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Other authors are not your competition

Someone said in a Facebook authors’ group that hey, we were all in competition with one another. Yeah, no. That’s zero-sum thinking, and it does not quite work with books and stories — especially now. It’s 2019. Books have shelf life. Scarcity is not ubiquitous Yes, some things are governed by scarcity. For example, people buy maybe one house. They either buy this one or that one. (Let’s not discuss the superrich who buy several houses....

 · Laura Lis Scott
Pale Klingon asks What must I sacrifice? From TV show Discovery.

How not to blog

Do as I do: Cover a wide variety of topics. Post sporadically. Write various lengths, from quick dashed-off notions to long think pieces. Get personal one post, professional the next. Take long breaks. Give people the strong impression that your mind runs all over the place. I’m trying to do better, but blogging is not in even the top five of my daily A tasks. Therefore I’m doomed. Don’t be like me!...

 · Laura Lis Scott
fish and more fish

The noise and discovery problem

As a reader, how do you find a good book among all the choices out there? As a writer, how do you get your book noticed by readers? Photo by Madhava Enros (Creative Commons) A couple of days ago, Chuck Wendig posted a long expletive-rich rant about the proliferation of low-quality books—which he blames on self-publishing’s lack of gatekeepers—and how that makes it harder for everyone because the signal (quality books) is being buried in the noise (poorly written/edited/packaged books)....

 · Laura Lis Scott
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There’s a chimp on my platform

MailChimp is one of the good guys of the online marketing services. Photo: SeeMidTN.com aka Brent (Creative Commons) Every now and then, I do a little bit to build my “author platform.” Today I signed up for MailChimp and configured my newsletter, to which people can now subscribe! I don’t actually know what I would say in a newsletter, but I figure when I have a book coming out or something, this will be useful....

 · Laura Lis Scott
mosaic of fake/satirical brands that resemble actual brands

What’s your brand? Do you have a brand? (Do you want one?)

Brands have a way of happening whether you want them to or not. It’s not about selling. It’s about perception.

 · Laura Lis Scott

Did your website end up doing the wrong job?

What job does your website do? Is it doing the job that you initially set out for it? With all the excitement happening online, all the buzz, all the enticing opportunities, and all the fabulous tools standing ready at hand, it can be tempting to just dive in to building a site — design it and launch! The barriers to entry seem so low — the how often seems to be in such easy reach — you just grab it and go, without ever considering the questions of what you want to launch....

 · Laura Lis Scott