Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Query Question: importance of platform for novelists

 I was at a writers' group meeting last night. A number of published writers insisted that even if an agent loves a writer's debut novel and sends it to an editor who also loves it, it will still get shot down in acquisitions by the publisher if the writer doesn't have a sufficient online platform. Is this true? To what extent does a writers' online platform matter to a publisher when deciding whether to acquire a debut novel?

These published writers work for publishing companies do they?
That's how they know what goes on in acquisition meetings?

I thought not.

Writers, published or not, know only what they're told about their own work, or hear from other writers.

Often this information applies to their situation alone; you can't extrapolate from it. 

This is one of those cases.

You do not need any platform at all for a novel, particularly for a debut novel.

One thing we know for sure now: Facebook friends, Twitter followers etc does NOT equate to book buyers.

Social media is now established enough that we have data to support, or disprove,  theories, about whether online presence sells books.

We know it doesn't.

What we know is that online presence is a great way to connect to readers you already have, or that come to you from book sales.

We still know the best way to get someone to read a book is have it recommended to them. Word of mouth is still the number one way people choose books.


Your job as a writer is to write a book that people will want to talk about.

And maybe to find a different writing group.


AJ Blythe said...

I still hear published authors telling unpublished to get a web page, facebook, twitter etc accounts, that they need a socail presence. My response is they would be better off writing the book than wasting time on those things. Once you have a contract you can worry about social media - until that happens it isn't necessary.

Good to know the QOTKU feels the same =)

AJ Blythe said...

Social, not whatever I typed *sigh*.

Laura Mary said...

This makes me feel better about my woefully neglected blog. I just don't have the time to be writing about writing when I'm scrapping to find time to write! I intend to go back to it when I can - probably when I start querying - but for the time being it will have to lie dormant!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

It's all about the book, the rest comes later. Or so I've been told.

Jamie Kress said...

In my experience the best use of social media is connecting with other writers, not to find readers. It's great as way to check in and share experiences (and help keep the crazy at bay), but not essential to the process itself or, from what I've seen, selling more.

french sojourn said...

I was surprised "To kill a mockingbird" was ever published, her website was archaic and consisted of faulty tubes and wires.

Stephen G Parks said...

I’m not the OP, but I understand the confusion.

When I started reading this site, I somehow got the impression that I needed a social media platform before an agent would consider my novel. This was about a year ago. I think you must have been discussing the importance of a platform for non-fiction writers and somehow the “non-” part slipped past me.

It wasn’t until much later that I saw a checklist/chart that Janet had made that clearly stated that a novelist doesn’t need a platform prior to submitting. I can’t find a link to that post/chart now.

Janet Reid said...

The checklist for What you need before you query

Stephen G Parks said...

That'd be the one! Thank you, Janet!

Cindy C said...

Like Laura Mary, I started neglecting my blog a while back. I put a lot of time and energy in the blog back when I didn't have a full-time job. Now any spare writing time and energy I have go into the novel. The plan is to get back to the blog once the book is ready for querying.(Which is getting closer!)

Ly Kesse said...

What Laura May said, except I don't have a blog.

All my spare time (because I work) is spent trying to figure out my novel(s). To write better.

Ly Kesse said...

Eh, 'how to write better' not the other thing.

Marc P said...

My favourite Posting so far. Common sense prevailing! :)
Am still working on a website... but on hold till I finish a book. :)

Donnaeve said...

Back in the day when I was a more twitchy sort of woodland creature, I enthusiastically created a blog and a twitter account b/c that's what I'd read was required. I wrote and wrote and wrote what I thought were all kinds of informative posts. (NOT)

As QOTKU points out, the data is in, and word of mouth is still king. Although...word of mouth can be via social media. Like Colin doing his book reviews, or QOTKU talking about a book here (notice the sub-header? Great sentence there, and I love that title) Or books that get mentioned in the comments like yesterday.

Anyway, there's nothing better than to hear someone talk up a book. It will be the FIRST thing I do when I can get myself to a bookstore, online source, or library - look it up and flip through the pages to see if I too, want to read it.

