That book is Forust: A Tale of Magic Gone Wrong and it's about two fairy sisters that have to save their village after everyone turns into monsters.

I've written about fifteen published articles for Cracked. Some of them are kind of successful, others completely bomb like this one. I've got a few more coming too.

My Proof: http://www.cracked.com/members/Adam_Koski/

Comments: 144 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

fuzzydrawings98 karma

So I stopped reading Cracked articles a while back. (Most) articles used to be funny and even enlightening (i.e.: articles about history), but over time, most articles became soap boxes for people to preach their social justices woes from which is something I personally don't think belongs on a comedy site.

I'm curious, what is your take on this? Is it just a natural evolution of Cracked's new/young writers, or is this something editors request?

Adamj142 karma

No editor has ever requested that I put more political content into my articles. Personally, I'm there for the fun pop culture stuff too, that's why my articles are about commentary tracks and and goofy Japanese games. All I can do is try to write stuff that's so worthwhile they just can't bring themselves to put anything in there during the editing process.

fuzzydrawings14 karma

Thanks for the response!

Adamj132 karma

Thank you for being polite about it. Christ, the way a bunch of people talk about Reddit, you'd think I would have been called a ton of slurs by now.

tomrhod37 karma

It's early, give it time.

Adamj116 karma

But they have to come in the first thirty minutes or they're free.

Wild_Marker10 karma

Don't you wish prostitues worked like that?

Adamj112 karma

You're lucky I'm not one of Cracked's pun-hating columnists!

thedeejus12 karma

butt-waffle

Adamj111 karma

Just so long as I'm not a blue waffle.

theguystrong32 karma

As mentioned above, I too used to regularly read cracked, however a year ago, I noticed that the material shifted from funny and creative to political and soap-boxy. Also, the user-interface of the Web app was atrocious. What happened?

Adamj127 karma

I am way too dumb to know what any problems with the app are about, I've never even owned a mobile device.

As far as the soap boxing goes, I guess the editors found that political stuff gets shared a lot. I try to focus on novelty topics to keep it creative and non-political.

WNW322 karma

I've never even owned a mobile device

I think this makes for an AMA all on it's own.

Adamj119 karma

Well, I have an old flip phone because I'm really cheap, but other than that it's pen and paper or the old home pc for me.

Amerphose9 karma

Is it because you can't afford them, or are you just a less extreme version of a Luddite?

Adamj115 karma

It's not so much I can't afford it as I'm trying to retire early, so everything that might go into tech purchases like that goes into mutual funds instead.

p0diabl09 karma

So as a writer - when do you think you'll be able to retire?

Adamj19 karma

Depends on how the ol stocks and the book do.

salve_sons1 karma

Well, the market's going nowhere and mutual funds under perform. So... as a writer, when do you think you'll be able to retire? Never. You can write till you're 100 years old. And in terms of the money... we'll all probably have to!

Adamj16 karma

Then I must be the luckiest son of a bitch around because mine did pretty well in the past year. Sorry for hogging all the good fortune.

Wild_Marker3 karma

Do you end calls by dramatically closing your phone?

Adamj14 karma

Every time. My brother has developed some weird thing where he tosses his phone away if there's a couch or chair nearby that wouldn't damage the phone.

HilariousSpill31 karma

You write articles for a website whose business model (like most websites) is "here is an unending stream of content for free (please don't use an ad-blocker)." Now you're working on a book, the model of which is "here is a finite amount of content in exchange for money." What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of these two models, both for creators and consumers?

Adamj116 karma

We didn't think about that. We just wrote a book because we wanted to.

Strengths of a book: Lack of distractions from a particular, self-contained fictional world. Whenever I'm online, the temptation to wander to another site is always there.

Strengths of online: Ease of access, interactions with customers on a broader and more immediate basis, instant credible support for your claims (or at least diffused responsibility, which is just as good for me.)

TheAngryGoat12 karma

The primary difference between those two models is that with one you get what you pay for, and with the other, you get what you pay for.

Adamj111 karma

Unless you use adblock.

CalcasieuRed19 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA!

Who are you favorite writers on the internet (not limited to Cracked or to comedy).

Side note. You're probably aware, but Cracked.com can get a lot of hate on Reddit. You're responses to people's "what's wrong with Cracked.com!?" questions have been good. I don't know what people expect you to say, because you're not an editor or responsible for what Cracked does. Also, do they expect you to badmouth the people that pay you?

