Sunday, November 7, 2010

Platform Building with a Pug

There's a pretty cool post over at SFWA by Victoria Strauss about gettin' published: It's not a crap shoot. She addresses three assumptions made by grumbling, rejected writers, and while I urge you to click over and read her original post, I'd like to piggyback on those assumptions based on my own recent experience.

1) First assumption: All manuscripts are on equal footing in the marketplace. As she says, that's completely untrue, and I'm not talking about anyone's writing but my own. The two books I wrote, submitted, and had rejected before I wrote Hounded were not all that great, though I thought they were okay at the time. Only with experience and hindsight did I see that they deserved to be rejected. Yet I don't regret writing them; I learned a lot in the process and they got me to a much better place in my craft. If you're on submission right now, write the next book while you're waiting; it'll probably be better than the one you're shopping around. (It worked for me.)
2) Second assumption: The industry doesn't want new writers. Not sure how anyone can believe this one. I just read a great debut by Mark Hodder called The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack. And my fellow inductees into The League of Reluctant Adults, Sonya Bateman and K.A. Stewart, came out with their debuts this year. I'm obviously a new writer, and there are plenty more on I think that one's wishful thinking, whoever thinks it.
3) Last one: No one wants a writer without a platform. Strauss says this assumption is more true for nonfiction writers than fiction...and she's right. I'm still trying to build my platform; I wrote and sold my book without knowing what a platform was. In fact, I'm still not sure about the whole platform-building thing, since I'm such a newb to this aspect of the business. What I probably need is some help from my pug, Manley (named after the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins). Come on: How can you not follow a guy who has the devotion of a pug like this?
Manley likes laser pens and long walks in the dog park.

My write-up of Baltar vs. The Mountain That Rides is up on Suvudu on Monday! Don't forget to vote for Baltar! :)

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