Excerpt from Wendy Keller Interview by Christine Kloser
Since many of you are in the next “class” of my Get Your Book Done ® Program or are at least thinking about writing your book, I thought an excerpt from an interview I did with senior literary agent, Wendy Keller during last year’s Transformational Author Experience would be valuable to help you develop your author’s platform. Because it’s never too soon to get started with that!
Christine Kloser: So, Wendy, how can a new author really differentiate themselves in today’s publishing marketplace?
Wendy Keller: It’s very difficult to differentiate yourself unless you have a platform. There are so many interesting, easy, effective and inexpensive ways to build a platform today. There’s really no excuse if you’re going to put out a book, that you don’t begin the minute you start writing… concurrently building that platform. So by the time your book is self-published there are at least some people who are waiting to buy it, and then you can grow from there. You have to have the foundation.
That’s so critical, especially for self-published authors. Because when you self-publish your book to get it out quickly, from the eyes of the traditional publishing Industry which is what I represent it can be bad news for your book. Because if six months later you realize that you’ve only sold 150, 250, 400 copies, and then you’re ready to take it to a big publisher, the agents are going to look at that number, because we can see how many you sold, and we’re going to say “Oh, you failed with this book by our perspective.” Therefore no publisher’s going to take a shot on you. You would have done better to go in with a virgin proposal than a book that’s already proven not to sell.
So by having a platform, you could overcome that resistance in the publishing industry. If you have a platform and it grows and you sell books, then you’d be in a position for your next book to be sold to a traditional publisher through a traditional agent.
Christine: Very helpful. Quick reminder to everyone to breathe… this is a lot of information to take in.
Wendy: So there’s this beautiful thing that happens so many times when someone gets to the other side of the goal and the media and the public can start to see it and many, many times I see a book just ignite. And that’s what I really want for all of you, and that’s what I really care about creating in people’s lives. One of the fa test ways to get that started, if you don’t have it already, is to start blogging and to start a Facebook page.
So you go onto your website, WordPress, ideally, you post the blog, and then you take the hyperlink from that blog and you go over to your Facebook page and you say “Hey, some of you on Facebook might be interested in this blog post,” share about whatever the benefit of reading that piece would be, and post the link to it. Then you take the image from the blog post and post it as if it were an image on Facebook so there’s a picture with the hyperlink with a few sentences introducing the subject of the blog, and you wait to see how the world responds to that.
Once you start to see how the world responds and questions and comments and likes by putting it in this very public forum, you start to have real knowledge about where your gift is and where the doors are opening for you as an author. That’s the fastest way to get started.
Christine: And is it safe to say, Wendy, that like a conversation on Facebook, those in person conversations – at a cocktail party or wherever – when you share what you’re writing about and that person goes “Oh my gosh, tell me more. When’s your book coming out?” that’s a good indicator too?
Wendy: Absolutely, Christine. That’s also a very good indicator about what people are interested in. However, it’s not “on the record” like social media is. So, look to social media, first, because it’s the fastest and easiest way to reach lots of people from all over the world. But also pay attention in your regular life conversations when people perk up their ears and express interest in what you say. You’ve struck a nerve there and that’s a person who is likely to buy your book!
I’d love to hear what you’ve done in the past – or are doing now – to help build your platform. Comment below and let me know.