Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Online Author Marketing: Agented!

You may have been an unagented writer before, just trying to build a basic online brand (see yesterday's post) but now...


You landed an agent. Nice work! You've got a blog with a few followers and you've done some guest posts here and there for other bloggers who've even returned the favor. You may have figured out The Twitter. The two platforms, through cross-linking, support one another.

Things feel a lot more concrete than they did when you were just hammering away at different projects. You've got one to really focus on, with some in the wings (your agent hopes).

Now that you have something specific to promote, whether sold or unsold, you should reevaluate your online strategy and perhaps expand into new platforms. Hopefully your agent can help you. For instance:
  • Are you writing nonfiction as an expert in some area? You could join Quora and start answering questions there--it's a great way to build platform.
  • Facebook. This is more complicated because everyone thinks they know how to do The Facebook. Most people have a Facebook page of some sort, but few have one that's really effective in building an online brand, (see here for some details). Think of a strategy for Facebook: what are you promoting? A single title? A series? You as an author?
  • Flickr. If you're an artist or illustrator, Flickr is a great place to showcase your work and build stories--supplemental, perhaps, to your book--in a new way.
There are many more ways to build an online brand; your agent can and should help you with this strategy, although you shouldn't expect them to do it for you. If you're too busy for social media, see here. Apply to all social media platforms.

A word on oversharing: you're going on submission now. It's a nervewracking experience for all involved and it can be really frustrating. Don't blog about it. Don't tweet it. Don't write angsty poetry about it and post it to your Tumblr. Don't.

So in the agented stage you get an online presence with a little more flair, guided by your agent. You've also got a more focused message, since you'll have a project to promote. Go get 'em!


  1. Okay, I confess, my Facebook is really unfocused. I'll work on it, I promise. Right after I stop giggling over "The Facebook" and "The Twitter" :-)

  2. They're scary, so they get "The"s.

  3. Thanks for the oversharing tip--do you feel like this is true of unagented writers, as well? I've seen writers who blog in-depth about their query process and wonder if an agent clicking through on a link--or any potential audience besides fellow writers looking for camaraderie--seeing their rejection numbers or difficulties would be put off.

  4. Rowenna, yes! Oversharing is *always* something to watch out for, at any stage.