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I can hear you all sighing from here. Behold, I’ve said it—the dreaded “P” word—PLATFORM. Wipe the sweat from your brow, and the frown from your face, this is the only thing you can do:

Be proactive about growing your platform. 

It’s true that I need authors to have a solid platform in order to sell them to publishers. Platform size does affect your ability to get a good book deal, but it’s not the only determining factor. Great writing, how unique your book idea is, your voice/style, are also extremely important. On this side of the table, I have seen authors with various size platforms get quality book deals. Yes, the big platform writers get larger advances, but I’ve sold a few people with little to no platform to their name. Now, when I’ve sold someone with a “small” platform in the past, it was because their story was not small. Sometimes, BIG story can get away with SMALL platform. Big stories are often related to how “unique” your story is. I mentioned Anna a few days ago. How many people have 50 brothers and sisters and ran away from a polygamist cult at age 13? Not many. This is what I call big story.

As an agent, of course it’s nice to find the writer who has it all: large platform, amazing story, and superior writing. But, these combinations can be rare. If you don’t have a huge platform, then I need you to be teachable and strategic with the platform you have. I can teach people how to grow their platforms. When I find authors who are constantly tweaking and trying new things to build their readership, that is a sign of someone who will have a long career. Because honestly, being proactive, is all you can do. You can’t make yourself go viral or we all would. You can simply keep writing content and keep moving forward. So, quit beating yourself up over the “P” word, learn your craft, be proactive, and eventually an agent will notice your hard work.

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This series is part of the #Write31Days challenge. To read all the posts in this series click here.

 

Posted in Writing | Comments Off on Be Proactive About Growing Your Platform (Day 14)

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