Sold!…or oversold

I know I’ve written about this before a while back, but it bears repeating: DO NOT OVERSELL YOURSELF. You only make yourself look foolish.

If you don’t have a platform, admit it.

If you tell me that you give lectures all over the world, then I will expect to see a whoppin’ internet presence that backs that up. If I google you and see absolutely nothing other than your brand new website and equally pristine blog, then my little radar starts pinging because most speakers have active websites with a list of where they’ve spoken and their upcoming schedule.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, one cannot break wind anymore without someone reporting it on the internet, so it’s natural to assume your national and international lectures will leave some sort of internet footprint.

And this lack of an internet presence will make me suspicious about your claims that you’ll have “huge” back-of-the-room sales.

Just because you’re not some Hollywood hooha who had a ghostwriter bang out a new kid book or sloppy, indulgent memoir doesn’t mean that you don’t have a worthwhile project, so don’t go to the lengths of trying to blow smoke up my Vickie Secrets. I’m gonna check you out so, one way or ‘nuther, your cover will be blown. And won’t you feel quite the ninny?

If your subject is good, has a compelling plot, and a definable audience, then sell yourself on those merits. ‘Cos if an editor signs you, you’re going to have that day of reckoning. Trust me – you do not want to make your editor angry. Ve haf vays off making you bleed…

4 Responses to Sold!…or oversold

  1. allen parker says:

    How big does a platform need to be? Let’s say the book I write is about starting a religious cult in a small rural town in Kentucky and there was a youtube video about me starting a cult in Kentucky. 50K hits and 250 people at most of the rallies? 1 millions hits and 1000 people at the rallies?

    What if it is a Sunday School class with 10 people and about half fall asleep during the hour?

    Just what level is needed? Inquiring minds might not be bored by the answer.

  2. NinjaFingers says:

    I think that the reason people oversell is because there is this big ‘Have a platform, or give up writing’ feel around the net right now.

    Somebody who doesn’t have one might well be tempted to invent one, feeling that its the only way to get their book read.

  3. cat says:

    Hmmm…I am tempted to talk to the beagle about this – and we cats do not particularly care for dogs (but I guess the beagle might be all right).
    You know, as a cat, I really feel I should be able to say, “This is my book. It is good. I am asking you to read it because it is good. What I am like does not matter. It is the book that matters.”
    Okay, I understand I am not allowed to say that… slinks off, ears flattened, whiskers back, tail drooping.

  4. How big does a platform need to be?

    Really good question, Allen. And if anyone has the absolute answer, they get a free pitcher of the beagle’s margaritas. This question is akin to “when is one rich enough?” The answer, of course, is never.

    Same goes for platforms, and we all judge them differently because we’re all different sizes of publishers with varying abilities to market books. Remember, I’m talking nonfiction here.

    Cat, don’t let your little whiskers droop because you’re right. It is about the book. There have been plenty times when I declined to review a book further even though the author had a great platform.

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