Donnaeve said...

Hank *snort* laugh. Good one.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I remember Janet making this point when I first stumbled across her at Writer's Digest Conference. My blog/website is just the optimist in me. I have a lot of fun with it and hope it will be interesting in retrospect as I fumble through the world of publishing. Maybe it will be of use to other aspiring authors. Then when I finally catch an agent (fishing nets don't work) and get published, my gobs of readers will have a place they can find me. At least that's the dream.

Tony Clavelli said...

I also panicked (before I found this blog) about my lack of a platform. But there are still good benefits to putting yourself out there digitally. I've met some writing acquaintances through Twitter contests, and shared writing occasionally (not yet to that trusted-reader phase, but relationships take time). Plus writers I'm a fan of post stuff I like and interact much in the way Janet described that established authors would. These connections won't help me sell books, but they can sometimes help me write them. And writing books is the best way to sell books. Well, second best way.

Dena Pawling said...

It's raining it's raining it's raining it's raining!!!!!!!!!



Was there a question today?

Oh yes, I see it.

The published authors in my local RWA group all say we need a website and Facebook. Since the website is where we put links to our books, our signing schedule, etc, I figure that can wait until I actually have a published book. I hate Facebook so I may never do that one, but at least I know that NOW is not the time to worry about it.

I decided to follow the advice of one of the published RWA authors whose day job is running her own marketing firm. She said start with one thing, then move on if/when you want to.

I started with twitter for several reasons, including connecting with other writers and learning about the industry by following agents, publishers, PW, WD, etc. I also retweet legal and military related tweets, “starting my platform.”

After twitter, I started a blog because it's fun, and I do notice it helping with my writing skill. I post legal-related stuff once per week, and assorted other things including book reviews every once in a while.

This is enough for me for now, so I'm not planning to expand, at least not until I have a book published.

If I was writing non-fiction, I believe my online presence/platform would be much more important. But I'm not. And QOTKU just validated my thought process. Always nice to learn I actually made a smart choice, for once.

Did I mention it's raining? =)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Dena, doing the happy rain dance.

As a Reider I’d like to say something about maintaining a blog.

When I’m poking around here every morning, words of wisdom and insight pop up all the time. Often I’m struck by the wonder of concise writing. Sometimes a turn of phrase bowls me over and I have to check out the writer because I want to read more. I want to learn about the writer who was so clever, so matter of fact or so flipping funny. So I click on the little blue line and bam, no blog, or there’s a gray and white female/male outline and the phase, blogger since 2010 or the most post from 2012. My first impression? This is not a serious writer.

Maintaining a blog does NOT take a lot of time. Setting one up can, if you are as technically challenged as I am, but once you are up and running, posting even once a month takes minutes and I mean minutes. And it tells me who you are. I wanna’ know because you impressed me or you helped me.

Taking time away from writing, to maintain a blog as an excuse to not have one, is IMHO lame, because time, the currency of writers, is like pocket change, there when you need it. In the bottom of your purse, under the couch cushions, between the seats in the car or rattling in the washer, just look. Time wraps around everything. Thin as tissue or thick as card-stock it’s there, paper to write on.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Insert "recent" between most and post.
Funny how you can read something so many times and not catch the flub until it goes live on Reid TV.

Unknown said...

I add books to my Goodreads TBR list because people tweet about them, and I often buy those books or check them out of the library. Then again, the only people I follow are writers, agents, booksellers and other book people (with a few exceptions). I think it can't hurt to be part of the very supportive twitter writing community, though I agree with Janet that it probably isn't essential. But it sure is fun, though it can be addictive. I have the Internet open all the time for Thesaurus.com and it's way too easy to click over to Twitter.

Anonymous said...

I find that having a blog actually helps my writing. It makes me think about and use different structures, and it also helps just with keeping me writing. It's also a great way to meet new people, and interact with the people you've already met. It's almost like writing exercises, except in my case I only do it once or twice a week. It honestly doesn't take that long to write a blog post, and it's almost guaranteed to be beneficial to your writing.

