Build Your Platform!

images open bookThese last few weeks have been crazy for me. So I haven’t been able to spend the time that I normally would on writing blogs or reading blogs of my fellow writers.  I hope to get my life back to normal in the upcoming week but until then, I am going back and pulling up blog posts I wrote when I started this journey. I had no followers at that time, so these posts were literally written to the air. I’m sure most of you experienced this when you started out 🙂  As always, I hope my blog helps someone out there to get a better understanding of the business of writing, and I hope you don’t make the same mistakes that I made.

So you’ve spent the last year or so writing your first novel.  It may be a great story, but it want even make it to first base if it’s poorly written.  Great stories with a significant number of structural and grammatical errors get tossed to the side everyday.  How’s your dialogue? Does it move your story forward or just sit like a rock slowing things down and encouraging the reader to skip it completely. What about your platform? Do you have one? Great manuscripts of first time authors get pushed to the side everyday because the aspiring author doesn’t have a solid platform.

I was rejected by a literary agent because of my lack of a solid platform. I spent the last few years editing and rewriting major portions of my manuscript to address issues mentioned above.  I was confident with my work and looked forward to a request for the complete story. Well, what I got wasn’t a request but a rejection.  The reason had nothing to do with my novel.

I had focused so much time on preparing it for publication, that I failed to do one of the most important things, build an audience of potential customers. Is it necessary? Unfortunately yes, especially for first time authors. The agent who rejected me actually apologized for not giving me better news. She said it was really hard to place new authors and especially those who did not have a solid platform. While she recommended that I send it to other agents, she also emphasized the importance of building a platform.

The good news is with technology it is a lot easier than you would think.  Google ‘Building a platform’ and you’ll find all kinds of information.  I would personally recommend looking into Michael Hyatt. He is an author, blogger, speaker, and a former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers so he knows a little bit about what we are trying to accomplish here. I would also recommend his book ‘PLATFORM GET NOTICED IN A NOISY WORLD’. He provides all the information you need to get started, including websites that assist with the creation of your online presence.

I would also like to add to the previous paragraph, that since I’ve started blogging, I’ve come across some great bloggers who have helped me through encouragement and information. One of my favorites is Quintessentialeditor. He is awesome! There are many other great bloggers out there willing to help as well. You just have to step out of your comfort zone and into the world of blogging.

I hope this helps someone out there on their quest to being published.  I chose to discuss platforms in my first entry because of the frustration I felt after receiving the news from the literary agent. I just didn’t know. This is something I could have been doing while preparing my novel for publishing.

 

-Jan R

Build Your Platform!

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