It’s also a way to hone your skills so you can confidently write and publish your own. Let’s take a look at how.
Securing a deal with a traditional book publisher
It’s always been notoriously hard to get a book deal with a publisher. It still is, but today you have an advantage of being able to increase your chances by developing your platform.
I define a platform as a person’s combined and integrated presence across the web – their blog along with their connections on social networks – plus any regular exposure via other mediums. For example a regular magazine column or e-newsletter.
Building your platform means building your profile and personal brand, thus increasing your chances of getting noticed.
One of the first things a publisher will ask you about is the ins and outs of your platform. How many readers of you blog do you have? How many followers on Twitter/ Facebook/Pinterest? It won’t necessarily be the kicker in you getting a deal, but it will certainly be a factor. Extra weight is given to a blog because it’s public proof of your writing ability, your ideas and your expertise (plus your audience). This is where the importance of building a platform comes in.
So the first step to getting published is to focus on your platform in the first instance.
Build your audience, deepen the level of connection with your growing community of fans, followers and supporters of your work. Think of the different aspects of your online and offline presence as the planks of your platform. The more planks you have, the more solid each of them are, the more effective your platform.
The self-publishing route
Platform counts equally if you’re self-publishing. Let’s face it, if you go to all the effort of releasing your own book, you want to make sure there is a market for your work. How many people can you reach via email and social media channels? How many will get behind you and help spread word about your new release? And of course, this will come down to the size and robustness of your platform.
Developing your own voice
And finally, another key advantage of starting your book journey as a blogger first, is that blogging will help you find your own voice. This is important. My publisher told me that with microDOMINATION I managed to do what most authors struggle with, and that’s write the book in a way that’s distinctly my voice. That was really positive (and well-received) feedback, and I put it all down to the fact I’ve been blogging for five or so years. So, definitely worth bearing in mind.
As marketing guru and intellectual mischief maker, Seth Godin, likes to say –
“Don’t wait for people to pick you, PICK YOURSELF!”
Raise your profile and build your audience. Put yourself in the best position for a publisher to consider you. If that doesn’t happen, don’t dismay – pick yourself, as Godin says. Publish your own brilliant work and take advantage of the huge potential opportunities that come with having a title listed and sold globally through the likes of Amazon.