Business & Creativity – It’s All About Marketing


As an indie author, I have had to learn a lot of things through trial and error.  I have done more than my fair share of research online into the whole “self-publishing” gig and read all the “How-To” articles that are strewn all over the net.  The problem is, unless you have actually handled your own independently published project from start to finish, all the “How-To” articles in the world will not adequately help nor prepare you for the adventure that will sweep you up in its wake. 

Unfortunately, all the freelance projects and years of “on-the-job” experience that I have accumulated since going indie author cannot really be included on a resume.  These days employers want to be able to go to an ex-employer and ask them all about your work ethics and abilities.  To add insult to injury,  a lot of them won’t even consider your years of actual on-the-job experience if you do not have a college degree to back it up.  For whatever reason, they seem to think that someone coming fresh out of college knows more about a topic than someone who has spent decades or longer learning the trade from the ground up.  It is this mind-set that often have employers passing up some very uniquely qualified, and oftentimes extremely creative, employees that could have knocked them out of their chairs with all the knowledge they have accumulated over the years.  It is also this mind-set that keep a lot of businesses from realizing their full potential simply because more often than not, the best person for the job, the ones with creativity to spare, are left to languish in a mindless job while those less-qualified individuals are left in charge.

They say that success is 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration.  What most business managers fail to recognize is that, until they implement that 2% of inspiration, that creativity, it does not matter how hard they push on that other 98%, they simply will never hit on the 100% that they are capable of.

Most managers run a business straight-forward, when, in reality, business is about as non-straight-forward as anything gets.  It’s not about business at all, it’s not about numbers or pushing harder or trying to work more efficiently.  What business is ultimately about is marketing, and in order to give any marketing campaign its due, you are going to have to be creative.  This is where 99.99% of your average business managers fail.  They are like men standing before a great brick wall with hammer in hand.  They think that if they keep hitting away at that wall, if they hit it long enough and hard enough, it will eventually come crashing down.  What they like is the creativity, the ingenuity to look around to see if there is a door or window into the building.  They lack any type of creativity, any type of ingenuity, and fail to see the big picture, they fail to see that there are other options.  They are like horses with blinders, they keep plodding along, doing the same old tired plan that has failed them for years.  But as I said, they are so single-minded that they think if they just keep going, it will all eventually work out.  That simply is not the way business, or the real world for that matter, works.

Being a successful author works in much the same way.  It’s not always about how good of a writer you are, but how well you market yourself.  Doing this on a shoe-string budget will prove to be even more challenging.  And again, reading all the “How-To” articles and books you can get your hands on will not always do the trick.  You have to ultimately remember that what works for one person will not always work for you.  Just because Amanda Hocking made it big doesn’t mean that following her plan to the letter will result in you being just as successful.  Chances are, you simply will fall far short of your goals and expectations.  As with any business, you must be flexible, and, above all, you must be creative.  And never be afraid to change your plan of attack if something simply isn’t working.  If networking on Facebook isn’t getting you the hordes of readers that you want, then toss it out the window and go back to square one.  Try something else, or try lots of something else.  Don’t be afraid to walk on your own path, and, above all, don’t be afraid to deviate from that path if it’s not taking you to your ultimate destination.


Rules? What Rules? I Don’t Write According to YOUR Stinkin’ Rules

I use to think that the forum and story site over on XN was great.  Lots of freedom, no stinkin’ rules to get in the way of creativity.  Not like all the other pieces of shit story sites out there, enforcing ‘morality’ issues on a porn site.  How full of yourself can you get?  But now, however, I’m beginning to agree with Michael C. Laney:  to post on XN is born of desperation to get your shit read, at any cost.  You KNOW your story is going to get trolled to death, you KNOW your story is going to get voted into oblivion by the slew of sock accounts created by jealous writers.  But that’s not what makes you desperate to get read.  What smacks of desperation for that site is that by posting on the site you do NOT know if you are going to have yourself banned and your story yanked because you hurt the delicate sensibilities of some of the Morality Police on the site or piss off one of the god-mods who seem to take some sort of demented delight in removing stories that have not broken any “rule” but merely a “guideline” that was handed down by another mod but not “affirmed” by those who actually run the site.  So to post on there a story that you find perfectly innocent can end up going the way of the do-do bird.

I don’t like Lush and Lit.  In reality, I hate them with a passion because of their draconian rules and admins and mods who are so full of their shit and self-importance that they make the lives of everyone else on the site miserable, slowly driving away traffic.  I see the same thing happening over on XN.  It’s suicide of the lowest form.  While Lit and Lush is suicide due to self-appointed self-importance, XN is killing itself over indifference.  Whatever.  I will give Lit and Lush this, though.  At least with them, I KNOW my shit will get pulled, or not even posted, if I break one of the many, many, MANY rules that they impose on writers.  It’s why I don’t write for them.  Until they start paying me to host my lude creations, I will not jump through hoops for them. 

The general sense of creative freedom is the reason why I chose XN over all the “other” sites out there.  But now XN is drying up like a creek bed in the middle of a drought.  The mods are too full of themselves to realize it, the Morality Police are too full of shit to realize it, and the admins are too wrapped up in other money-making ventures to give two shits.  So the few decent writers have left, taking their hordes of readers with them.  Sure, there are still “writers” on their churning out the same crap stories over and over again, but I am not one of those writers who are willing to jump through a hoop to get read.  It’s why I went indie author on the publishing houses’ asses.  I not only want that creative freedom, not just deserve it, but as an author who  lives in the land of the free, I DEMAND it.  Will I get it?  Well, it depends.  I like the way Michael put things:  I am not a slave to any site.  I write my own shit, I host my own shit, I publish my own shit, and my own shit makes me money.  I give my ideas and creativity to those who enjoy it, to those who want to read it.

And in the end, that is all that matters:  getting read.  Not having a “politically” correct version of my story read, but the raw, crude, and sometimes brilliantly written storyline that I intended.  If that means that I may have to strike out on my own, then so be it.  I will not bow down to anyone’s ideas of what is right and wrong.  Not even to get a few thousand more reads.  Because when you are independent, it means you reject the norm, the regular reality, the rules, and insert your own.  And last time I checked, that’s what “creativity” was all about.