Laura Mary said...

Carolynn - I wonder which is most off-putting, no blog or one that has been dead for a year?
My idea to get back to blogging whilst on query time is all well and good when your six months in, but on the off chance that Agent number one checks you out on day one - yeah, not gonna look too impressive.

I agree that posting intermittently can only take minutes, but anything that only takes me minutes to write, isn't worth posting (even these comments take more time than you'd think!). And if I can't say something meaningful, I'd rather not clutter the internet.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

To WR/ 2Ns - I agree. Having a blog is great for your writing and while not required as Janet says, it does help you network professionally. It really can't hurt you, but there is no pressure if you are just not ready. Again, such great feedback.

Unknown said...

Building an online presence is great. But if the sole purpose of doing so is to look better in order to sell a book, and you never sell a book, it sort of defeats the purpose. Kind of like leasing a prime location building and then trying to get an investor for your business plan.

I tend to take action in chronological order whenever possible. :)

Adib Khorram said...

At Midwest Writers Workshop, one of the "Buttonhole the Expert" segments was led by Brooks Sherman, who talked about social media. He mentioned that Becky Albertalli (whose debut was just long-listed for the National Book Award—YEA!) had essentially zero social media presence beforehand, and that he worked with her to build her presence and brand.

Is the term buttonhole offensive to the Buttonweezer clan?

DLM said...

Hank FTW today. :)

I like to blog and feel it adds a layer to my (unseen as yet) writing, but I'm not religious about it. I do know sharing it on Twitter and having at least a thought or two every few months on its content make a difference. There are published authors I know whose blogs are far less active and, as far as I can tell, even less read. This doesn't mean I'm doing it right, and it certainly doesn't mean they're doing anything wrong (they're the PUBLISHED ones ...). It's just a tool and an outlet and a way to communicate. I expect to use tools, outlets, and communications far more strategically once I have something to say about my work when it's on the market. For now - it's all just practice.

Adib, good question!!

John Frain said...

I just looked in the mirror to see what I am SOOOO relieved looks like. (Only in relative terms), it looks pretty good.

Thank you for this answer, Sharky.

Back to the ms. Oh wait, clients. Always getting in the way.

Anonymous said...

In my query for Far Rider I have:

I was a lead writer for (name redacted), a weekly horse racing magazine, for twenty-three years where I wrote race and human interest stories. I now write for (name redacted), an indie game developer.

We've had some discussion on Books and Writers as to whether it helps or hurts. It shows I write well enough to get a check every two weeks from a magazine and I know what a deadline is. The game company gives me access to a lot of fantasy readers.

The downside is, the magazine has zero to do with fantasy and it indicates I may be older than dirt, and I am.

Most felt this was fine.

An author and former agent I took a class from on writing wanted me to add in my ranching background and that I raised Quarter Horses for years. Her theory being it would show the horse details in my horse culture would be authentic and it would make me stand out from the crowd a bit.

Others felt none of it belonged in there. It has nothing to do with fantasy and just makes the query longer.

Then the discussion turned to blogging, twitter, facebook etc as a more effective "platform".

This blog, sadly, is the only one I visit regularly. I don't even visit mine often. I used to be a twitter diva until I realized I was spending hours a day being wonderful and interesting. I seldom visit Facebook these days and I have it set to private.

I do need to blog more regularly as I know prospective agents look at these things.

I think the shark has the right of it as usual. Just right a danged good book and stop worrying about platform.

DLM said...

Julie, evidence suggests you spend hours a day being wonderful and interesting regardless of Twitter.

However, your point was that Twitter is a time suck - which it is. So I'll shut up now.

As to your background and all the social media options? Put that detail in your bio and on your blog's About Me, make the themes overtly present, and link in your signature block. You'll get clicks, and it'll all be THERE. No query real estate required. (If *I* got clicks when I was querying, and I know I did - you absolutely will, a thousandfold.)

Colin Smith said...

Clearly I need to be quiet more often (*hearty amens from the rest of the Shark Tank*). I read the comments a few hours ago and was already forming my response to Opie. And then you all stole my wind! Particularly 2Ns's first comment.

