Don’t Forget Your Platform!

blogSo you’ve spent the last year or so writing your first novel.  It may be a great story, but it won’t make the cut if it’s poorly written.  Great stories with a significant number of structural and grammatical errors get tossed to the side every day.  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 the pace? Do you have the right POV? Have you considered your platform?

You probably stopped after that last sentence. What do you mean Platform? Great manuscripts of first time authors get pushed to the side every day because the aspiring author doesn’t have a solid platform.

Most newbies know the story has to be great and error free. One thing they may not be aware of is the need for a platform.

An agent who seemed genuinely interested in my work rejected it because of my lack of a solid platform. I spent time editing and rewriting major portions of my manuscript to address the issues mentioned above.  I was confident and looking forward to a request for a full manuscript. 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 apologized for not delivering better news. She said it was hard to place new authors, and especially those who did not have a solid platform. While she recommended that I send my work to other agents, she 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 hope this helps someone out there.

-Jan R

Don’t Forget Your Platform!

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