Most writers, myself included, would prefer just to write. We don’t want to pitch, sell, or market our book or ourselves. Some may not even want to blog, develop a social media following, or build a platform. Yet, the reality is writers need a platform, a vantage from which to gain a following and move books.
Sadly, in most cases, the platform is more important than writing. Really.
A person with a great platform and a not so great book is in a better position than a person with an excellent book and a small platform. Really.
If a writer’s best work still needs more work before publication, help is available. Editors, collaborators, and even ghostwriters can come in and rescue a needy manuscript. If that author has the means to promote and move books, a publisher will go to the trouble and expense to shore up their weak writing.
However, a well-written book by an author with no platform will seldom receive much attention from a publisher. Even if the writing is great, they will still be reluctant to publish it; the risk of losing money is too high if the author doesn’t have the means to move books.
Though it pains me to say it, if you want a book deal from a traditional publisher, focus on the platform first, and then worry about writing. Really.