Monday, March 18, 2013

Word on the Street is Wrong: Myths on Getting An Agent, Volume 3

Here's the latest in my series on agent myths. As usual, it's just one opinion.

Myth #3: You need a web presence before you begin querying.

Already have a blog, twitter account, all that good stuff? Dude, that is awesome, and more power to you! There are tons of reasons to get active on the web early, including but not limited to:
  • creating an outlet for sharing your hopes, fears, and triumphs
  • networking and being part of the online writing community
  • getting feedback and encouragement
  • building a base web presence that will be useful for marketing and promotional purposes later

Yet, there is definitely an opportunity cost associated with spending time blogging. When I was working a day job, I hardly had enough energy to work on my novel, much less come up with blog topics. Even after I started writing full-time, I still wanted to put all my creative energy into my WIP. After all, my book was my first priority.

The truth is, you will need a web presence eventually, but if you're still writing your novel or at the querying stage, you can relax a bit. Especially if you have limited time, really consider whether your WIP should trump all else. However, you might find that blogging and community help motivate you to write more. Everyone is different! Do it because you want to, not because you feel obligated to.

By the way, agent Kristin Nelson agrees.  She wrote on her blog, “I personally don’t know any agent who would say no to an author for a project they love just because the publicity platform isn’t there yet.Read the full post here.

If you do want to dip your toes in social media, you could start with twitter. You only need to write 140 characters at a time! Just beware: twitter can easily become more of a time sink than blogging, if you let it.

I hope that helps!