I’m Building My Platform – Not Yours

I have this habit of picking on literary agents. It is probably not a great habit for a writer to have, but the target on their backs is sometimes so darn irresistible.

Perhaps I don’t understand literary agents, and perhaps I never will. But sometimes they seem to say the most ridiculous things.

A while back I was reading an article in which a literary agent was outlining what she likes to see as far as an author’s platform when she is considering whether to work with a new client or not. All right I know what you are thinking. Why am I even reading this article if I’m not interested in an agent? I was doing research for my blog, OK? Plus, I am interested in building my author’s platform or at least I try my best, so I’m always open to new ideas.

Now let’s shift focus back to the literary agent who will soon make us all laugh. She was outlining, in rather specific terms, how extensive a reach that an indie author should have before she will agree to become their agent.

Well, might I just say I started choking at first and then I started laughing. She gave out ridiculous numbers, wanting a blog with such and such reach, and a Facebook account with so many followers, and a Twitter account with X number of thousand of followers.

The numbers were so ridiculously high that if my blog was reaching 50,000 people a month, why in the world would I need a literary agent? If I had that many active readers, why would I want to pay a percentage of my profit to you, literary agent, because you didn’t help me get any of them?

I,perhaps rather foolishly, thought that literary agents cared about representing an author because he or she wrote good stories. Shouldn’t it really be that simple?

Don’t get me wrong. I understand the importance of “building your brand”, “interacting on social networking sites”, and “building a readership.” I will always spend part of my time doing these activities.

But if I build a successful brand by myself, I’m certainly not going to give the profit away to someone who ignored me when all I did was write quality stories.

So I shall conclude, once again, by saying that I love being an indie author.

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