Are Platforms a Must for Aspiring Writers?

What’s a platform anyway? Well in publishing, when you hear agents, editors or writers asking about your platform, they mean your followers. Do you have a newsletter subscribed to by the masses? Does your site get mad traffic? Are your twitter followers enough to take over smaller countries? More importantly, will they buy your books? If so, then you have a platform

Platforms and web presence are different. Web presence is your presence on the web- doh. If you google your name, do you even come up? Do you have a Facebook or twitter account? Do you publish articles on line? Communicate in writer forums, crit groups? something? If you are carving a niche for yourself, then you have web presence. Having a platform is different, and as I discovered during the writers conference this weekend, it is more important to non-fiction authors that fiction writers.

According the the panel of agents and editors, a positive (read:no footage of explicit or other personal materials) web presence is nice. It shows that you understand the nature of the business and how to promote yourself as well as the initiative to start early and plug ahead. However, that said, it isn’t a must. A publishing house will assign you a publicist for promotion. While knowing a little about web presence will make them very happy, it definitely is not a deal breaker. “A web presence can always be established later.”

Remember though, there is value in a web presence. The internet is a great tool, and getting involved online will only help you to network, to learn and to improve your craft, You’ll make friends and find resources to keep you on top of the ever changing business of publishing. So, for everyone out there who much prefers reading blogs to making them, no worries. Keep writing, that’s what’s important, network, learn and thrive. Blogging can come in time. So, relax and refocus. Blogging can wait, but don’t miss the opportunity here. Web presence allows you to put your best foot forward and give your future agent and editor a glimpse at who you are. Wouldn’t it be nice to send a query only to have the agent do a double take at the end? They get to your name and think”Hey, I know that name. She is hysterical or poignant, or whatever adjective you are going for. Let me look at this again.” I guarantee that if they recognize you as someone who is staying on top of their blog, tweets, etc, and you make them smile, they will give your query one more look. I don’t know about you, but I want one more look. It all helps and this business is tough.

To each his or her own, but keep your head up, and Good luck!

*Side note: I blog because if I didn’t have a daily outlet for my writing, in addition to the novels and contest and things, my head would fill to capacity and then pop off, and I’d drive my webmaster crazy badgering him with all the awesome writing information out there. So, I tell you instead.

10 comments to Are Platforms a Must for Aspiring Writers?

  • Great post, Julie.

    I used to blog, never on a daily basis. I think once, in almost a year’s time, I posted a blog two days in a row. It’s just not for me. At least, not right now. There are so many good blogs out there that talk about writing, the craft of writing, that I felt there didn’t need to be another one. Not from me, anyway. I still have my website, of course, but no more blogs. Maybe after my book comes out I’ll blog about my experiences.

    Anyway, great post (again)! Thanks for sharing.
    C xx

  • Julie Anne Lindsey

    Cathleen! Thanks for the comment! I for one cannot wait to get my hands on your book. I’m hoping that being a crit groupie of yours will get me an ARC LOL! LOVE my writer friends!!!

  • I’ve recently started blogging and find that I’m quite enjoying it. Earlier, I used to think like Cathleen, that I don’t want to add my blather to the great stuff already out there. But I decided to write about stuff I like, and so far that seems to be working fine.

    Thanks for the great tips as usual!

  • Julie Anne Lindsey

    Gargi! Thanks for the comment! I just stopped by your blog and I’m smiling!! You are an IT professional and a writer? That’s quite a contradictory set of attributes. You intrigue me as a student of human behavior. Good for you! You must have both halves of your brain going crazy all the time! Best of luck on your blogfest too. Those can be truly enlightening!!

  • Erin Edwards

    I’m enjoying hearing about what you learned at the conference. Even if I’ve heard it before, sometimes it’s nice to hear it again – like it’s okay to not have a web presence yet. :)

  • Julie Anne Lindsey

    Erin! Definitely OK not to be worrying about a platform ESPECIALLY when it takes too much time or attention away from your writing. How profound, right? LOL I guess a great web following won’t get anyone published if they never finish the manuscript! LOL They were all so nice and in agreement, they’d rather see amazing writing than a successful blog.

  • Hi Julie,
    If you were at the Emerald City conference I want to kick my own patodie…physically impossible even with hot yoga but mentally doable. I was there and didn’t know to watch for you. I’d have loved to meet up. It was a crazy wonderful time of net-working though and I have to say, I met so many wonderful women, my head still reels.
    You’re so right about having a web presence… I believe in today’s publishing world ( not the la-la fictional one ) it’s only those who either write a masterpiece or work real hard at net-working who will sell whatever books they’re lucky enough to get published.

  • Hi Julie,
    Great, informative blog! I found you through Gabriela’s Women’s Fiction Blogfest. I’m here and now following you!

  • Mimi! I love seeing you here! I was actually in Columbus Ohio this weekend, at the COFW conference, but it is too bad that I missed seeing you, even if you were across the country LOL!

    Lucie! I’m so glad to meet a friend of Gabriela’s! Her blogfest was an awesome idea! I’m so glad to meet you!!!

  • Julie, thanks for stopping by my blog and the kind words! In India there’s a booming trend of IT professionals turning successful writers. I guess it’s because our job satisfies the left-brain but our right-brain then takes over during whatever spare time we have.

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