#4 The Forest

Patrick put down his pencil and took a step back from the notepad. Beads of perspiration rolled down his face as he surveyed his work in silence, taking in every etch and line that had just unfolded before him.

‘Can I take a look?’, I questioned as I took a step towards the windowsill, hands tightly clasped behind my back in an inquisitive nature.

‘Yes master’, Patrick replied. ‘Now you may take a look’. With that he moved to the side, allowing me to survey his work in full detail.

My eyes darted from one corner to the next, trying to ascertain what it all meant. Bolded lines criss crossed in every direction, seamlessly pirouetting with each other as they danced their verse from node to node.

Although all I could see was clutter, I knew deep down that there was method in this madness.

‘Walk me through it Patrick’, I interjected. ‘Tell me what it all means’.

‘Well master’, he began, it begins with the splitting of our tale’. ‘If we are to gain as much traction as possible’, he continued, ‘we need to make sure that the Amazonian furnaces are constantly ticking over’.

The key lies with the illusion of more. People want what they cannot have and what they cannot have they must seek

‘Amazonian furnaces?’, I interrupted. ‘Do you mean the rainforest in South America?’.

Before Patrick had a chance to answer I leapt into the air with a firm and eccentric affirmation.

‘WE’RE GOING TO SOUTH AMERICA!!!!!’, I exclaimed aloud. ‘I’LL PACK OUR BAGS AND ORDER THE IMMUNISATIONS!!’.

Patrick tried to cut me off but I was far too excited to listen to his attempted plea.

‘It’ll be great Patrick’, I continued. ‘We’ll be like Woody and Buzz, Daniel Laruso and Mister Miyagi. The master and his apprentice off on another adventure!’.

I was just about to run out of the room to begin searching for my backpack when Patrick finally found his opening and cut all of my dreams into pieces.

‘No master’, he began to explain. ‘You misunderstand. I do not mean the rainforest. I’m talking about the online marketplace’.

‘Be quiet, sit still and I will tell you all about it’.

‘We’re not going on holiday are we’, I solemnly replied as I sat down on the floor with my arms folded in a deep huff.

Patrick wisely chose not to answer my strop, instead brushing it off and picking up where he had left off a few minutes earlier.

‘Now, where was I’, he continued. ‘Ah yes, the marketplace’.

‘I have performed a series of complex calculations and have isolated the Amazon marketplace as our best chance for seeking success in our self publishing goal’.

‘There are many obstacles to overcome which I will explain in great detail but our starting point must be the splitting of our tale into three parts’.

‘You want to split our book into three parts?’, I gasped. ‘Why in God’s earth would you want to do that?’

‘Well master’, Patrick replied. ‘Do you know what would happen if you were to fill a fire with coal all at once?’. The fire would be extinguished master. It would be overcome and would suffocate under the burden that had just been bestowed upon it’.

‘Amazon is a lot like a fire. If we were to publish the entire tale as a single volume, it would suffocate and ultimately disappear into the depths of the online marketplace, void of any traction and chance to succeed’.

‘However’, he continued, ‘what do you think happens to a fire when one ensures a constant supply of fuel at designated intervals?’

‘I don’t know’, I replied in angst. ‘What happens to the fire?’

‘It flourishes master. It soars and bellows for all to see’.

‘Just like the fire, if we divide our tale into three parts and feed each part to the marketplace in designated succession, our tale will have a greater chance of flourishing and soaring for all to see’.

‘How come?’, I interrupted. ‘Why should anyone pay attention to three separate tales when one would suffice?’

‘Well master’, Patrick responded. ‘The key lies with the illusion of more. People want what they cannot have and what they cannot have they must seek’.

‘If we can garnish enough attention for the first part of the tale, our readers will clamour to consume the second and third parts as well’.

‘But how do we get our readers to notice the first part Patrick?, I said. ‘Aren’t you just prolonging and confusing the entire process?’

‘Have you heard of the funnel and the algorithm?, Patrick replied. ‘No? Well come a little closer and I shall tell you all about them’.

As I leaned in to hear Patrick’s explanation, little did I know that far up above a spider was also leaning forward.

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