Platform Building, I Bid Thee Farewell

bowing manIf writing fiction is like playing the lottery, then as far as I can tell there are three ways to increase your chances of a payoff.

  1. Sleep with the lottery commisioner
  2. Mooch winnings from previous winners
  3. Or buy more tickets

Nowhere in this equation is there room for what so many writerly pontiffs have called platform building. What? Am I supposed to continue to believe that adding facebook friends and fans will somehow improve the odds one of my tickets will transform magically into a winner? I’m sorry, I just can’t do it anymore.

Recently I’ve landed on the truth. You know what platform building really is?

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Writing Page One De Novo

mutation of DNA double helixIn the beginning. De novo. Anew.

For a writer there is nothing more thrilling and terrifying than sitting down to write page one, paragraph one, word one. And it is my personal belief that this process looks like a bell curve.

For true beginners the excitement far outweighs the terror, and it should. For ignorance is bliss. If every pre-baptized writer were to catch a glimpse of the suffering they must undergo to adequately finish what they have so flippantly begun he/she would shat him/herself and take up knitting.

If the uninitiated knew the terrifying difficulty of condensing the entirety of their novel’s ethos into a page,

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Evolution of an Indie: No Silver Bullet

Evolution of an IndieEntering my third year as an indie, it is my responsibility to impart sage wisdom to the world. (Don’t blink, or you might miss it.) See the series introduction post for more on my saga. But for now, lesson #11 for 2012 (the final installment!):

Don’t expect anyone else to sell your product for you.

Whether you are big six, small press or totally indie, no one will sell your stuff for you. If you want to be a writer in today’s world, sales and marketing are part of the package. (The only exception is if you can afford to pay an agency or individual to do this for you!)

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