Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Platform" continues to be the operative word in success for writers

I stress the importance of platform when speaking with writers, especially those trying to attract the attention of an agent and publisher. A strong, polished presence on Facebook, a good blog, and lots of friends on Twitter and now also Google+ seems t be the minimum requirement for the foundation of a solid platform.

Now today, I saw an ad for freelance writer/bloggers for a health/fitness site, and their platform request went beyond the basics to this:

"... Send us 3 pithy, information-packed sentences about yourself, along with your CV (cut and paste, no attachments), 3-5 links to your best published work, and at least 2 links to your social profiles
(Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon etc.)

The hiring firm produces an organic healthy food and lifestyle magazine. By requiring you to prove the strength of your social media connections, you can see they want you to have an audience, so you can not only blog for them, but publicize it everywhere, not just in your online portfolio at Facebook and your own blog. Making money online starts with the sites attracting readers, which pays for advertising. If you can bring the readers, you're ahead of other writers who apply.

If you want the specifics on the above job listing, email me at Helen@releaseyourwriting.com.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Publishing and Rejection

Writer's Chronicle has a long interview this month with Janet Burroway that benefits all of us.

One thing in particular resonates with me now, because two of my clients received rejections from agents today.

Burroway discusses the difficulties of getting published in recent years, and has this to say:

"The agent is now less an advocate than a buffer between the publisher and the writer's unrealistic expectations...  Mergers, takeovers, and the disappearance of companies have become commonplace."

So publishers squeeze editors, who squeeze agents, and sadly they put the squeeze on the writers. High hopes are dashed, because only those with a book that will be the road to success for the agent, editor and publisher will see the light.

That's bad news but points again and again to the need for platform-building and doing good agent research.