NOTE: Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.
You've heard it before…if you really want to impress an agent, make sure you have three things: a great idea, supported by great writing and a great platform.
But let's be honest, either you're born with a knack for words or you're not.
Either a great idea drops into your head one day, or it doesn't.
But platform…platform doesn't happen by chance. Platform is all about hard work.
I think it's funny that we dedicate entire conferences and workshops and critique groups to the very components that we have the least control over (You can't make great writers out of bad writers, and no classic American novels were written by following a novel-writing template), while the the third component–the one that really can be taught into existence–gets ignored.
This really bugs me, because we've turned platform into this mysterious entity that's somehow more difficult to achieve than writing a best seller. Somewhere along the line, we've decided using social media is more nebulous than developing a plot destined for the silver screen and that growing a readership as an unpublished author is more far-fetched than an agent offering on-the-spot representation.
How we became so dillussional is lost on me, but I'd like to begin to set things straight and pull platform out of the doghouse it's been sitting in for so long.
So first things first, what do impressive social media stats look like? (Hold on, it's going to be a bumpy ride…)
The cold, hard truth is that solid author platforms come in the tens or hundreds of thousands.
Let’s get more specific…
If you have a website or blog, your monthly unique visitor count should be at least 30,000
If you have a Twitter account, your followers should be pushing 5,000
If you have a Facebook group, your following should be pushing 5,000
If you’re a public speaker, you should speak at least 30 times a year and you should shoot for a total audience number of at least 10,000
If you write for e-zines and e-publications on a regular basis, you should have your words in front of at least 100,000 readers per month
If you write for print publications on a regular basis, you should have your words in front of at least 100,000 readers per quarter
Intimidated yet? I know I am. These numbers aren't easy to achieve. That’s why those who do so stand out in a crowd. And standing out makes them more likely to be published.
I'll be continuing this conversation every Thursday for the next few weeks, but in the mean time, let's talk about these numbers. Are they daunting? Feasible? Have they made you re-think how you’re using social media? Have they redefined success? Share your thoughts.