How Blogging Got Me Out of the Slush Pile
By Nina Amir
For years—as in a lot of years—I tried to land a traditional book publishing deal. No luck. Not that I didn’t get great feedback on my ideas, writing, book titles, and book proposals. I did. Every bit of positive feedback, however, came with that dreaded word: But.
But…you don’t have an author platform.
What’s an author platform? It’s everything and anything you do to get people to know you and like you so that when you do finally release a book (traditionally or independently) these people run out and buy it. In other words, it’s how many potential readers you’ve lined up. Or, put it this way: It’s how many fans you have.
Without an author platform, agents wouldn’t take me on and publishers wouldn’t publish my books.
You can build a platform in many ways; most don’t involve writing. I wanted to write, so I started blogging.
At first I had just one blog. Then I started another…and another…and another. Before I knew it I had five blogs.
Around the time when I had two or three blogs, I landed my first contract with a literary agent. This major event in my writing life occurred because I could prove I had at least some semblance of an author platform in the form of blog readership. That blog readership had extended out to my social networks as well, where my fan base was growing.
Representation by a literary agent meant my book proposals would move out of the dreaded slush pile on acquisitions editors’ desks at publishing houses. The slush pile is where query letters and book proposals languish when the agent or acquisitions editor has no idea who you are or why they should pay any special attention to your work. Now, when my agent sent my work to an editor, it got serious attention much more quickly. By the time I had all five blogs, I landed a contract with a traditional publisher. (I might note that by this time I’d also had contracts with two other agents.)
I’m not advocating that you have more than one blog. I am, however, advocating that if you are a serious aspiring author or a published author seeking an agent or a publisher that you become a blogger. A blog is the easiest and quickest way to build an author platform. Not only can you build a fan base around your awesome writing—your blog posts, you also can share that writing via your social networks. That means you will gain more fans and followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and even Pinterest (if you use photos in your blog posts). As your blog gains readers, all your social networks will grow, too. Before you know it, you will have a platform.
Here are six tips for growing your blog platform:
- Post 2-5 times per week when you first begin blogging.
- Keep up this pace for 6-12 months (then you can slack off).
- Keep your posts short to make blogging easy and quick (250-500 words per post).
- Share all your posts with your social networks in your status updates.
- Share the posts of other bloggers who write on similar topics.
- Follow other bloggers on social networks who blog on similar topics.
Once you have an author platform you will not hear that dreaded word—but—from agents again. That means you move out of the slush pile for good.
How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir
Here is the first-ever guide to writing and publishing a saleable nonfiction book based on blog content. Written by expert author and blogger Nina Amir, this comprehensive resource guides you through the process of developing targeted blog content that will increase your chances of publication and maximize your visibility as an author. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or have never blogged before, How to Blog a Book offers a new way to regularly produce content without the pressure of having to “work on a book.”
About the Author
Nina Amir, Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, inspires people to combine their purpose and passion so they Achieve More InspiredResults. She motivates both writers and non-writers to create publishable and published products, careers as authors and to achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose. Nina is the author of the bestselling How to Blog a Book, Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books). You can sign up for a free author, book or blog-to-book coaching session with Nina or receive her FREE 5-Day Published Author Training Series by visiting www.copywrightcommunications.com. For more information on Nina, go to www.ninaamir.com.
How to Blog a Book is the first of its kind! Don’t miss out on the first book to outline how to use blogging to develop your book project.