While attending the San Francisco Writer's Conference in mid-February I learned that I was one of the few attendees who did not have a blog or a website. Zounds - - an active email address, cell phone, and Blackberry aren't enough?* Just what cyberspace needs, another blogger.
I harbor no illusions about the world waiting for my words of wisdom, though even a blind man sees clearly now and then. Let me be frank. I mean, let me be Keith. I'm interested in selling my stuff. No, this is not a link to EBay. My profile speaks to my writing, and this blog's focus, though I have eclectic interests, all non-fiction.
I tried fiction once, nearing 50,000 words. Despite my interest in reading good literature, my reading and my writing never neared the same page. Like my first career, I chucked it. Non-fiction feels right.
I learned a bit more at the San Francisco Writer's Conference, other than that the Top of the Mark is pretty damn cool. We non-fiction general market-types have our work cut out for us. Novelists have it so easy - - just be a great writer.
First, have a platform. Platform? Ideally I would have 50,000 loyal readers hanging on my every word. Since I am neither a doctor of something, a national politician, an American Idol finalist, a sports superstar, a billionaire CEO, a president's daughter, or Oprah's best friend, this is my platform launch. Tell a friend. Next, be a graduate of the Barnum and Bailey school of hype/promotion. Toastmaster of the year would be a plus, and five years of apprenticing with the William Morris Agency. Next, master cyberspace. Okay, I'm a work in progress. Next, be independently wealthy so that you can spend more money promoting your book than your publisher. Oh, and finally, write really well. It was good to learn that writing mattered.
Rubbing elbows with agents, editors and publishers for two days makes an old, newbie writer more nervous than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. The best that could be said for my experience is that I didn't hear those dreaded words, "Good luck with your book", at least not directed toward me. I even scored some nibbles, from agents, not appetizers, though those weren't bad either.
I will target a blog a week. Now and then, more. After all, I do have my domestic duties. And I'll get to work on that website. If a blog falls in cyberspace, does anyone hear?
For you English experts, be nice. I will be embarrassed enough when I re-read a post two days later and an error will be flashing and taunting me.
* I still don't have a blackberry.