Adamj128 karma

On Cracked, my favorite writer bar none is Seanbaby. All I have to do is think "The luffing will continue long into Step 5" and I can't help but laugh.

Elsewhere, I'm a big fan of Scott Tobias, Keith Phipps, Tasha Robinson, Nick Nocturne of Night Mind, Jonathan Wojcik of Bogleech, Matt Dymerski, Zack Parsons, and Sergeant Sprinkles.

About the hate: Yep, I was aware of the hate. I read that popular AskReddit thread where thousands of people agreed Cracked was the site they most used to visit but don't anymore. But I've used Reddit for a long time so it's not intimidating. Best I can do is try to lure them back with Ben Affleck jokes, ones both about and by him.

CalcasieuRed2 karma

Great response, thanks!

Adamj13 karma

You're welcome.

IMadeFetchHappen10 karma

Cracked.com can get a lot of hate on Reddit.

Cracked.com gets a fair bit of hate on Cracked.com too.

Adamj17 karma

Yes, but that's because they don't accept every single article I pitch.

Shaysdays13 karma

Why do the titles on articles change over the day?

Adamj114 karma

I have no idea what that's about. I imagine if I ever become a columnist that'll be part of the initiation ceremony.

z0m08 karma

It's likely A/B testing being used to find which title gets the higher click-through rate.

Adamj12 karma

Doesn't everyone else do that?

Zombie_Jesus_10 karma

Who would win in a tied-wrist knife fight, you or David Wong?

Adamj121 karma

Me because I haven't liquefied my brain with soy sauce.

DiscGolfer9478 karma

What is it like to know that someone you know IRL is asking you as question in your AMA?

Adamj116 karma

By AMA rules, I'm going to need you to post proof of your identity.

DiscGolfer9472 karma

I won't post proof of my identity but I will ask you what you thought of the animes we watched in anime club this semester. My favorite was Erased or Grimgar, leaning towards Erased.

I will also say, I am the one who got voted the new secretary for the club if you were there on the last day...should narrow that down for you. :P

Adamj12 karma

Okay, I'm convinced.

To answer your question, it feels invigorating and a little sexy.

Bernie_Beiber5 karma

ARE YOU INSANE?

Adamj110 karma

No, but my mind sure has been blown a lot.

MrkJulio5 karma

Why does cracked suck now? And why isn't it entertainingly/fun anymore?

Adamj128 karma

It's a phase we're going through at Cracked. Management figures that by the time we've finished puberty, we'll stop being so moody and become fun again.

Thantosiet4 karma

What's your stance on puns?

Adamj127 karma

I stand proud on them with all my sole.

Dandeloin4 karma

Do you choose the titles of your articles or are they chosen for you? They can get a little clickbait-y sometimes and I'm wondering where that comes from.

Adamj113 karma

Hoo boy are they ever chosen for us a lot of the time. They also developed a habit of chasing them during the day, which I guess must work for them.

young_wendell3 karma

What's Seanbaby like irl?

Adamj17 karma

Even though he lives in California and I live in Wisconsin, his manliness still radiates to me and gives me the drive to finish a work out routine. I don't know what everyone who lives in between the two states' excuse is.

Vanmazing3 karma

What's your relationship like with the other Cracked writers?

Adamj13 karma

I'm kind of friends with Jacopo since we've collaborated a few times. Ryan Menezes unbanned my home address after my brother dumbly got banned so he's good. Kristi Harrison was generous with ideas for articles. There's someone named Tara Marie whose pilot script I was happy to read over because she was super nice to me.

Other than that, I don't know if I interact enough with any of the rest that you could call it a relationship.

CrossFox423 karma

Sometimes Cracked articles are completely wrong or miss the point of the thing they are mocking, I understand it's comedy website, but there is often some good content on there. So I guess I want to ask; how does the "research" process go for writing an article?

Adamj15 karma

Basically I just use google to find examples that fit the topic, then I use keywords until I find articles from sources that editorial has decided are credible (New York Times, Chicago Tribune, etc.) and copy paste the relevant passages into a thread. Personally I often find myself ripping commentary clips from dvds for movie articles a lot.

