I've worked in new media development since 1997 (AOL, Times Mirror, Tribune Media, Time Inc., Vail Resorts). Every launch is a wild journey. You never know when or why it might get traction. Or not get some.
This time I thought I'd keep a log. It will not be fact-checked.
Was sitting in the water and thought, hey is that a fin? The last wave was good. Old Van Morrison is better than it gets credit for. I wonder if I could build something like Blacklist but for authors & not 500 bucks a year. Is that a bigger fin? Yeah maybe I could.
Finally loaded up a test site. A lot of tools need to go into this. Who can see what do what go where. The read-write permissions, restrictions alone are going to eat my brain up if I don't find a workaround.
Do you know how many types of cookbooks there are? I will not let picky foodies have their way with this. Every subgenre's sub has a sub of a sub of a sub. This has got to lean into 'simple' or the editors and producers will get lost.
The solution to the editor agent film lit manager "I have this particular content demand" thing kind of solved itself. Hello ajax search. If they can just be trained to use keywords, the writers won't hate me for having too many category choices. Lean into simple.
Made great time. It damn near works. It's freakin cool. The water is almost warm enough. Gonna go anyway. If I don't have a working proto by end of April it will sit all summer. I know me.
Bounced the idea around with ppl on reddit who were level-10 sick of sending queries. Heard those crickets myself. One funny take was a build would be welcome to a lot of writers, esp. young, but not old b/c we have new-toy phobia. Jurassic Park taught us to fear technology and evolution.
Got a good name for it. One word. Memorable. Dot com. The search tools are kickass but the server load is concerning. The writer's project builder is actually fun.
My kid hammered on the site for a while, said (don't forget this, use it to market someday) "My gen will get into it b/c they love the idea of passive income and this is passive marketing for their writing."
Yeah it's pretty much done, but I didn't have an idea how to launch it yet, so I mothballed the thing and bought a Firewire Seaside. Nice board. Machado knows foam.
Waves for days. So tired. Everyone is all surfed out. Falling asleep at 6pm.
Not gonna name names, but noticed an old buddy is now poohbah of one of the big writing entities. Reached out, maybe a partnership with someone with huge social media and email lists is smart. Could solve the launch challenge.
Had a Zoom with his team. Was a total failure as a pitch man. Also, let timer on Zoom run out while I was talking. What an A$$ they must have thought I was. Probably embarrassed my buddy. I deserve a ghosting.
Finally built this timeline. Had to go back through notes. Probably going to update daily for a while as I begin a grassroots outreach to whoever I feel like sharing LeCarta with. No clue how it will go. 10-15% chance at best. Nothing to lose but this A-to-B "match dot com for IP" thing can help people.
Longshot, started with a single email 4-5 days ago right to an industry news desk: "Would you like first, exclusive look at some newfangled tools?" Radio silence. It is the book industry = no response means... get used to it, no worries, onward.
Not sure if it will be valuable for long, but this sitemap that is actually a map could help all the media, agents, managers, editors and such jump around with fewer questions asked. LeCarta has a simple architecture >
Did hear back from the news desk! That could be a lot of fun, always great to make a connection in our world. Sent out a few intros, nothing stirred, but did get one perspective that I wasn't pitching the "NO MORE QUERIES" message effectively. Good to learn.
Today is an early-access day. Sending out invites to a select list of agents, literary managers and such with whom I've had contact. Looking forward to any perspective, good or bad, and we have (finally) hit the "gets really interesting" phase of a media launch.
The Press Release is done. Didn't want to do one but they still have a place. More outreach today. Easy 6+ more months of that if history is a guide. Just feeling our way along, nice puzzle to try to solve, like chess with 128 pieces per side.
Been trading email with JM from Publishers Weekly, got to talk to him about the effort today. Really interesting. Imagine having all the news of our world be your daily playground. Daily media work is hard as hell but so fun, and later, you miss it. I miss it. Grateful for the experience.
And the ball moves forward. We now have reps from literary and talent agencies representing both coasts requesting access to the writers' projects. If we get anything in northern Canada that will make LeCarta a tri-coastal resource.
This could be interesting: a Pitch Deck for bloggers, podcasts et al.
Very cool and much earlier in the game than expected... A literary agency from the UK has requested access and becomes first from east of the Atlantic to try something new. Welcome!