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Never too late?

April 6, 2010

Easter’s over and the beautiful spell of warm weather may be, too. And along with it, the initial rush of thinking I was finished with the novel and moving on to the process of finding an agent and on to publishing. The more I read and learn, the less I know, and a quiet, insidious panic settles in. One blog leads to another, and invaluable information inundates a briefly positive outlook. Is it possible to begin at a time when one should be, what? Retiring? A quaint concept.

One proceeds, taking each step as it comes. Today, the issue is building a platform. The publishing world, never an easy one, has been squeezed and downsized until marketability has become a key determinant, more so than a great story well-told. Not that people aren’t looking for that. They are. But when the agent who loves the piece has to sell it to the publisher, who has to sell it to the booksellers, everyone is asking what are his credential? How well has she sold in the past? Why should we take a chance? So all those in the know say build your platform, build your platform. Publish. So we go back to more research, more time away from the pursuit of the original goal. Which markets? Genre or literary? If the novel is a paranormal thriller, must every short story be paranormal, or a thriller, or horror? Yes, they say, until one is established, then try another type of fiction, maybe under a pseudonym, so as not to confuse one’s fans. And how does one build a platform? Start small, local pubs, work up to regional, national, prestigious, and the dance goes on. Articles? Essays? Short stories? All the above.

Well, meanwhile, I haven’t even figured out how to work this blog thing. Something else to research. Oh, and list and sell real estate, day job. And no, the novel isn’t quite finished after all. Just one more thing to work out. Enjoy the process. But first, a meeting to list a house. I’ll think about that little bit o’ fixin’ to the big book later, tomorrow. At Tara. After all…

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