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Jane Friedman: Should You Focus On Your Writing Or Your Platform?

Screen Shot 2012 04 30 at 9 27 36 AM

Writer Unboxed has many excellent posts about the craft and business of fiction, but I especially enjoyed Jane Friedman's most recent post for writers which asks, how much time should you spend on writing versus platform building?

I posted a comment today but am going to post an edited version of it below as well:

 I still think it’s possible for a new writer to get plucked out of the slush pile without a platform; I know at least one writer who got her first book contract with a major publisher this way. BUT I also believe that these days, it’s the exception rather than the norm.

I went about things in the reverse order from most writers: I created my platform long before I had something to promote. I couldn’t help myself, though — I’ve been a fan of online communities years before the term became popular.

I agree with one of Jane’s comments above, that there is no One Right Way. What works for one writer might not work for another. I even think that if a writer who is not suited for social media (and forces herself into that venue despite hating it), her so-called platform could end up hurting her chances of publication rather than helping.

Hm, and this discussion has given me a great idea for a new comic for Writer Unboxed on Saturday. :-)

For writers who want to find out more about building a platform for themselves, I encourage you to check out the posts and comments in Robert Lee Brewer's April Platform Challenge.

Reader Comments (1)

Those are questions that have been looming large in my mind lately; I'll have to pop over and take a look. Thanks for flagging them!

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnabelle

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