Blogging is writing. It's not fiction writing, but it's still about word choice, and creativity, and structure, and all those other things writers care about. No, having a blog is not necessary to snagging an agent. But Janet herself has talked about visiting the blogs of potential clients to get an idea of what they like to do with their non-writerly life, and maybe find insight into what the person would be like as a client. Also, perhaps, to see if the writer writes well in other contexts. If the blog reads as beautifully as the query and pages, I can't believe an agent wouldn't be impressed with that. So, no, a blog isn't necessary. But surely it can help?

RachelErin said...

My view is colored by the fact that my day job is blogging for companies. I don't think anyone should start a profession-boosting blog who doesn't have Something and a Someone. Effective blogs focus on Something, Someone, and show expertise.

Janet's blog is a perfect example. Something: traditional publishing. Someone: woodland creatures and curious readers. Expertise and personality: shark-a-rific.

If a blog doesn't have those, it's not a "bad blog", but it's arguably a personal project.

As for claiming it doesn't have to take much time... it depends on your Something. My blog from designing knitwear involved photoshoots, photo editing, and technical writing - maybe four to six hours per post, excluding knitting. Plus it was weather dependent. A blog about living in Italy with a family would have been thirty minutes a post, but I dislike blogging about my personal life. Also, a blog about Italy was not going to boost my reputation as a designer - audience mismatch.

Audience mismatch plagues author blogs: it's hard to find a topic that will attract the same audience as your fiction. You either write about writing (which usually attracts other writers), write about books, publish short fiction, or your unique and fascinating life (although those who find you fascinating still might not like your fiction).

Of course, blogs don't have to be about attracting readers, and I don't want to suggest that the only valid reason to blog is to get an audience. But just having a blog does not improve your image, in fact people get frustrated when a blog disappoints them.

Unknown said...

This post is a major relief, thank you! However, I'm still confused, and I wonder if the rest of the agenting world agrees with you on this. (I realize you're the QOTKU, but still.) I've seen other advice online that says that writers need either a blog, Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media presence at the querying stage, and that we must update it regularly, or agents won't be interested.

For instance, there's this post from another well-known agent with a popular blog: http://carlywatters.com/2014/10/20/yes-agents-google-writers/.

Maybe she's just talking about non-fiction writers and didn't make that clear? After I read that last fall, I wondered if some of my query rejections were because I didn't update my blog regularly enough. (I post at least twice a week now!)

Obviously, I'm a writer so I'm particularly gifted at driving myself batty worrying about itty bitty nonsense that might get my book rejected. Thanks for indulging me.

Craig F said...

Seems like just a week or so that we covered this topic. At the time our Queen said that it is much more important for a non-fiction writer to have a blog than for a fiction writer to have one.

One day I might make one but not until I have a contract as a writer. There are other facets of me than writing and it would be easy for me to turn off more readers than to attract them. A very small percentage of the population care about the intricacies of what make a paddle craft fast or stable.

As to a blog making you a better writer, hogsnot. Writing makes you a better writer. A blog might help your confidence because it is, in a way, published.Often though it is, as Colin said, not the type of writing that helps with manuscript copy.

DLM said...

I think Carly's blog actually echoes Janet's "BE REACHABLE" rule to some extent. However, I find her optimal times rules extremely problematic, in that I have a 9-5 and her exhortation is that one must stay *within* exactly those hours to be effective. Sorry, I want to *keep* my job (and yes, even posting here is more than I ought to do - at 12:05 p.m. on a week day), because even if I get published I'm not expecting to live on that alone.

racherin, excellent points; I try to keep a someone/something in mind on my blog. It ranges a bit, but that is partially because I see so many blogs that focus SO rigorously on one thing they (a) rarely update and (b) often become almost monomaniacal in their focus. As an unpublished woodland creature, I do feel I *should* write about writing from time to time, but - as an unpublished woodland creature - I'm also pretty well aware how meaningless unpublished woodland musings on writing become in a trice. So I network. A lot. I point to a lot of other blogs, along certain themes that seem relevant to me, and I try to remember to actually generate my own word barfs as well. And put up occasional pics of Gossamer the Editor Cat, because: OSUM.

