Doctor Who and Change Management,’ and I’ve written articles on ‘Security and Star Wars: Rogue One,’ and I’ve written, ‘Game of Thrones and Project Management.’ So I’m able to be geeky and get paid.”

Pinchefsky’s first e book, Turn Your Fandom Into Cash, teaches geeks methods to monetize their pastime with out drawing the ire of their favourite creators. “I went to New York Comic Con, and I looked around the dealer’s room and I saw tens of thousands—if not hundreds of thousands—of dollars exchanging hands every hour, and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of potential IP infringement going on,’” Pinchefsky says. “So that’s what really got me thinking I should write a guide, to make sure people do what they love and yet respect IP law.”

For the e book, Pinchefsky interviewed dozens of writers, artists, cosplayers, conference organizers, and executives. She says that the largest weapon any geek has of their arsenal is the supportive neighborhood of fellow followers. “The idea that there’s a solo entrepreneur making their way in the world, blazing a trail, it’s just completely false,” she says. “You will need help, and you will get help because you are surrounded by people and friends and community, and we tend to help each other.”

Listen to the whole interview with Carol Pinchefsky in Episode 504 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And take a look at some highlights from the dialogue under.

Carol Pinchefsky on rising up geeky:

I used to be raised in Bergen County, New Jersey. I used to be good, I used to be small, I used to be fully non-athletic. I wore large glasses—and after I say “big glasses,” we couldn’t afford new glasses, so I had my mom’s glasses, so that they have been actually large for my face. I used to be continuously picked on, and I’m certain I didn’t make it simple for myself, however I used to be the lady who at all times raised her hand every time there was a query as a result of I at all times knew the reply. School was really easy for me that I type of slept my means by means of it. I didn’t work together with anyone. Looking again, had I been a little bit extra self-aware, I might have tried to on-board different folks and mentioned, “Hey, let’s talk books.” But as an alternative I simply type of saved to myself, and that made me a goal.

Carol Pinchefsky on Weird Tales:

I used to be an editorial assistant below Darrell Schweitzer and George Scithers, which was fairly an expertise. We acquired all types of amusing mail … [In one story] an outdated girl was sitting in her chair and out of the blue a person leaps out and stabs her. The finish. I learn the envelope, and I didn’t acknowledge the return handle. I mentioned, “Well, this is very strange,” and somebody mentioned, “How so?” And I mentioned, “Oh, a guy just leaps out and stabs his mother, and I don’t recognize the address.” And the man mentioned, “Oh yeah, that guy. He’s a prisoner, and every week he sends in a story which is a variation on a man suddenly killing an older woman, usually his mother. Sometimes it’s defenestration, sometimes it’s decapitation, but there’s always a murder and it’s always a woman.” And I mentioned, “Not only am I not going to write the rejection letter, I’m going to make sure your name is on the rejection letter, Darrell.”

Carol Pinchefsky on journey:

[My husband] is from England, I’m from the United States, and so we earned all of those air miles throughout our courtship. So we had sufficient air miles to go to Japan throughout our honeymoon. We went to a shrine in Kyoto. You acquired to decide on your fortune—you picked up a stick, and also you handed it to the person behind the counter, and he would discover a fortune for you. My fortune mentioned I might have good luck however I might lose issues. And then when Peter’s fortune got here round, it mentioned he would have glorious luck and he would discover misplaced issues. The man was studying this in Japanese, and he simply began laughing and laughing. I feel we made his day as a result of it appears that evidently our fortunes have been fairly intertwined.

Carol Pinchefsky on mental property:

I met somebody who acquired a license to jot down a role-playing sport, and he had zero expertise. He was form sufficient to let me use his IP software [in the book]. He simply type of wrote what he thought the corporate want to see, after which finally, after a few years of chasing them down, the corporate finally mentioned sure. That was for a online game known as Elite—that was the ’80s model—and now the trendy model is Elite: Dangerous. And so he was in a position to get an IP license that means … Another particular person signed up for an IP licensing expo. She couldn’t get a single assembly, however simply because she signed up, her identify was on an inventory of creators, and somebody discovered her, and now she has the IP license for an upcoming TV present.

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