Platform and publishing, 2017

MT White considers the pros and cons of self-publishing:

Notice, you’re not writing your book to appeal to readers. You’re writing your book to appeal to agents and acquisition’s editors. Naturally, they are looking for product that will sell, but to them it is just product—to you it will be a book written full of compromise…maybe. No matter what, you have to appeal to THEM first before your book hits shelves. And THEY might have very different tastes than you. They live in a different city (probably New York), while you might live in rural Texas. They might have polite sensibilities, while you have vulgar ones. You might find someone who is in alignment with you but as I stated above, there is a 99.9% you won’t. You have to appeal to THEM before your book even makes it to the press.

In short, it’s a road filled with compromise. You’re going to write thinking about THEM, appealing to THEIR tastes, hoping they align with yours. While you write, you might question certain passages, lines that may be too politically incorrect, or just too offensive for someone who might dine at Per Se every now and then. You might change character arcs around, change the villains, modify complete dialogue exchanges, not to please the reader at home who is reading your work to get their mind off of their dick boss—no you’re modifying your work to please THEM.

The only reason most people publish with a publisher is a) validation or b) market reach. And of the two, it’s only the latter that matters. The problem, of course, is that the publishers who provide the greatest market reach also take the much larger portion of the revenues, and worse, have absolutely no loyalty to their authors, and even worse, are strongly inclined to thought-police them.

No one knows the risks of that better than Castalia House author Nick Cole as he considers the importance of a platform in light of the independent ones Stefan Molyneux and I have constructed with a little help from our friends:

Neither of these people are at the mercy of a big publisher, as I once was.  So… If some petty little  corporate thug decides he/she doesn’t like Vox’s opinion about something they have no ability to silence Vox.  Vox maintains his own website and blogs heavily from it.  Same with Molyneaux. I think Molyneaux once mentioned he’d sold over a hundred thousand books through his website.  Wow!  He’s even cutting Amazon out of the picture and keeping all the money for himself.

Thus proving to the rest of us if you build your own platform you can weather the storms of corporate social justice shenanigans/intrigues/nepotism and connect directly to your audience to sell your product.

So no matter what happens in these times of faux moral outrage and someone demanding someone we don’t like must be silenced because they’re “Hitler,” these two can still directly connect with their audience and sell some books. And laugh all the way to the bank.

Here’s what you need to know to do the same thing.  It’s easy.  In fact, it’s never been easier.

Blog regularly.  Six days a week.  Say something.  Anything.  Even repost someone’s article (like this one) and add a comment to get readers interested and sharing the post even if it’s not yours. People who click on it will land on your website and they might get interested in your books. Stop going on Facebook and giving them free content by just posting stuff.   Take the time to write a blog post from your own website and then post it to Facebook.

Do this faithfully and start connecting with your readers regularly.  In time you’ll build an audience that will be yours and not some SJW media mogul’s who might decide to blacklist you because you think DNA determines gender.  Or global warming is a big lie.  Or civil rights is just a con game some crooks are using to stay in power.  Or Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest film sucks.  Whatever. Build your own platform.

Nick is one of the Castalia authors who will be building his platform at the Castalia House blog. What I would add to his advice is to consistently work to build up others, not merely yourself. There is a virtuous circle effect that the Left has historically been much better at utilizing than the Right, which is much more inclined to purity-spirals.

But we’re learning and we’re improving constantly. And that’s why we’re winning.