I was just reading Fidgity Digits’ blog post about the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (“ABNA” for short), and he said that he would “leverage” a positive review. To be more specific, Mr. Anderson said:
If I can get a good review, I can leverage it in all sorts of marketing platforms. Posting it on my Amazon and Goodreads book page, using snippets on the cover (perhaps), trying to sell agents (not sure I want one), publishers (same), or marketing platforms like BookBub (definitely would like that opportunity).
I had similar thoughts – but on a much smaller scale for myself if I made it through just the first round. In my head, I’ve already updated my query letter to include the verbiage, “2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarter-finalist,” which sounds really impressive, but just means I made it through the first cut. Which I guess is impressive in that you made the cut when 8,000 others didn’t (and let’s be honest here – I’ll most likely be in the boat with the other 7,999 cut-ees). But whatever. I still enjoy my moments of deluded grandeur.
Speaking of which – a delusion of grandeur led me here. To my own blog. I thought, “one day, when I’m a multimillionaire and they’re making my series of books into movies starring ridiculously good looking actors and actresses and they’re directed by the Wachowskis – I will look back at my humble beginnings preserved for posterity in my blog. All of my struggles, and all the times that I truly believed that I sucked ass, but I persevered and made it to success written in indelible Internet ink,” yada, yada, yada.
Another motivating factor for this blog – which I freely admit to – is it’s part of my “platform.” I use quotation marks around “platform” because it’s this super buzz word for authors. Published and unpublished alike. I was reading the 2014 Guide to Literary Agents and agent after agent said they looked for a writer to have an established “platform” (think I can stop using quotation marks now? well ha! I will keep using them until I feel it is no longer necessary – or just get sick of typing them).
Anyhow – random quotation marks aside – platform (no quotes! that’s right! I will keep you guessing) and leveraging go hand in hand. I hadn’t really thought about it until Fidgity Digits mentioned it – but yeah! Heck yeah! That’s part of what makes social networking great. When things go well for you – for example, you make it through the first round of cuts from ABNA, or you start selling lots of your book on Amazon, you can share it! You can dress that up in buzzy words like “leveraging my platform” (if that even makes sense – it just sounds dumb to me – but it’s probably because I’m not saying it right), but you’re sharing that good news! And in turn, it makes you more desirable to publishers and agents and (God willing) readers! And if you suck out (like I probably will), then you have a community of people there to console you and/or commiserate with you! So on Tuesday, I will for sure say something of how I fared on one of my “platforms” (they’re back!) which for me is like here and Twitter – but I’ll share my news for better or worse – and by doing so I can chat with others in the same boat as me (for better or worse) and build my “platform.”
It’s kind of weird how all of this is very synergistic and awesome. You can build your platform and leverage to try and promote your book or whatever you’re doing – but you also get a lot out of it. Support, friendship or t least kinship. knowledge, a laugh or a shared cry, and sometimes limericks from other people in the same boat who can be just as awesome as you are (there was an awesome discussion on the ABNA discussion board on Amazon in limerick form – I kid you not – it was awesome and I cannot for the life of me find it again which stinks b/c I was blown away by the amount of talent in those posts!). So go people! Leverage! Build your platforms! Because there’s more in it to be gained then just “building your platform.” You can meet awesome people. And you can be supportive of other people who are on the same journey you are.