Written by Wendy Keller
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It’s safe to say that your mom thinks you’re really something special. If you’re lucky, so does your partner and maybe, if they’re under 12, so do your kids. But when it comes to selling your book to a publisher – or to the world – your immediate circle of friends and family doesn’t count much. Even if they all have told you that you should write a book, they could be wrong.
In publishing, two things matter: your platform (that is, how many complete strangers think you’re cool, smart, knowledgeable or otherwise worth listening to) and your content. In that order.
A great idea + no platform = no sold books.
A great platform + a decent idea = contract with a publisher.
If you’re having trouble GETTING that contract with a publisher, don’t waste your time pursuing another handful of agents. Don’t rush out to self-publish, because if no one wants your book now, no one is going to want it just because you’ve self-published. (There are few mercy sales in the world!)
Stop for a minute. Be logical. Realize that growing your fan base, your platform, the group of people who want to know what you know so that their own lives can be better, MUST be done. Before you publish or even self-publish.
Here’s a free tip: start a Public Figure page on Facebook. Really. Even if the term “public figure” seems grandiose. Wanna know what a good one should look like? Type in the names of a few of your favorite authors. Do that. Copy them. You gotta start somewhere, why not here? It’s free. You can learn if the world REALLY want what you have to say by saying it in sound bytes to the world via Facebook.
While your mom may be right that you’re not only smart but also cute as a bug’s ear, you’ll sell more books and impress more publishing professionals if you show up with thousands of Facebook fans in tow.
Want more great advice?
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