Anonymous said...

Way back in the pleistocene, I signed up for a Blogger ID to make it easier to comment on blogs, and ended up with a blog of my own as a result. I didn't want one and had no intention of using it, but all the blank space was just sitting there, waiting for words . . . so I started writing posts. And discovered I really enjoy it. Here it is, nine years later, and I'm still posting somewhat regularly (monthly, usually). Although it does feel like I've said everything there is to say at this point and I'm focusing far more time on book-length fiction.

I think it has helped hone my voice and my writing skills in general. It's a good place to play around with different bits of flash fiction and say things that don't seem to fit anywhere else. And I've made some very good friends in the comments, on my blog and others.

For all those reasons (but not as a platform requirement), I'd recommend giving it a try, if you haven't. I think it's important to try things. But if you don't like it or it becomes a chore you dread, for godsakes don't do it.

Twitter used to be a lot more fun and I've made good writer friends there, so there's non-platform value to that as well, although it can easily become a time suck. Plus it's a terrific source for news. We just won't even talk about facebook.

S.D.King said...

It is so easy to spend all my time on the periphery of writing instead of the writing. Blogging and building platform at least feel like "traction".

Here is a story of a writer who can write. And I WANT to read those 100 pages!!


BJ Muntain said...

I had an argument with someone in my critique group about social media.

In October, I'm going to do an experiment on Twitter. One of my critique partners insisted I make a goal for the experiment - a number of new followers or retweets or something.

I told him you can't quantify social media. I've been working in social media for seven years now. That's the one thing that you really find out is that you cannot quantify it. Oh sure, numbers of followers and Klout scores all look good, but they're really only numbers to give the guys upstairs something to crunch on.

The numbers themselves don't mean anything. Social media is about about giving your followers something of value they can't get elsewhere or as easily - information, entertainment, help - and creating loyalty and trust. It's about interacting, about developing relationships with people, about connection.

You can't quantify 'connection'.

No, you don't have to have a platform. There are a few agents and smaller publishers who say that they do look at such things, even for fiction. They even want numbers in the query letter. But there aren't many who care about it.

I do think there's actually an advantage to finding a publisher before growing a platform - the publisher will most likely have people who can guide you into the best ways to develop your audience. When using social media, you need to understand social media to use it efficiently. A publisher can help you with that.

Selling on social media is like taking your book to your weekly coffee-group-at-the-mall and asking them to please buy it. Sure, they'll be okay with you asking them once, or maybe even every few visits... but if you're constantly hawking your book to your coffee mates, you're going to find them moving to another table, leaving you alone.

Unless you're Sam Sykes. Here's a Twitter search of his 'buy my book' jokes. (the 'buy my book' is only bolded because that was my search term. It isn't normally bolded in a tweet)

Social media is a tool. It isn't an end-all and be-all. It isn't a platform. Like a good hammer, it can help you build a platform, but social media itself is not a platform.

Dena: Yay for rain!

You obviously have a great understanding of social media/networking. You're doing a great job. As for Facebook - there is no sense in working with social media you're not comfortable with. And it can be hard to keep up with all the crap Facebook throws into the faces of those who are trying to build an audience. If you want to know more about that, e-mail me.

I agree with Colin: Any writing is good writing practice. I think the most important thing you learn from writing a lot of different things is rhythm. Rhythm is a big part of style, and it makes your work more readable.

You're also practicing important skills that writers need - grammar, style, punctuation, understandability.

There's a saying (usually attributed to Stephen King) that you have to write a million words of crap before you can write one good word. That 'million words' doesn't have to be fiction.

Is it necessary? No. But it is an illuminating experience.

Diane: There is no reason to write about writing. The only two audiences for that are a) readers (which you don't have before you're published) and b) other writers. Write about things that interest you. You'll find a lot of others are interested, too.

Anonymous said...


