I was at a writer’s conference last month. A dozen writers of all stripes – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, academic – huddled into an elegant country house talking publication with a literary agent.
Some of the writers were profesh. Some weren’t. They just had a story they wanted to tell, and they wanted to learn how to get it out.
All wanted to know how to take this manuscript they had created or wanted to create and get literary agents.
Our agent looked us in the eye. “I’m not like this,” she said. “But I know an agent who, anyone who sends him something, he checks their Twitter account. If they don’t have enough Twitter followers, he passes.”
A collective groan went around the room. The fate of our pitch, decided by Twitter?!? It seemed so unfair.
We spent a good hour that afternoon discussing author platforms. What they are, how to get one, what you need, where to start, why it matters.
If you’re interested in growing your audience for ANY purpose (making an ecourse, recruiting new writing clients, getting an agent), you need a platform.
And sure, you can start a blog or get on Twitter once you get a book deal. But at that point, you’re playing catch-up.
These links offer some insight into building and growing your author platform. Read and apply. It’s never too early – trust me.
How John Green Built an Army of Fans & How You Can Build Your Own Fanbase John Green fan? Saw the Fault in Our Stars 5 times? Think all his books are the same? However you feel, he’s got a major fanbase and you can learn exactly how he did it.
Win a FREE Trip to the NYC Writers Digest Convention in August. Hang out with writers, make connections, and learn from the pros. Enter for a chance to win a FREE ticket to this amazing event and grow your network.
Should You Focus on Your Writing or Your Platform? Jane Friedman unpacks where the whole “author platform” trend started, what it means for writers, and when to focus on the writing vs. when to really begin building your author platform.
The What, Why & How of Author Platforms What a platform is, what you need (a great website and content downloads), how to get attention and some actionable tips to take away
Ways to Use Twitter Lists for Business. This agent who used Twitter as the gatekeeper of acceptance wanted at least 10,000 Twitter followers as a show of a successful author platform. Even if you have just 1,000 followers on Twitter, there is no way to make sense of your feed without lists. Here’s a roundup of ways to put those followers to work for you and grow your writer platform.
I’m on Twitter, if you want to follow me.
If you know you need a platform, but never find time to get it going, try a blogging course! I joined the Superstar Blogging community to find inspiration and connect with fellow bloggers and travel photography enthusiasts! (disclosure – I’m an affiliate, so if you decide to try the course I’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you)