Secret Life of Ken Baumann, investor to minor publishing star(s)

Josh Spilker

Just your average American teen played by a twenty-something.

Ken Baumann has loaned “indie-hero” Tao Lin $5,000, according to Tao's Tumblr account, “to sustain Tao Lin and to promote Richard Yates, Lin's second novel.” There's a provision for Tao to pay Ken back by December, not sure if that's going to happen. Tao probably isn't sure either.

This may be a “stunt” (what? a Tao Lin stunt?) but I wouldn't be surprised if Baumann has done this a few times to his indie pub brethren. Ken, besides being a good writer and really into the indie publishing world is a young cable television actor, with a recurring role on the tween drama, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” on the ABC Family Channel.

Dude's only like 20 and is for sure making more bucks than most of his publishing contemporaries (I guess. I don't know all their secret jobs and/or salaries.) Maybe TV people don't make as much these days, you know with Hulu and webisodes and ironic viral memes.

Otherwise all I know is that Ken purchased two copies of Justin Taylor's new book to help it up the NY Times Best Seller list. (I mean he bought two of the same book? On purpose? He must be loaded).

I've never seen this “Secret Life” show, but it's been on a few years and has some minor controversy, on par with Bristol Palin. I'm guessing it's kind of schlocky and formulaic, but Ken's a good writer. Check some of his stories.

He also works with Blake Butler on No Colony, started a press and appears regularly on the HTML Giant blog thing. Ken's kind of like Robin Hood, taking it from the cheesy man and putting it towards publishing good.

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