Monday, June 25, 2012

The Tribe

The professionals in the publishing industry, by which I mean editors and literary agents, keep saying that platform is of great importance for getting published. As I posted before a platform is generally defined as a ready-made audience to which the published book can be sold. This is more important for non-fiction than for fiction, but should not be ignored for novelists.

How is this measured? It used to be the number of people on your mailing list, probably for a newsletter distribution. Nowadays it's the number of Facebook or Twitter friends/followers you have. It's the number of hits on your website. Some agents want you to give these numbers along with your proposal.

This has been something bugging me. My blogs are not popular, and despite several requests sent out to Facebook friends to like my author page, 57 friends. I don't do Twitter, and don't know that I will any time soon. My platform is...slightly better than nil. And I haven't figured out how to change that.

But I have seen one change of late in how far I'm reaching people with my "writerly" presence. That's the "Reach" statistics on a Facebook page. For my writer page, my reach had been hovering around 40 to 50 for a long time. On a good couple of days I might hit 60. Finally in May it began to creep up. I hit 83 on May 31, then dropped back slowly to in the 50s and 60s. Finally my free promotion of Doctor Luke's Assistant came. My reach went into the high 80s by the end of that. Then it hovered there for a few days, then took off. Right now it stands at 221, the third straight day over 200 after zooming around June 18.

I don't really know how Facebook's "Reach" algorithm works. It says it's for a week ending on such and such a day. So I don't really know which day the numbers are for, or if it's an average of those days, or a total for all of those days. If it's an average, that means I'm now up to reaching just over 30 people per day. Small tribe.

But at least the numbers are going in the right direction. That's the main thing. It's the start of a tribe, a platform. Long may it grow.

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