1. NikkiNoodle
    Offline

    NikkiNoodle Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    8

    Establishing a platform

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by NikkiNoodle, Jun 25, 2011.

    I've read that publishers are much more likely to pick up a manuscript if the author already has a platform to market from, since that increases the chances of sales.
    For an un-published author with no credentials, how do you go about building a platform before submitting your work? I'm sure establishing a web-presence would help, but with no previous work published what do you build a blog/website ect. around?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    There are standard answers:

    Begin Blogging--but here you have to stand out in some way, be interesting and consistent. It takes time and effort. Following other blogs, and making intelligent, related comments can attract followers to your blog, for example--but again, that takes time.

    Write and attempt to get short stories published. This takes away from writing novels and there is no guarantee of success. It takes less time to write a short story, but finding a good market to publish it isn't necessarily less competitive than the novel market.

    Facebook, forums, yahoo groups--there is all kinds of stuff out there, but remember all of it takes time.

    Personal skills and abilities? For example, can you teach courses in writing or something similar?

    Remember, while a platform can be helpful, in the end it's the quality of the story, knowing the markets, and persistence (mixed with a little luck) that will determine success.
     
  3. what the dickens
    Offline

    what the dickens Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Get your website or blog but a website is more professional and you can attach or include a blog in your website.

    As already said networking websites like facebook, but also visit forums like this and include your website in the contact details which then will be with every post etc.

    On your website the "about" page is all about you and your writing and the news page will describe your up and coming new books etc which may or may not get people interested and then any events you may be setting up or taking part in.

    At least with a website it is a place where anybody whoever they are can visit to find info even if it's just your contact details. Avoid free websites though as most are bad and annoy people with pop-up ads and other things.
     
  4. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,123
    Likes Received:
    5,323
    Location:
    California, US
    Yeah you can set up a blog, but then everyone and two out of three of their cats have blogs these days. For a pre-established platform to really matter to anyone, including a publisher, you'll need to show that it is effective (in the case of a blog, that it has a lot of traffic for example). Anyone can set up a blog or website in five minutes, so I'm not sure how much it matters absent some further indication that people are actually visiting it.
     
  5. what the dickens
    Offline

    what the dickens Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    The trick is or better still the work comes from getting people to visit it and for it to be found from the millions of others out there.

    It is very simple and straight forward........you either learn and do this yourself or pay others to do it for you.
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    You also have to KEEP people visiting your blog, which means keeping the content fresh. That requires a time commitment, and that time has to come out of your daily allotment. So do you take that out of your writing time?

    So you need to ask yourself - is your investment in the time to maintain a blog going to pay off in enough traffic to help you market yourself as a writer? How many people will visit your blog on a regular basis? How many of those visits will lead to a sale? And figuring a reasonable hourly wage, what is the time required to maintain the blog costing you?
     
  7. Ashrynn
    Offline

    Ashrynn Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    7
    I won't go to a blogging route unless I can have the short story I am writing published, or any others I write afterwards.

    Blogs won't spark out and be unique without there being a reason to write one.

    I love doing short-stories though...
     
  8. NikkiNoodle
    Offline

    NikkiNoodle Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    8
    Thats exactly what I am wondering. Will I be able to keep the content new and get enough visitors that a publisher will find that a viable enough avenue to generate sales? What in the world will I say? Don't get me wrong, as a mom and military wife there is A LOT of fodder for interesting topics and I've got a lot of opinions about everything but does that pertain to my (hopeful) career as a fiction novelist and does that even matter?

    I guess I am afraid that my manuscript would be turned down out of hand because a) I have no platform and b) no credentials so why take a chance on me when there are probably many "better risks" out there?
     
  9. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    A manuscript will be bought or turned down on its own merits. A publisher may will want you to take an active role in promoting your writing, but only in the most borderline of cases will whether you currently have a promotional site sway the decision.

    If a submissions editor is looking at your web presence, he or she already has a pretty favorable view of your manuscript.
     
  10. NikkiNoodle
    Offline

    NikkiNoodle Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    8
    Well that makes sense. So everything else at that point is more like icing on the cake.
     

Share This Page