Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rejection: Barbara Kingsolver's perspective

Thanks to Alexandra Caselle for posting this quote on her blog:  Alexandra is a native Floridian author and poet.  Her blog, Rhet Effects (,

Barbara Kingsolver quote on rejection:
 “This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘To the editor who can appreciate my work,’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘Not at this address.’ Just keep looking for the right address.”

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Author marketing... a continuous improvement project

Publishers Weekly has an important article on successful self-publishing:
Self-Publish Like a Pro: Finding an Audience, posted July 10, 2014.

In it, Alexandra Fletcher discusses the need to build a base of readers before your book comes out.
Regardless of your road to publishing, her statements ring true, and are a wake-up call to authors who think their book will sell without visibility and following.

"Nothing diminishes an author’s self-publishing dream quite like watching sales stagnate after a title’s release. An author aggressively promotes the book on social media platforms. Her friends, co-workers, and family members buy copies and write reviews to show support. But within days or weeks of the book launch, the author is hit with the sobering realization that sales have dropped off because no one outside of her immediate social circle is looking for it."

Wherever you are in your book promotion plans, take a look at the article and see if you can adapt a few of Fletcher's suggestions.  Here is the link: Publishers Weekly

Friday, July 11, 2014

Platform: An excellent explanation from Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman has an excellent piece about platform on her site. What it is and what it isn't. As she states:

Platform is
  • Visibility. Who knows you? Who is aware of your work? Where does your work regularly appear? How many people see it? How does it spread? Where does it spread? What communities are you a part of? Who do you influence? Where do you make waves?
  • Authority. What’s your credibility? What are your credentials? (This is particularly important for nonfiction writers; it is less important for fiction writers, though it can play a role. Just take a look at any graduate of the Iowa MFA program.)
  • Proven reach. It’s not enough to SAY you have visibility. You have to show where you make an impact and give proof of engagement. This could be quantitative evidence (e.g., size of your e-mail newsletter list, website traffic, blog comments) or qualitative evidence (high-profile reviews, testimonials from A-listers in your genre).
  • Target audience. You should be visible to the most receptive or appropriate audience for the work you’re trying to sell. For instance: If you have visibility, authority, and proven reach to orthodontists, that probably won’t be helpful if you’re marketing vampire fiction (unless perhaps you’re writing about a vampire orthodontist who repairs crooked vampire fangs?).
And, as for what Platform is not, here's her list. Note the first two, which I think clears up many author misperceptions.
  • It is not about self-promotion.
  • It is not about hard selling.
  • It is not about annoying people.
  • It is not about being an extrovert.
  • It is not about being active on social media.
  • It is not about blogging.
  • It is not about your qualifications, authority, or experience, although these are tools for growing or nurturing a platform.
  • It is not something you create overnight.
  • It is not something you can buy.
  • It is not a one-time event.
  • It is not more important than your story or message (but hopefully it grows out of that).
Read Jane Friedman's full piece here