If you're a writer at a certain point in your career, you've heard the words "build your platform." In case you haven't, in short it means engaging on social media, blogs, networking, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. Though I think too much emphasis can be put on platform building for unpublished writers, specifically those who spend more time blogging and tweeting than writing (you know who you are; stop it right now!), I appreciate the idea and I think in the long run, having a presence on Twitter, Facebook, a blog, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, will all pay off with greater exposure and more sales. But, that's down the road. For the here and now, what can an unpublished writer really get from these platforms? Besides lots of follows by people who only want to promote their own books? Well, if you're following the right people, you can get some great advice. I follow some wonderful writers (@deannaraybourn being my favorite author Twitterer by far) and they give brilliant advice and encouragement. But, if you want advice that will make a difference right now, i.e. land you an agent or sell your book, you should be following literary agents and editors. Some are more prolific twitterers than others. (I especially recommend Margaret Bail (@MKDB) for her almost daily 10 Queries Tweets.) But, all of their advice is useful. If you read along long enough, you'll have an, "Oops. I've done that" moment. You'll also notice a pattern in their advice, namely they can sound like a broken record. Seems like we writers never learn. Either that or we don't follow them on Twitter and listen to their advice!
In case The Twitter scares you or you're too lazy to bother, every (or most) Fridays, I round up my favorite Twitter #pubtips from the week. It's my very own public service to you. This week's focus is on querying.