Amerphose3 karma

Cracked articles tend to have loads of comments. Do you get affected by the feedback there?

Also, how hard is it to research for an article?

Adamj114 karma

Not really, except some people who ignored the sources linked in the article to try and refute my point. That's the only thing that gets to me. Other than that, I've worked in fast food restaurant kitchens, so things people type on the internet hold no terrors compared to being chewed out by angry people that are close enough for their phlegm to hit my glasses.

Adamj17 karma

Oh crap, I'm sorry I forgot the second part of your question!

It varies on the subject matter. It can either involve a couple hours of google or thumbing through a couple books at the library to find what I'm looking for. Usually it's not too hard, but it can be time consuming to pull sources from dvds.

CDi-Fails2 karma

What's the process of writing an article like? Most importantly, how do you pick a topic to write on?

Adamj12 karma

My process is I either try to think of a good counterintuitive subject, then I try to think of examples, I google search for awhile until I have sources for six entries, then I post a pitch in the thread. They now have a thing in the forum where they list off premises that editorial wants. They also have an abandoned section for entries someone couldn't find enough decent entries for.

Me, I just happen to be a huge movie buff so a lot of what I pitched about related to that.

Mr_Kylo_Ren2 karma

How's your day been so far?

Adamj13 karma

No complaints, which feels weird. Could you please provide me with some complaints?

Mr_Kylo_Ren16 karma

Would you like my top 10 complaints? You won't believe number 7!

Adamj110 karma

I'm clicking your comment and nothing's happening!

salve_sons1 karma

quit your bitching already!

Adamj17 karma

He promised me nine more complaints!

SelfDestructionBlues2 karma

are you paid per click? what's the compensation?

Adamj15 karma

Flat rate. $150 for your first five articles, $250 for each one after that. If your article did well enough the first week after it was published that it's in the top fifteen for that month, you get a $100 bonus.

If you write a really quick script for one of their "Cracked Interrupts" vids, that's $100.

Domjohn2 karma

Boo?

Adamj12 karma

Sure, why not?

Frost9071 karma

As a writer on Cracked, or, I suppose, just in general, do you ever find it surprising what specific things people latch on to to complain about in the comments? Do you read the comments on your articles?

Adamj12 karma

I think after a certain point types of complaints just become a habit, so no surprises really. And I always end up reading the comments because responding to them seems to bring people back often and build up some good will.

AustraliaAustralia1 karma

Do you ever try and write about anything non American ?

It seems that cracked hardly ever writes about non American things...

Adamj11 karma

Oh yeah. I've featured Spanish movies here: http://www.cracked.com/article_22686_5-terrifying-old-movies-that-make-modern-horror-look-silly.html

We've got a WWII movie coming where we talk about the Eastern Front extensively too.

AustraliaAustralia1 karma

That hardly changes the fact, that by shear volume, the number of American articles is unbalanced. The world is a big place....

Adamj11 karma

Then I'm afraid that's not something I have any control over. It's not easy to get published what I can, let alone to try to dictate more internationally-theme content.

SwayMyHeart1 karma

What were some issues you encountered writing fiction after writing non-fiction for a while? i.e. like writing style, thought process, etc.

Adamj11 karma

Oh no, I've always been writing fiction on the side while doing stuff for Cracked too. I had a story I cowrote with my brother published while we were working on our book.

dude86041 karma

I'm trying to pitch an article on Cracked but I'm having trouble figuring out how to find sources for my topic. Would you mind giving me advice and / or feedback on it? If not, do you have any general advice on pitches? Thanks.

X Ways The Media Tells Us That Disabled People Should Just Suck It Up and Inspire Us … Or Die

Adamj11 karma

Have you tried Google Books? https://books.google.com/

You've tried doing Google searches with words like "Disabled neglect", "tragic," "disabled outraged" and things like that, right? That's really the only method that works for me. I'll be willing to give feedback this evening though.

youmusthailallah1 karma

Can you tell me why my paid for app of Cracked, hasn't updated Quick Fixes since 3/31/15?

I paid good money for the full version.

Adamj11 karma

I'm afraid I know nothing about that. Or apps in general, really. Sorry.

youmusthailallah1 karma

It was a joke my friend. I just like to take the piss out of cracked.com

Because of my app. Yeah, that's why.