I don't think prospective agents expect an author to have professional blogs. Once again, it's a place to showcase writing, is the person interesting, and most important of all, do they spend their time ranting about agents, publishers, other authors, rejections, politics, and otherwise being an ass.

One of my favorite blog posts by an author was about Phallic mushrooms she found growing in her backyard. She looked out her back door to see the telephone service guys staring at something by the fence and pointing. She went outside and lo and behold, it looked like she was growing a crop of spare male parts. Well, how could I resist that? I had to add that in my story. It had nothing to do with writing or being a great author, but it was a hilarious post.

Kari Lynn Dell does blogging right. Some of it's about writing, but most of it is just Kari life.

Don Maass doesn't care for blogging. He thinks writers scratch the itch of writing with their blogs and don't get down to the business of writing their books.

I'm actually going to start blogging once a week. I have no idea about what. It will probably be a Chad Prather affair since nothing interesting is going on in my life.


As a matter of fact, that's a good thing to do now. Thanks for the reminder.

DLM said...

BJ, that's basically it. When I do write about writing, it's usually an exploration of whatever it is that's inspiring me and why. A certain post about how RuPaul informs the rarefied world of my WIP (6th century Ravenna and a couple forays outward) was particularly interesting for me to write, because it helped me quantify the world I'm (re?)building, and a recent post about sex and cultural expectations was the same. Otherwise, I try NOT to obsess on my own navel too much. Blogs full of navel lint are not widely read, I believe.

Colin, there is a point, though, where blogging *is* fiction ... or nearly, anyway. Not many people are plain-and-simple honest on a blog; it might not look good, or it might not be interesting! I certainly curate the things I say, and no matter how truthful - they are formed and shaped and presented in a certain way.

I *just* received a series of photos of newborn twin relatives, and the images go from the babies lying next to one another in parallel and over the course of a few pictures, they're embracing each other. Their grandma tells it that they were together for the first time since being born, and that is not untrue ... but who can know the minds of infants? Maybe twin one just looked warm, or interesting to lick, to twin two ...

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Julie W., OMG I had prickrooms too.
We bought a truckload of cheap mulch three years ago. The stuff looked great, it kept the weeds down, but toward the end of summer, when things got really hot, up came dozens of prickrooms. The mulch must have been filled with their spores or something.
Full frontal by the door for all the world to see, prickrooms of every size. They were odiferous as well. I kept knocking them down and they kept coming back up. It was embarrassing.

Ardenwolfe said...

And there it is. Keep in mind word-of-mouth works the opposite way too. If your product is absolute trash, no platform, however spectacular, is going to save you.

Ask the people who made this year's Fantastic Four movie.

Eric Steinberg said...

Thank you'

Janice Grinyer said...

I like blogging.

IT might sporadic, it might on a strange subject, but-

I just like to write.


Janice Grinyer said...

I wanted to correct the above to "IT might BE sporadic, it might BE on a strange subject"

Oops, made a mistake...but for some "Sporadic" reason I had mushrooms on my mind...

Colin Smith said...

Diane: Your blog is your blog, so it'll never be "just the facts"--it'll always be the facts as you see them, colored by your worldview, and that's okay.

Blogs can help develop voice. If you just spout information, your blog will be dull and boring, like a textbook. To make it readable and followable, it needs to reflect your character and have personality. Which is why you try to present information in a way/style that is entertaining and engaging. My blog started out more informational, I think. I'm working on making it more engaging. Still working on it. :)

Linky links!

S.D.'s: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/68009-a-magical-start-for-the-wonderling.html

Julie's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Iqm4Li-PN4

Anonymous said...


Yep, they smell like dead meat, which is what attracts the flies to spread the spores apparently. Obviously, when you have a disturbed mind, there are all kinds of things you can do with those interesting little plants in a story. And I did.

Wow, a writer friend of mine just posted a review on her blog. This is how you blog and how you review. Now I have to move this book into the buy column. I was already going to buy it, but had put it off.

Donna Rubino's review of KISS OF THE JEWEL BIRD by Dale Cramer.

b-Nye said...

