If you know anything about the publishing industry, you will have heard about building your platform. It’s something that everyone needs to do if they want to become a published author, regardless if they traditionally publish or self-publish their novel.
Today, my guest is Barbara M. Britton, author of Jerusalem Rising: Adah’s Journey. (What a beautiful cover, by the way!) Let’s see what she has to say about building your platform.
Name: Barbara M. Britton
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Latest Novel: Jerusalem Rising: Adah’s Journey
Nine years ago, when the social media revolution was beginning, I sat at a writing conference and heard that I should develop a website and be active on Facebook (I don’t think Twitter was even around). I was pre-published at the time and I didn’t think I needed to be “seen” yet. I’ll admit, I’m also a bit tech-challenged. Flash forward nine years, and I will tell you that you need to be participating in the cyberworld even if you don’t have a book out. Your online platform will be checked by editors and agents and may even influence if you get a book deal. Sounds harsh. I’ve had agents go on my social media before a pitch session…they even liked my author Facebook page. I’ve also been told by agents that my work was wonderful, but my platform wasn’t big enough. Yikes!
What do I recommend as a minimum? Join Twitter and Facebook and post often about your life. On Facebook, your “page” will get likes. Don’t invite strangers onto your personal profile. Writing for teens? Choose Snapchat or Instagram. Some writers do Pinterest. I recommend picking 2 or 3 and sticking with those media outlets. You still have to have time to write! Also join Goodreads where readers hang out. If you can afford a website or blog, go for it. You will need one eventually. Being visible in the cyber world will help you–before and after–you sell a book.
These are all great tips about social media and platform! Choosing 2-3 to focus on will also give you the ability to get to know the people that follow your social media and help you interact with them. My publisher is always saying, “If no one knows you have a book, no one will buy it!” The first step to becoming published is building that platform.
Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers:
I embrace Dory’s line in Finding Nemo, “Just Keep Swimming.” I’ve been writing for eleven years and it took me nine years to contract a book. My query life was full of rejection e-mails. I amassed over 200 rejections before I sold my first book. I had a passion for my stories and I enjoyed writing, so I wasn’t going to give up on my manuscripts. As a Christian, I claimed Ecclesiastes 3:1 that there was a God appointed time for everything—even publishing a book. I recommend joining a writing group for support because this business isn’t for the faint of heart. You can find other writers through professional writing organizations and by attending writing conferences. They are also in the above mentioned cyberworld. I follow a lot of authors, agents, and editors on Twitter to learn about the publishing world (and I re-tweet them).
This is a great reminder to not give up. I know at times it can be discouraging, especially when you receive a rejection. One of the best things that I’ve done is join a local writing group. They have given me a lot of support and encouragement. I always look forward to attending each month.
When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit—God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David.
Nehemiah challenges the men of Jerusalem to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Should her father who rules a half-district of Jerusalem be forgotten forever?
Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside of the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same rocks they hope to raise?
Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. Barb writes romantic adventures for teens and adults in the Christian fiction and Mainstream markets. She is published in Biblical fiction and enjoys bringing little known Bible characters to light in her stories. Barb’s debut novel, “Providence: Hannah’s Journey,” released in October of 2016 from Harbourlight Books and kicked off her Tribes of Israel series. Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.
Thanks for joining us today Barbara! I enjoyed having you on my blog today. Your writing tips about building a platform and never giving up are both things that we must do, and things that we need to be reminded about.
Please take a moment and connect with Barbara on social media, and check out her novel, Jerusalem Rising: Adah’s Journey.
Barbara’s Social Media Links:
*If you are an author and would like to be a guest on Wisdom Wednesday, please contact me. I have openings available this summer and would love to have you!