Wednesday, March 9, 2016


As soon as I registered my business name [Linwood House Publishing] the game was afoot and the emails started rolling in: buy this, sell that, take my classes, invest here, download that, purchase podcast hours of someone talking, talking, talking. 

I quickly realized; business was a game. Everyone is selling something or everything and the first one to buy something or anything from anyone—loses. 

Writers are, in our heart of hearts, artists. Making money for our art feels like grubby fingers around our elegant creative, swan-like necks, squeezing . . . squeezing . . . and yet . . .

I have never seen or met a single “world famous” writer that gave their books away for no money, not even to poor college students who had come to worship at their world famous feet. There was a lot of talk of fairness and equality and re-distribution for $12.99, and then they move to Florida where there’s no state income tax. 

Ah . . . art!

Money. I want some. Unfortunately, making money from selling books is as challenging as figuring out how to get your characters out of that tree you’re supposed to chase them up into. 

Note: It’s a writing strategy. A writer is supposed to run their characters up a tree and then throw rocks at them. Then the writer is supposed to figure out how to get them out of that tree. And that’s why the above paragraph is funny.

Money. I want some. Unfortunately, there are a few obstacles.

Tabletop publishing and print on demand have swamped the market. SWAMPED IT—1.17 trillion new titles are published every 6.9 seconds. These statistics could be slightly fabricated.

Erotica is keeping the big publishing houses going. It’s jazzy. It’s addictive. It’s like potato chips. I don’t write erotica. I could. I’m jazzy. I’m addictive. But I’m more like fried chicken than potato chips.

I don’t know any heavy hitters like Oprah. But I do wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me, “Your books are great. You should send them to Oprah or the Queen of England.” Yeah. Great idea. You wouldn’t have the queen’s private cell number, would you?

There is a learning curve shaped like a roller coaster to building a platform. A platform is your social media presence on the fiber optic, satellite generated, router pumped world that is ONLINE. No matter how many sites you have (Facebook, Website, Blog, Email, Pinterest, Instant Message, Dating Profile) there are at least sixteen more you SHOULD have. Unfortunately, for every new Internet gadget you have there is the time it takes to figure it out, password it tight, and get it ramped up. And then they want to upgrade you—for money—which takes us back to the beginning.

Business is a game. Everyone is selling something or everything and the first one to buy something or anything from anyone—loses.

And the game is afoot . . .

Linda (Feet First) Zern 

From Shakespeare's King Henry IV Part I, 1597:

"Before the game is afoot, thou still let'st slip."

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