OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
I rant about building an author platform, self-publishing and ebooks and I am “just” a self-published author who loves being online. I am new to this industry so hearing the following from Mike is so encouraging and backs up what I talk about on this blog. It will also keep me blogging as well as writing!
The key points for me are:
- The gatekeepers of the publishing industry are still there, but the gate isn't attached to a wall and you can just go around them (paraphrased). Anyone with a computer can publish online through Smashwords, Scribd and other sites as well as get a printed book on Amazon with print-on-demand
- Self-publishing may be a good way into traditional publishing. “It is increasingly the case that the self-publishing of various kinds is the best way to get on the publishers’ radar screens and it has the additional benefit of beginning to build an audience and a response loop that are essential components of any successful writer’s platform“. If you can't get an agent or a publisher, self-publish anyway and get on with promotion and writing the next one. You are more likely to get picked up this way.
- Start a blog, or build the one you've got. “Agents and editors finding authors through blogs and self-published books“
- Understand your author brand and your niche. “Understand your vertical world on the web, and participate in it.“
- Use social networking. “Build your connections on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn” and get an agent who understands online promotion.
This is fantastically encouraging for me, and hopefully for you too. Sometimes blogging and social networking can feel like a long slog as well as investing time in writing and improving the craft. This article renews my faith that these efforts will pay off in the long run. Remember that your internet presence builds over time but that eventually your online author platform can be significant.