Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Someone get me a hammer!

Platform is getting to be a dirty word in my house. My husband, because he doesn't pore over the (seeming) millions of agent and writer blogs and sites that I do every day, just does not get the concept of platform. He can't understand the shameless self-promotion that a writer must engage in to be successful. Everytime I mention the word, he shrugs and gives me the 'whatever' look.

I must admit, I've been sweating this. I'm so busy revising my WIP for the three (yes three - squeee!) agents that want to see it that I just haven't had time to blog. I don't Twitter and I use Facebook only for keeping in touch with friends and family. I've moved twelve times in twenty years which means that I have a very large, geographically diverse network of friends and colleagues, but I've not developed it as a tool for promotion. And truthfully, I don't like the idea of doing something just because I should, particulary if it doesn't feel natural.

So it was with great relief that I read Nathan Bransford's blog on the subject (I also saw it on Shelli's fantastic blog).

A few days ago, I was contacted by the fiction editor at the magazine that has published a few of my short stories. She wanted to know if I was interested in writing a three-part serial for them (about 12,000 words), or maybe just submitting a few more short stories. As this is a well-known woman's magazine in the UK with a high circulation (350,000), it would be great exposure. And I started to think, maybe I should just focus on writing to build my platform, at least for now.


  1. Hey, returning your visit - really glad I have, too. Wow, three agents is wonderful. I spent four years writing my first novel and only managed to get one agent interested, still not managet to get anyone to swallow the whole thing. I had to laugh when you mentioned your husband's response to your "platform" talk - my husband's not overly impressed with the whole writer thing either. I started trying to build my writer cv towards the end of last year and I'm putting some effort into it this year, even though I know it's eating up my writing time, because I just realised no one is going to take me seriously as a novelist if I have nothing to show for myself.

    Best of luck with the agents, I'm thrilled for you.

  2. Thanks for coming by, Rachel. I long for the days when an author could write a great book and then sit back and be a recluse, writing away in a little cottage somewhere while shunning the press and ignoring the reviewers. (OK, not really, but it would be a bit easier if we only had to focus on how good the writing is.)

  3. Good points here. I read Nathan's blog post, too, with relief. Just blogging and following blogs is enough for me, right now. It's part of the social networking opportunities I enjoy. I'm not ready, yet, for Twitter or book focused Facebook.

    Congrats, on the agent requests!

  4. There's nothing better than writing to build your platform! Nothing!!

    Congrats on being asked to do that! Go for it. :)

  5. Thanks for coming by!

    Elle, I'm with you. To tell the truth, book-focused Facebooking feels like a bit of an intrusion on my personal life (lots of pictures of family on FB, lots of comments flying around that aren't exactly professional).

    Elana, what a concept, eh? Writing to build a platform! Now if only I could come up with a suitable idea for the serial...