Most writers, myself included, would prefer just to write. We don’t want to pitch, sell, or market our book or ourselves. Some may not even want to blog, develop a social media following, or build a platform. Yet, the reality is writers need a platform, a vantage from which to gain a following and move books.
Sadly, in most cases, the platform is more important than writing. Really.
A person with a great platform and a not so great book is in a better position than a person with an excellent book and a small platform. Really.
If a writer’s best work still needs more work before publication, help is available. Editors, collaborators, and even ghostwriters can come in and rescue a needy manuscript. If that author has the means to promote and move books, a publisher will go to the trouble and expense to shore up their weak writing.
However, a well-written book by an author with no platform will seldom receive much attention from a publisher. Even if the writing is great, they will still be reluctant to publish it; the risk of losing money is too high if the author doesn’t have the means to move books.
Though it pains me to say it, if you want a book deal from a traditional publisher, focus on the platform first, and then worry about writing. Really.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.