Blogger: Rachel Kent
Platform! Platform! Platform! It’s all we ever hear these days. You can’t get published if your platform isn’t strong enough. Do you have good endorsements? Have you put together a marketing plan? These items can be so overwhelming to creatives who just want to write a good story. It can leave us wondering, does good writing even matter anymore? Is it really all about platform, or does a good writer have a chance?
I’d like to encourage you by answering these questions with a big YES! Good writing is still extremely important in the publishing world and editors/agents are open to taking on projects that sweep them away with the wonder of the writing. The majority of the projects they take on will be because of good writing and strong platform, but if they are blown away by the amazing writing they won’t be able to say no even if your platform is small. The very first book I sold was one of these. Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Heartless is a beautiful story and, at the time, Anne Elisabeth didn’t have much of a writing platform. Her writing shone and that was the deciding factor in my representing her book and in Bethany House publishing it. It is a Christy Award-winning book now, and the start of a wonderful series. She has gone on to win three additional Christy Awards.
And even if a book is contracted by a publishing house because of a strong platform, the writing still needs to be good! If a published book isn’t written well, that author’s writing career is going to be shortened. Readers are smart people and they aren’t going to put up with bad writing for long–no matter who you are. I have stopped reading authors I used to love because their more recent books were sloppy. Have you ever had this experience? I still love their older books, but I can’t bring myself to purchase their newer ones. And once a reader is lost it’s very difficult to get them back again.
So, yes, good writing is very important and can be what leads to a publishing contract–even without a platform.
What do you do to make sure your writing shines? Do you have a critique group or an editor? Do you read your books out loud to yourself as you edit? What tips/tricks do you use to make sure your book is the best it can be?