I thought I would give a little update on how my “Author Platform” is going approximately 5 months in.
And how my novel and writing in general has been going.
1. Chosen platform experiment sites:
Blog on WordPress. 👋
Active since May, 2018
Reason for choosing: I wanted to have a blog to log my author journey, hopefully provide those who come after me with some useful information, or even just knowledge they’re not alone. Also wanted to have somewhere I could begin a mailing list for potential readers (still haven’t made this yet).
I generally haven’t followed anyone back on here because a) I can’t figure out how to, and b) it’s more for me as a journey journal rather than a tool to get more followers.
Active since April, 2018
Reason for choosing: I liked the idea of doing some quick photograph/poetry and being able to send it out into the world.
This is my tool for throwing quick things out into the universe and I specifically follow artists I find interesting on here, not people posting selfies or businesses. I curate this content to be art only.
Active since June, 2018
Reason for choosing: I wanted to get feedback on my writing and have a place to post my work so it was some place other than my scrivener accounts.
I follow people who peak my interest and are also writing. I’ve had a lot of fun on here expanding my writing abilities.
Active since September, 2018 (about a week)
Reason for choosing: This is apparently where the writer/author community hangs out.
I’m still trying to figure out how to work with this type of social media account but I intend to use it for publicity, finding writers on the same journey, and authors willing to give tips to newbies.
Note: I know there are a couple of overlaps between Wattpad and Instagram followers. Not sure about Twitter or WordPress.
General takeaways are:
A. There are a lot of people on Twitter, and writers are awesome about following other writers. 🙌🙌🙌
In just about a week I’ve gotten half as many followers on Twitter as it has taken me 4 months to get on Wattpad, which is where I’ve gotten the most.
I have no clue whether or not this makes a huge difference when it comes to actually publishing something since in general I’ve heard that your Twitter following doesn’t actually equate to sales. However, more followers means more exposure to potential buyers of books, so that’s good.
B. Numbers of followers is directly proportional to how active I’ve been on each different site.
Now I know this is one of those “duh” observations, but in terms of how it affects potential future business practices, it’s a good thing to note.
If the majority of either book sales, or publicity comes from a specific site, and time spent = money made, and goal = financially solvent author business, then those sites where ^ #followers doesn’t equal ^ profit (or some other specific benefit like writer/author contacts, positive publicity, valued feedback, etc) would get less of my time in the future.
It’s just good to remember that the more time you put into something, the more you will *probably* get out of it. This isn’t always true, but I think it can generally be applied to most areas of life.
Definitely applies to writing.
2. Writing update:
I have been writing now for about 8 months from the point when I sat down and actually started my first novel. The time has generally proceeded thus:
Beginning of February:
- Begin listening to Author Podcasts
End of February:
- Begin first novel
- Wrote approximately 12k words for novel
- Start Instagram account (for poetry)
- Do camp nanowrimo (goal 20k words for novel achieved)
- Start WordPress Blog
- Hit dreaded 35k word mark in novel, became disgusted with the way the voice and pacing were working, decided to go back and completely rewrite it
- Wrote a fair amount of poetry on Instagram
- Started Wattpad account
- Kept rewriting first part of novel
- Wrote and illustrated kids book for adults
- Wrote a few short stories and more poetry
- Wrote blog a couple blog posts
- Did camp namowrimo (goal 20k words for novel achieved)
- Edited a lot of beginning of novel and post on Wattpad for feedback.
- Wrote more short stories and poetry
- Wrote some blog posts
- Wrote and illustrated a kids book
- Wrote about 10k in novel (work also got a who lot more busy and stressful so I’ve had less time to write. Let me tell you ALL MY EXCUSES FOR PROCRASTINATING…
- wrote more short stories and poems and another illustrated kids book
- Wrote a couple blog posts
- Have written about 5k words in novel, seriously outlined the rest of it and am at about 57k words overall with about 10 more chapters to write, and another 4-5 to rewrite (so 20-30k more words to go)
- Have written two more short stories and several more poems and a blog post or two
- Started a contest on Wattpad – yes procrastinating... can you tell? At least it’s being active in the community…
All in all, I wish I was further along (done with the full draft) in my novel by now, but I am proud of all the other writing I’ve done. It’s been good practice and has helped me see that I can indeed put a good story together that readers (at least on Wattpad) like. I’ve gotten a serious confidence boost from this.
In the end the “first draft” of the novel will end up being more of a second or third draft in reality, but it’s going to need a serious developmental edit, not to mention general editing for the usual stuff. I’m still hoping to have it in submittable shape by the end of the calendar year, but I guess we will see… here’s hoping!