The (A)rt of Wordfare by Lizzy “Sun Tzu” Ford

For my first blog entry in April’s A-to-Z Challenge:

I love the Art of War by Sun Tzu and think a lot of his advice can be applied to life in general.  If Sun Tzu were still alive, he might provide us indie writers advice such as the below. (Note: I denoted the commonly translated chapter titles for each of the 13 chapters of the Art of War in quotes.)

1. “Laying plans”

Be well organized, disciplined, and perseverant in your approach to writing.

2.” Waging war”

Find cost effective ways to execute the basics, such as marketing, web hosting, distribution, etc.

3. “Attack by stratagem”

Approach writing as a business that needs a business plan, complete with evaluations of strengths and weaknesses of the industry, marketing/distribution/etc. you chose, and of your own writing.

4. “Tactical dispositions”

Pursue opportunities, such as self-pub and epublishing, while waiting for agents/publishers to return emails/calls/snail mails.

5. “Energy”

Understand how the traditional publishing industry works, then look for ways to leverage non-traditional ways to be successful.

6. “Weak Points and Strong”

Pursue technology (epublishing, blogging, Twitter, etc.) that publishers have not yet begun to dominate.

7. “Maneuvering”

Don’t try tell agents/publishers/editors how good you are – show them with your ability to move books without them.

8. “Variation in tactics”

Be flexible and adaptable to everything from feedback from readers to shifts in epublishing technology to learning from other indie writers, so you don’t make the same mistakes.

9. “The army on the march”

Evaluate the publishing landscapes as you go so you know when/where to adapt your business model

10. “Terrain”

Understand the opportunities and shortfalls offered by your publishing options

11. “The nine territories”

Refer to your business plan and goals as you go in order to keep in mind where you’re going and where you need to adapt because of changes outside your control

12. “The attack of fire”

Be smart about creating a brand in your approach to self-publishing by learning from others and be ready for all types of feedback.

13. “The use of spies”

To get good insight into the publishing industries (epub, self-pub, trad’l pub), do your research on all of them and keep updated on what’s going on.

2 thoughts on “The (A)rt of Wordfare by Lizzy “Sun Tzu” Ford

  1. I don’t know how you find the time. Are you sure we live in the same galaxy? Yours appears to have more hours in it than mine. I love the tips. What is an indie author? I have seen that term used in a few places and am not quite sure what it means.

    • Hi Dafeenah!

      I’ve been told I live on my own unique planet, so I may very well have more hours in my standard day. Hahahahaha … The easiest answer on how I do it: I don’t know, but I don’t give myself a choice. I know what’ll happen if I don’t average 10K words a week to reach my goal of 12 books this year and start blogging: I stay in the career field I’ve had (and not necessarily enjoyed!) for 10+ years and I never, ever get closer to my dream. This year, I gave myself a choice: do the same as I’ve done the past 10, or make my dream REALLY HAPPEN. I chose to follow my dream, which means finding a way to meet my goals, as tough as they are. I feel like I need to prove to myself I can do it … 3 months and 3 books down (will be out soon!) … lol …

      Indie author normally refers to writers who self-publish or e-publish rather than pursue traditional publishing. Like me. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *