Want To Succeed At Writing You Need A Platform

When I finished my book,​ "The Plain Truth about Living in​ Mexico,​" I sent queries to​ a​ number of​ publishers. On a​ lark,​ I queried McGraw-Hill. to​ my utter shock and awe,​ they wanted to​ look at​ the​ completed manuscript. the​ editor who read the​ manuscript wrote back and said that he wanted to​ take it​ to​ the​ final committee for possible publication. This meant that the​ book passed all the​ requirements except the​ final step in​ which it​ is​ determined,​ in​ a​ kind of​ crystal-ball reckoning,​ if​ it​ will be something that will make them money—the bottom line.

Unfortunately,​ it​ did not pass that final step.

The main reason was the​ financial department thought the​ subject (expatriation to​ Mexico) occupied such a​ small niche that it​ would not make them money. They told me another reason they rejected the​ manuscript was that I had no platform.

In non-fiction (and,​ to​ an​ extent fiction),​ publishers take a​ hard look at​ who you are. They want to​ know why someone would want to​ buy your book from them. if​ you've written a​ book on​ weight loss,​ the​ publisher is​ going to​ look at​ what your qualifications are a​ selling point for your book. if​ you are a​ doctor with a​ very large practice,​ the​ publisher might reason that your education is​ a​ selling point. in​ addition,​ you have this platform,​ the​ medical practice,​ from which you can promote your book. Though the​ patients may only number in​ the​ hundreds in​ that doctor's practice,​ the​ publisher might gamble that those patients would spread the​ news about the​ book to​ their friends. (Word-of mouth-promotion.)

Another example is​ the​ most beloved person (that's a​ joke) in​ the​ entire world,​ Ann Coulter. This woman has a​ following she gathered from her TV platform. All those appearances she has made on​ television earned her a​ following that will buy all her books no matter what the​ woman says. Although I am a​ conservative,​ let me say this: She pushes it​ too far most of​ the​ time. However,​ she is​ a​ best-selling author and all of​ her books make the​ top of​ the​ list. She carefully and shrewdly built her platform from which she now has this following who buy her books.

To McGraw-Hill,​ I was a​ nobody. No one had heard of​ me and I had no following.

The book,​ by the​ way,​ got published and is​ still paying my $400.00 a​ month rent payment.

Since the​ year 2005,​ I have been busy. I've been writing hundreds and hundreds of​ articles,​ mostly for free. I have worked to​ build a​ following from the​ platform of​ the​ Internet (and a​ few print venues). I have engaged in​ article marketing to​ promote my books.

I have used three directories,​ Associated Content being one,​ to​ post my articles. I have "parked" my articles online and,​ through the​ magic of​ search engines as​ well as​ online publishers wanting free content,​ I have gathered a​ following. From this platform of​ writing free articles online,​ I have had three experiences that demonstrate my point.

First: a​ travel guidebook company contacted me and asked me to​ write for a​ book they were putting out. They asked for a​ contribution for the​ book. I wrote an​ article for the​ book,​ which is​ now on​ the​ market. it​ is​ a​ paying gig and provides excellent exposure for my writing.

Second: a​ couple of​ journalists who are starting a​ print and online magazine contacted me to​ become a​ regular contributor for their new publication. They found me online,​ read my work,​ and want me. This is​ more exposure and an​ additional platform from which to​ extend my book promotion reach.

Third: I just got word that an​ advance-paying publisher is​ offering me a​ contract for my next book. What looked attractive to​ this publisher was the​ writing itself AND the​ fact that I have a​ following. Now,​ with the​ magazine startup,​ I will have additional exposure to​ a​ readership of​ about 100,​000 people. the​ magazine is​ related to​ the​ niche in​ which I write.

This is​ what publishers are looking for when you query them for possible publication of​ a​ book idea. How will you be able to​ sell this book,​ what will you do to​ promote it​ relentlessly,​ and who knows who you are? This is​ the​ business side of​ the​ so-called creative writing gig.

You have to​ find a​ way to​ gather a​ following of​ people whom you can reach to​ tell them,​ "Hey,​ I have a​ new book coming out. Will you please buy a​ copies for yourself and all your friends?"

So,​ all those articles you are not getting any upfront payments for in​ Associated Content?

Get them online anyway. Write the​ best you can. Try your hardest to​ promote them.

Associated Content is​ the​ platform from which you can put together your following. I did it!

The professionals are out there cruising the​ net looking for their next talent.

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