Ok, there's a way to crazy at bay? Well, that's good news about three years too late.
But good to know.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Colin. I can't master the youtubes. I have given up. I'm on to other tech challenges like mastering my calendar in my phone.


BJ Muntain said...

Diane: It sounds like you blog more often about things that will interest non-writers. And that's what's important in a blog.

Now, if you're published with a wide-ranging fan club, then your readers will probably be just as happy reading about an author's writing journey. But until then, blogs about writing are really most interesting to writers.

My first blog was about markets for genre writers. It was once a newsletter, over a decade ago, and had morphed into a blog once I decided to get back to it. As is obvious, it was aimed at writers. This blog was last updated nearly a year ago.

My second blog was more about style and grammar. It was useful to more people than just writers, but the audience was still limited. I liked it, though, because I'd started writing as a job, and had learned a lot about style guides and how grammarly things work. This is the most out-of-date - my last post here was 3 years ago.

My third blog is the one I'm more excited about (and it's much more up-to-date, too, although I'm a few months behind). It's about new and cool things in the world of science. It gets my imagination going, and I hope it helps others' that way. It's my way of exploring the outreaches of science, of getting beyond the science that we're taught in school, to see that the scientists of today are stretching the boundaries we were once taught.

My third blog obviously has a much larger possible audience. It's also my most up-to-date blog, because I'm reading a lot more science these days. It's still a few months behind, but I post when I find a topic interesting enough. Maybe my next topic will be that new human ancestor/cousin, because that is really cool and takes us beyond the current accepted theories of the development of mankind.

All my blogs are currently on my website. Someday I may combine them all into one blog. For now, though, they're still separate pages.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I've never bought a book because of a Tweet. Read one? Sure. I work at the library.

When I had a story collection on contract with a, er, "boutique" publisher, I was given to understand that I was expected to have some manner of online platform. I didn't feel the dog blog sufficed and thus created my "writing" blog and accompanying Twitter. I don't regret the blog and the Twitter, anyway. And those stories were not published as such.

(and oh, editing them in more recent days, thank God they weren't! Not in that state! I've since reworked the embarrassing ones into pieces I'm proud of. But time marches on. Maybe in a year, if they're still unpublished, I'll be embarrassed all over again)

Donnaeve said...

For starters, I've been WRITING an outline today. After I dropped dead from knowing that's what this PANTSTER was doing, I came back here to visit and have yet to recover from 2N's word PRICKROOMS.

allierat said...

OMG. Prickrooms. Just think of what could happen if this were one of the prompt words in the QOTKU's FF contests.

I find puffballs in my yard. And morels, some years.

On the topic: I have no blog, no website, no Twitter or Facebook accounts. Oh well; I lose no sleep over that. My writing time is for my novel(s). And an occasional FF entry. :-)

Lance said...

It is much easier to scoot around the ragged edge of writing instead of opening that manuscript and adding words in an enticing order. Checking e-mail, checking your blog, reading other peoples' blogs, and reading in your genre eat up an enormous amount of time. I have been doing these things first and writing as time allows. I'm going to try to change that to write first, and if time allows, attend to all this other stuff. While I'm querying on this one, I'm writing on the next one -- as time allows. Write the damn story!

Unknown said...

Question: I currently have 4 agents reading my full manuscript. I am active on all facets of social media. How many agents SHOULD I have reading my work? And when should I start guest blogging for promotion?

Donnaeve said...

allierat - no kidding. What other words might go with it? Sentient...comes to mind.

Colin Smith said...

allierat: Don't give QOTKU ideas. Remember "dongle"... :)

Ian: I would think "as many as possible"! Can you have too many agents reading your work? I've had problems getting ONE to read my stuff when I was querying. Four? Wow--well done!! :)

Unknown said...


If having a following doesn't translate to sales, what's the point of me amassing an online following? If that's the case, then my efforts with attracting, keeping, and maintaining an online following seem pointless (if I didn't love doing it anyways).

Unknown said...

| And maybe to find a different writing group.

Drop the mic.