F is for Footprint
You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of building a writers “platform”. Most experts in the publishing industry recommend you do this even before you land an agent, especially if you decide to go the Indie publishing or self-publish route. The thing is, a lot of people confuse a writer’s platform with a digital footprint, and although there is some overlap in the two initiatives, they are two totally separate subjects. Today I’m going to briefly discuss your digital footprint.
The fact is there are entire books devoted to this topic and there is no way I can adequately do it justice in 500 words or less (Challenge guidelines – keep posts as short as possible), so if you’re really interested I suggest you Google “Digital Footprint Books” and a whole list will be there for you to choose from.
To use a simple analogy of a hog calling contest…a digital footprint is all about how loud you yell…not what you yell. In this day and age it’s virtually impossible to NOT have some sort of digital footprint, so even the most careful of us are whispering something. If you matured in the on-line world like I did, you were wary of how much personal information you revealed and where you allowed it to be stored. But as aspiring writers we can no longer think that way. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Forums, and a list of others that go on and on represent just how much volume is available for us to employ in building our footprint as wide as we can.
Why, you ask. Or maybe a better question is…do I really have to do all that? The short answer, No. But let me ask you this, if you were in the querying stage do you think you’d get better results if you sent out 100 letters, or 10? You send out 100 to improve your odds of finding the agent who’s right for your book. Creating a broad digital footprint increases your odds as well, but in a different way. The chance of reeling in an agent could hinge on the size of your footprint because in some cases it’s a factor they use before deciding whether they want to take you on or not. But cheer up, all of your effort pays extra dividends when you finally do reach that published plateau because now that established footprint becomes a useful marketing tool.
So the choice is up to you. How big of a footprint are you trying to maintain? Here’s an interesting tidbit for you…the name of my blog, CRUISING ALTITUDE, was actually the name of the blog my main character wrote in my first book. I decided to adopt it when I created my own blog. I added the 2.0 after I took a significant break in 2011.
Did you realize that I’m holding a contest during the Challenge? No? You can read all about it HERE.