When I completed the final drafts of my manuscript Accidental Soldier, and had it edited by a group of beta readers and copyedited, I started shopping for an agent the minute my proposal was ready. The dilemma of which route to publish, traditional or self-publish has has been a constant dilemma. In fact, self-publish for me is now hybrid – a third form of publishing which has the benefits of traditional publishing. Waiting for an agent to respond can be painstakingly slow, so while I have these two options available, I’m going to enter a contest a month, by repurposing my memoir for profit while building my platform.
Perhaps the title of this blog post is self-evident. After all, your platform is like your CV highlighting what makes you saleable. In that light, consider the following reasons for entering a contest:
1. When you win a contest, you are more worthy in a publisher’s eyes.. The publishing world is full of gatekeepers who hold subjective opinions as to whether your work is worthy or not of getting published. They vet manuscripts and only a selected few get past the gatekeepers. So when you win a contest, that’s when you know you have a better chance of getting past the gatekeeper because a contest deemed your work worthy. Many contests now offer publishing deals which carry weight in gold.
2. Contests allow you to test your work before it goes to the mass market. This is another indication of a strong selling platform. if worthy judges “approve” your work, then chances are, you’re ready to move past your beta readers and small circle of friends and family. Many contests attract decent judges who have merit in the literary world.
3. Winning even a smaller contest builds confidence and diversifies your platform. The ideal situation is to repurpose parts of your book or publish stand-alone book excerpts, which help build an audience so that when your book does eventually get published, you’ll already have an audience in place.
The majority of contests require an entry fee, but I found 27 contests that are free.
Blogging is one way to help build a platform around your compelling memoir and get your readers to care about your story.
This simple to follow 6 day e-course will help you learn the steps to blogging your compelling story while building a “caring platform.”
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