Pub Rants

The Concern Is Perhaps Premature

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STATUS: All my Texas blog readers, Kristin Callihan’s FIRELIGHT is going to be included in the romance round-up on Good Morning Texas tomorrow, Wed. May 2. Station WFAA-TV channel 8. It’s the ABC affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth. How cool is that. I wish I could tune in.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? DOMINO DANCING by Pet Shop Boys

When I was at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference last week, I had a writer rush up to me in a panic to ask a question. She was incredibly worried that she had not established her social media platform for her novel yet.

If her release date was in 4 weeks, then I would say she had cause to panic.

But given that she hadn’t actually finished writing her work-in-progress (let alone begin querying for her agent search), I found her concern a little premature.


I advised her that at this point in her professional career, she should focus on writing the best novel she possibly could. Plenty of time to get the social media cranking while it’s on submission. I personally don’t know any agent who would say no to an author for a project they love just because the publicity platform isn’t there yet.

I can build that with an author. I imagine most agents feel the same.

11 Responses

  1. Anonymous said:

    Oh dear, I’ve had three novels published and not set up my Social Media Platform yet. Nor panicked.

  2. T.L. Bodine said:

    Platform-building is such a wonderful distraction from writing, though! Instead of working on revising ad nauseum, you can obsess over posting on every social network you possibly can, despite having very little to talk about and no one to talk to. Then you can wallow in the misery of knowing that your book will clearly never sell because no one is reading your blog!


    ….hm. Better get back to editing, then 😉

  3. Charlotte Sannazzaro said:

    I would urge her to dip her toe into the waters, but not with the goal of building a platform to entice readers. I’ve found social media (blogging and Twitter in particular) to be an amazing source of encouragement and sharing with other writers. In this solitary road to publication, putting our journey online means we are no longer alone. Even just knowing other writers have shared my struggles helps. At best, we form meaningful friendships across the globe.

    If we do achieve our goal of publication, the strategy will then need to evolve.

  4. terri patrick said:

    The post on our marketing blog today was the same advice. I know it’s rude to pimp our site, but it’s a resource we’ve put out to help our fellow authors.

    Feel free to share – or delete this comment – as we explain the basics of creating the author persona to be prepared when there’s a book to promote.

  5. Fred said:

    I should be finishing my sci-fi WIP this fall, do you think I should buy a tux for the Hugo award ceremony, or can I just rent one when the time comes?

  6. ryan field said:

    There’s so much hype about social media these days I often wonder how much it really does work in terms of web exposure/platform. Of course there’s no way to know for certain and we all have to do it. But I often think too much social media can hurt an author more than help him/her. Slam me with too many book announcements about a new release and I’m blocking you faster than you can say “facebook event.” I think most people feel the same way.

  7. Steven J. Wangsness said:

    Blog. (Check) Facebook page. (Check) Twitter account. (Check)Goodreads page. (Check) Pinterest pagre. (Check. Why? Don’t know. I don’t get it. Anyway, check) Facebook page for “virtual blog tour.” (Check) Photos on Tumblr (or Flickr or some lol-cat site?). (Check). Checks rolling in from massive sales of ebook novel? (LOL)

  8. Kreann said:

    Thank you for that. I’ve seen several blogs now suggesting than an agent would pass us “first timers” by if we can’t show our ability to cultivate a following. Phew!

  9. Elizabeth Dunn said:

    Love Steven not getting Pinterest. I-really-really-don’t-get-it.

  10. Don Collins said:

    I can relate to your nervious writer-to-be. Perhaps she read the current issue of a well-known publication for writers, which ran a feature article under the banner “Publishing Today.” The author — herself an agent — states quite emphatically, “Over the past year, I have seen a distinct diminishment in publishers’ willingness to take a chance on new authors, especially authors of fiction.” She strongly advocates building a platform and even self-publishing to that end. So just dying of curiosity, which is it?

    I too would rather devote my energies to perfecting that novel that distributing my effort across multiple social media 😀