Do I need a Platform to get Published?
I read something today that’s really bothering me. Thanks to Christine for pointing it out. A literary agent blogged that writers need a “platform” before querying her. I’ll give you the quote:
I DON'T want to see in your proposal, "I am willing to start a blog and join social networks to market myself."
I DO want to see: "I've been blogging for a year, with my readership growing steadily. I use Facebook and Twitter to create relationships with potential future readers of my books, and to drive people back to my blog. I'm currently making contact through the blog and social networks with several hundred (or several thousand) people a day."
Here’s the original post by Rachelle Gardner. Note that it’s more directed towards non-fiction, but she says that novelists should pay heed.
Now does she mean that I need to grow my readership by a hundred people a day? Or simply have 300+ subscribers? Either way, holy crap!
BTW I love you guys. By reading this blog, you’ve already proven that you’re smartest and savviest people in the blogosphere. I don’t know if you found me or I found you, but either way I appreciate it.
So apparently I need to grow this thing, fast. I have no idea how to do this, but here are some thoughts. Let me know if you’ve tried any.
- Follow everyone I can find on Twitter who is either a writer or SciFi fan. The problem with this is that there are a bunch of tweeters I really want to read, and their tweets would get drowned in the crush. I guess I could create a “platform” account that I never read, but that seems lame. Maybe there’s a filtered Twitter reader out there.
- Comment on every blog I can find. Keep following links around and make myself known across the blogosphere. Become a pest (but add to the conversations).
- Facebook? Does mean I friend everyone in every writing and SciFi group out there? And do I suck up to all the agents? God I’m starting to feel dirty.
- Make this blog so interesting that people put links to my entries everywhere. Oh wait—that will never happen. I’d have to do stuff like find authors to interview, have guest bloggers, and not rely on my own random prattling. Or start giving away stuff. Hmmm…
This sounds like more work than writing the damn book…and I need to do this before I even send out query letters! Note that this particular agent doesn’t represent my genre so she’s not on my list, but I think she’s echoing what a lot of agents are thinking nowadays.
The other issue is that I want my friends to read my Facebook and Twitter. I don’t really want random strangers reading details about my colonoscopy. Or even you guys for that matter (I apologize). But I do want them to read my posts about writing and publishing (if/when I ever make any that are worth reading).
So let me know what you think I should be doing. Does this “platform” thing really have merit? Or would I be throwing a lot of energy down a hole when I could have been improving my actual writing? What do you think?