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Archive for January, 2011

Yesterday I popped down to Changing Hands Bookstore for a three-hour writer’s workshop. The topic? Website optimization and internet marketing for authors. This was just what I needed because I very much need to build a platform – the fan base dripping with anticipation of my book coming out.  “Getting published is pointless if there’s no one to buy the book,” said one of the workshop instructors. “It’s like the tree falling in the forest – if there’s no one to hear it, does it make a sound?” That point I understood without explanation. An agent already told me I needed a platform, and her words have been golden.

I felt charged up until the second workshop instructor asked our group, “How many of you are already published?” and about two-thirds raised their hand. “And how many of you have a book being published this year?” Almost all the rest of the hands went up. I felt a pang of intimidation – I’ve only finished my manuscript and don’t even have an agent. All these other folks are real authors.

Then it hit me – hey, these folks are in the same workshop as me. I have the advantage – I’m still at the manuscript stage and am working on building my platform of fans *BEFORE* the book is published. By the time my book does come out, I should be well positioned for success. And, suddenly, I felt all charged up again.

Now all I have to do is convince, oh I don’t know, a hundred thousand people they have to want my book. Yeah, that should be no problem at all.

Tell your friends! Tell your neighbors! Even tell your dog! Over the Hills and Far Away – ask for it today!

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Matthew looks at me with his head cocked and dead serious and says, “How did you end up going to boarding school anyway, Dad?”

A chill runs through me. I can still remember my Dad lunging at my older brother, smashing him in the face with a clenched fist and the explosion of red from my brother’s mouth and nose, and Dad snarling, “You’re in enough goddamned trouble as it is!”, my brother immediately launching himself effing and cursing at Dad and chasing him retreating to the other room, and Mom screaming while I cowered in a corner.

Circumstances are very different now, I remind myself. “That,” I say, “is a long story.”

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