Yes, it has been some time since I last haunted these shores. mwahahahaha *cough* *cough* *hack* *hack*
I suppose the reason why I have returned to blogging is because I, like a million other writers, have something to plug. A platform, as it is, to establish or expand and to draw the fickle-minded into exalting me and my meager works. The problem is that nowadays, there seems to be a deluge of bloggers and authors and-self-styled scribblers who clamor for attention. Some are very talented and clever, others are less than so and flood the online sites mainly because of self-importance. I have something to say, or so they hope.
I’ll tell you a secret: I am not a fan of blogging. I am not a fan of self-publishing to any degree; self-promotion has become shameless, and the public eye an elusive and easily bored market. Quality becomes synonymous with “stale,” “unexciting,” and “tiresome.” True literature is hard now to read because the literary writer, or he/she whom terms themselves such, uses “too many words.” That’s exactly a critique I received from a prominent editor at a literary journal for my short story, “The Café of Living and Dying”. There were too many words, sir. You try to relate to me, the reader, as someone who is intelligent. I’m not. I thank you for thinking of me that way, and now I must return to something with far less brevity, wit, and literary worth. Maybe something sent in by a vampire writer. Mind the underlined statement: of course that is my exaggeration of what might have gone on in that particular editor’s head.
Oh, now, I know what you’re thinking: poor writer-boy is lamenting bestsellers that are making it while his own works flounder. It seems many works flounder these days, whether traditionally published or self-published. The Amazon/Smashwords/B&N NOOK™ crowd: the so-called “smarter” writers who have given up on the big houses and literary agents to just, well, do it themselves. Some have made good success; others, of which there are many, far less than so.
So, how does a modern author make it these days? That is not an easy answer to give, because it appears as an art, the art of literature is not the same for others. I have nearly 2000 friends on Facebook; I have as many followers on my Writers Right group on Facebook; I have so many eager beavers on Celebrities of Facebook … err … on Facebook; I have had up to 2000 followers on Twitter; I’ve had followings on other sites as well. So, the online presence is complete. But …,
… has these things helped my writing career?
Let’s forget that. Zip it outta yer head. I know of other writers, established and not so established, who have great followings and turn outs and do dismally. Yes! Even bestselling authors who must grease the online venues to help promote their works, HEY LOOK AT ME! – and have felt the crunch of modest sales. Is it truly an aspect of our down-turned economy? Or has this excuse become passé? Perhaps the advent of online publishing has just allowed the multitude to rant and to rave, and therefore, it takes a platform to make a platform.
Take a look at this blog I’ve threw up: it needs to compete just as the works of mine that it illuminates. Therefore, now, I have to take on twice as many markets to promote my works. I must, somehow, find enticing things to scribble here; enticing, relevant, funny, illuminating, and possibly grander and greater than any of my novels or short stories. I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR. But, what does that mean to you? It means, traditionally, I have had my works accepted and PAID for by literary journals and magazines and NOT published by my own methods. Yet, even so, has THAT helped me garner the platform that I long for? The platform that is to raise me another level in the public eye?
Well, specifically, I have known other authors who have had their works published and even have won prestigious literary awards, and have not been rewarded by stating:
I AM A PRIZE-WINNING AND PUBLISHED AUTHOR.
For my own meager efforts, having been lauded and exclaimed as a great “undiscovered” author, having had attained not one, but THREE agented contracts throughout the course of my career, having Simon & Schuster fight a civil war within the boundaries of its publishing walls to take on my Artemus Dark series – – – but having failed in the outcome, has these helped my platform?
Hollywood agents such as Douglas Bennett of the Gerler Agency, found my Facebook antics to be interesting enough to follow in the off-chance I could, if circumstances warranted, a performer. Yes. An actor. Not a writer! An actor. “Forget the performance arts,” Mr. Bennett told me, “that’s high school. What do you want to do in Hollywood?”
It took me awhile to meditate and come up with the solution that I’m a writer. Always have been, and most likely will always be. Radio announcing, live improvisational comedy, voiceovers, caricatures – all have graced my artistic resume BUT …,
… has these things helped my writing career?
So, I hand it to you in a big goo-goo gloppedy pie: THE AUTHOR’S PLATFORM. Is it important? Is it necessary? Or is it busy work? I contend that despite all the blogging, all the self-promotions, al the followers and friends and memberships – the only way you make the big time as an author is when you make sign a multi-book contract with a major house; or, at least, you garner “enough” sales online that somebody somewhere considers your name good fodder to mention in a major venue.
Until then, my friends, you are just shouting in the void with a trillion others.
Oxnard, CA 2012