11
Writer’s Platform
Chapter 1
The Writer’s Online Platform
For a long time, the game for writers has been the race to get published. Writers sought
literary agents, editors, and big-time publishing houses, but few aimed at recognition online.
Many writers who had websites got their fame first, and those well-known on social media
were household names long before the creation of Twitter.
While many still achieve great success with traditional publishing, the world is changing fast.
Self-publishing has become a legitimate and lucrative way to build careers. Writers are
connecting directly with their readers without the endorsement of publishers or celebrity
reviewers. Many are reaching their dreams on their own; and as they prove that their writing
appeals to the market, big-time publishing houses also begin to pick up books they would have
turned down a few years ago.
In fact, many of them are picking up books they
did
turn down a few years ago.
The success stories are fascinating.
wrote a novel about a Harvard professor’s
struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. After being rejected time and again through the traditional
publishing channels, Genova decided to self-publish via Amazon.com.
The book was a hit. Readers bought it. The
Boston Globe
reviewed it. And Simon & Schuster,
having the unique advantage of seeing the book’s appeal in real time with real people, decided
it was worth the risk of publishing an unknown author—mostly because there was no risk, and
she was no longer unknown.
A writer can also put out such a successful series of online articles that publishing houses
come and commission a book, certain that a loyal online following will snap it up in a
heartbeat.
by Justin Halpern is a good example of this: a Twitter feed that
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