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I’m Sean Platt, the storytelling entrepreneur at the helm of Sterling & Stone and Invisible Ink Media. I create worlds and connect minds with my words.

I’ve been a ghostwriter, copywriter, screenwriter, and novelist for fifteen years, and have written so many books that I’ve started using novels as coasters and named my dog Prologue.

Not really. His name is Fisher.

I bailed on high school like a cat dodging bathwater, not because I was lazy, but because I was hungry for a better life than whatever might follow 13th grade. Traditional education made me feel like an explorer with a compass pointing toward magic just past the horizon, holding a map that ended at the nearest shore.

Words are my wand to cast spells that turn the mundane into the magical with consistency. But I was well into my thirties before I started waving it. 

As a third-generation entrepreneur, I grew up in the flower business. After leaving high school in my rearview, I bought my first business (a flower cart specializing in premium Ecuadorian roses in Long Beach, California) and never looked back. 

A Love Story Written in Flowers
I met my wife, Cindy, three years later. She was a customer, buying bundles of flowers she couldn’t afford to nab my attention. Dimwitted soul that I was at twenty, I didn’t know she was flirting.

Until Cindy finally handed her business card to me, mustered a confidence that still astounds me to this day, and said, “I’m going to go broke doing it this way. Call me and we can go out for coffee.” 

We went to the movies instead of coffee (It was a Matt Damon weekend, with The Rainmaker followed two days later by Good Will Hunting), and were living together in less time than it takes a perennial to bloom, moving into a small cottage in Belmont Shore, about a mile from the flower cart.

We co-created our lives as that initial flirtation flowered into a partnership marked by shared joys, challenges, and two remarkable children. 

Life was moving too fast for me, so I left the flower business, Cindy left the classroom (teacher of the year, two years in a row before moving to California), and we opened a preschool where we could be with our children as much as possible until they were both in kindergarten.

She bought me a MacBook for my 30th birthday and practically begged me to write. Two years later, I finally listened. 

Turns out I was born to tell stories, but I paid the bills with SEO. Then copywriting. Got good enough that my first millionaire mentor offered to buy me a house if I migrated from California to Cincinnati and agreed to work only for her.

So I did, and the house was nice, with a movie theater in the basement and a private office where a business and podcast were born. But neither that nor the posh school that our children were going to could keep me in Ohio after the Kindle came out.

I quit copywriting and consulting cold turkey and founded my story business.

Sterling & Stoned 
There was no Sterling, or Stone, but together the names connoted the tone of an old world publisher, while bringing to mind imagery of construction materials used when something is built to last.

The idea of a story studio idea had been sticking to my mind like double-sided tape for a while, and I could no longer ignore the calling. So I got out of Dodge (Cincinnati) and moved to Austin for a more vibrant life.

That was a huzzah-and-a-half immediately. Sterling & Stone was year old, I was co-host (along with David W. Wright and Johnny B Truant) of the biggest self-publishing podcast in the world. My first winter here I wrote Write. Publish. Repeat. with Johnny.

That book changed thousands of authors’ lives, leading to a Kickstarter called Fiction Unboxed for our followup project (we promised to write and publish our next book live in front of an audience in less than 30 days). That fully funded in eleven hours and became the second-largest fiction Kickstarter at the time, thanks to an incredible community we felt suddenly beholden to. 

So we held our first live event, The Smarter Artist Summit, and devoted ourselves to the indie author space. After learning to engineer bestsellers, we taught our audience to do the same thing, instead of using all of our time to repeat the process for ourselves.

The Smarter Artist brand yielded a web of resources designed to empower authors, with a network of eight podcasts, two-dozen nonfiction books aimed at helping writers improve their story craft and marketing acumen, an annual in-person event that brought authors together from around the world four years in a row, and the Stone Table Mastermind, designed to help storytelling artists get smarter faster.

That mastermind is where I met both Bonnie Johnston and Niamh Arthur. Bonnie was a highly sought after developmental editor; she sat at the Stone Table a year before Niamh and jumped at the chance to join our studio full-time. Niamh tried to hire her, but Bonnie said she only worked with Sterling & Stone, so Niamh joined the mastermind to get closer to Bonnie.

But after flying across the Atlantic from Ireland, where she lived, to join us for our last ever live event, Niamh joined the studio, too. My life and business were both instantly better.

From Austin to Hollywood
Johnny discovered he was allergic to building a business, while Niamh wanted to make Sterling & Stone the best story studio in the world. So he stepped down as COO. Niamh eagerly strapped herself into the co-pilot’s seat, and we redirected our rocket ship to orbit Hollywood, where we could leverage a massive library of IP. 

We found a manager we could trust, met with well over a hundred production companies, set up projects with partners, and tightened our seatbelts as the rocket ship gained speed, expanding our roster of storytellers to deal with the additional load … just as the industry imploded for a strike that lasted 148 days, with an aftermath that lingered through the rest of 2023. 

Never willing to sit on our hands, we expanded instead of contracting, rebuilding the business with another pair flywheels to accompany our efforts in the publishing and IP games: creating robust for-profit lines in the book space, and dragging the premium ghostwriting we had been doing for years into the light.

Invisible Ink Media crafts world-class fiction, memoirs, and business books for authors, celebrities, and thought leaders. 

Sterling & Stone’s commitment to storytelling excellence, community building, and pioneering new frontiers in the literary and entertainment worlds is unwavering. With a wealth of creative talent, and an unquenchable thirst for our next great adventure, we are actively shaping our futures, one story at a time. 

I live to change the world with our stories.