Beatles One. Track Fourteen.

“So you want to be a paperback writer?”

Yes, I want to be a paperback writer. So from Jan. 2 to Sept. 27, I put my butt in the chair and wrote. And birthed a novel manuscript with significantly less puking than birthing my two human children. And when I’d printed those 278 pages, I enjoyed a stout gin and tonic with the hubby, woke up the next morning and said, “Now what?”

My critique group had been providing excellent prenatal care since early March. Well before the low-back cramps began, they told me, “Go to conference. You’ll learn so much.”

At conference I sat in on every “Now what?” class available. And I heard the word “platform” over and over. “You have to have a platform. Build your platform.” On the last day, Barbara Claypole White asked us, “Do you have a web presence?” I did have a huge writing spider in the Dauphine climbing rose, but that doesn’t count.

Web presence: A blog. An author page on Facebook. Twitter followers. A fan base. Memberships, leaderships, awards. Platform. Any agent or publishing house interested in your work is going to want to know what you can do to promote it, she taught us. What? No, wait. That’s what they’re for, right? I create it. S/he reps it. They market it. Win, win, win. But wrong. That’s not the way it works anymore.

It does makes sense. I didn’t birth my babies, send them off to a nanny, and expect credits to start rolling in. We were blessed with a supportive network of family. Friends, teachers, mentors, and coaches helped shape my children’s lives, but Dad and I had primary responsibility. All those other helpful, wonderful, loving folks were just that. Helpers.

So now I’m asking you for Beatles One. Track Ten. “Help. I need somebody.” Will you help me build my platform? You’re already reading my blog, and that’s great! I really appreciate the time you spend here when so many other things demand your attention. Would you mind dropping a comment from time to time? Even better, share the links here and on Facebook with your reading friends? The widgets behind the screen really, really like that sort of interaction. Click-throughs and shares and comments build “Web Presence” even better than Charlotte (the spider, not the city) or so I’ve been told.

If we come together, we can work it out. And thanks again. With love, from me, to you.

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