Adamj12 karma

Well there you go. I know so little about apps I can't even tell when people are joking about them.

IlvermornyAlumna1 karma

Hello! I've also been writing for Cracked for about a year and had five articles published! I've stepped away for a few months to concentrate on some other freelance work and applying for jobs, but I'm trying to get back in. However, it's harder than I expected. I feel like I'm out of ideas. Where do you get inspiration for a new article? I feel like mine started out as "I have this one weird fact, let's see if I can find some other weird facts!" but somehow the brain juices are giving me a bit of a writer's block.

Adamj11 karma

I peruse the Abandoned section, try to think of periods of history that we can explore misconceptions on, or just try to think of counter intuitive things in general that I could research.

wuop1 karma

Why does every single article now have to include in the title one of the following phrases: "shocking", "amazing", "blow your mind", "you won't believe", etc.?

Adamj11 karma

None of mine include those.

wuop2 karma

I always assumed the headlines were written by someone other than the author themselves, and that those words had just been statistically shown to get more views, ergo corporate directive, yada yada, lots of headlines had them. Didn't mean to cast aspersions. When you do that, you make an ass of the Persians.

Just looked through your articles. I liked the "too honest on DVD commentaries" one especially.

Good shout-out to Seanbaby. I've nearly peed myself many times reading his stuff.

Adamj11 karma

No worries, thank you for the compliment.

tombie_harris1 karma

Why does cracked like presidents so much?

Adamj11 karma

Because they made Dan O'Brien so much money.

GodOfAllAtheists1 karma

I hope your book does well. I self publish on Kindle (short horror and comedy/horror ). How do you intend to market your book?

Adamj11 karma

Primarily by plugging it through my Cracked bylines (that works way better than you might think,) through podcasts, and as a tie-in to other stories we publish.

emidway1 karma

how do you come up with ideas for after hours ?

Adamj11 karma

They have a thread in the Writer's Workshop portion of the forum where they accept suggestions. Personally I haven't ever had anything to do with that.

TheAngryGoat1 karma

As someone who works for a large online media company, what is your opinion on publishing illegally recorded videos of a celebrity having sex, and then while under oath in a court of law, advocating for publishing child porn?

Dumb idea or radical new media freethinking?

Adamj12 karma

Oh fine. I'll say it's a bad idea because if this is a trap, I'm curious how the trap works.

TheAngryGoat1 karma

Not a trap, but had you went with the latter I'd have suggested you apply to gawker, where the chief editor admitted that he'd publish videos of a five year old child having sex. I was just wondering how pervasive that sort of thinking was in online publishing.

Adamj14 karma

You still caught me in a huge brainfart. I should have known where you were going with that immediately.

Padre_of_Ruckus1 karma

What's an average day look like from your shoes? Like your average wake time, when and what you research, how much or many hours spent writing the average piece?

Adamj12 karma

Thing about that is that I don't have an average wake time. As a writer, I am required to keep extremely weird hours, so I have gotten up at every minute of the day by now in the last couple years.

I usually research or write within two hours of rising. I'd think on average the amount of time I spend actually focused on researching and writing articles is about six hours, assuming I write the entire article instead of dividing duties with a cowriter.

The book took us about a year, of which maybe a month and a half was spent with the nose to the grindstone to get the rough draft then we had to revise and revise, fixing all the plot holes, foreshadowing things, paying other things off, etc.

gustifink1 karma

How do you get inspired? By reading a lot of books, Manga/Anime? What's your tricks to find the best story?

Adamj13 karma

I cheated and wasted years of my life watching a lot of movies and television and digging into the special features. I've also watched and read my fair share of anime and manga, respectively.

SuperAlbertN71 karma

What's your favourite anime/manga?

Adamj11 karma

Fairy Tail. Yes, I am appropriately ashamed of that.

Undeadgamr191 karma

What was your favorite part of becoming a published author?

Adamj110 karma

TbH, the paycheck.

forgottensoul-2 karma

How does it feel as a man, writing for a site which has shown so much hatred and disregard to men's issues?

followup: Does the staff require a SJW slant for articles?

Adamj12 karma

I do not believe Cracked has neglected men's issues the way you believe they have. They have done articles on men being raped by women and ways society is sexist against men to name two.

And no, there is no requirement for a SJW slant. How do you think Seanbaby is able to publish things like this if there is?