Things I’ve learned from blog commenters
Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Just in case you think this blog is a one-way street, I’ve saved a few comments from some of you that I found insightful and creative. You may have missed the blogs that generated these savory bits of wisdom, or you might have lost sight of a comment in the midst of scrolling through the contributions.
So here you are, a portion of the insights I’ve gleaned from all of you:
What I’ve noticed is that if one starts to establish a social media presence, and decides to get back into writing wonderful stories instead of tweets, blogs, updates, and stumblin’ around on tumblr, that depending on who your audience is, one can easily reconnect with them; that is an approach that I don’t think gets discussed too often, which is not potentially wasting time building a traditional social media presence, but having one through the aggregate of interaction with the audience through THEIR social media networks.
I’ve been working hard on building a platform before I develop my proposal, as I understand how important that is. But I’ve specifically been working hard at building a platform of people who (I believe) would translate into book purchasers. When I do Facebook advertising for my blog, I target fans of authors who write in the same subject area (Christian parenting). In this way, I am not just building blog fans, but specifically blog fans who buy books in this area. While I would think that’s immensely important (for the exact reasons you noted!), I never see anyone address it. I only see people talking about the general importance of platform and total numbers. Of course you have to have volume first, but I would think volume without quality renders the platform somewhat irrelevant for publishing purposes.
Along these lines, I’m wondering if it’s appropriate to discuss the quality of your platform in the proposal (as it relates to buyer potential)? In other words, if you put significant thought and strategy into WHO those people are, is it relevant to outline specifically how you have generated your platform?
I just saw a poster on my friend’s FB page that reads: “There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs.” If you’ve taken the stairs–done a great job of writing your first book, sold well and gotten great reviews, it can be tempting to sit down on the landing. I think this is what happens with some authors.
Amanda Dykes says about post-conference action points:
I particularly love the suggestion for processing valuable notes into “action” and “to file” piles; so often there is an abundance of information just waiting to be applied to my WIP, and if I’m not careful, the ideas get buried on my desk or in the cobwebs of my mind….In my WIP, whenever I encounter an idea I want to apply, I scroll down to the very bottom of my document, type up the idea, and highlight it in yellow so that I can check that list intermittently to see if I’m remembering to apply those ideas. I erase them when they’re done (if it’s a one-time plot point, etc.) or wait until the end of the WIP when it becomes a MS (*magical moment*) and delete or re-locate the rest of the highlighted “action” list.
While attending a My Book Therapy retreat earlier this year, Susan May Warren helped define what a goal needs to be: SMART.
What insights have you gained from blog commenters? What do you enjoy most about the community we’ve formed?