How To Spot A Winner


© Martinmark |
© Martinmark |

Last time, I considered “Failing To Spot A Winner” in the entertainment industry. Now, let’s look at the reverse of the coin.

How To Spot “Potential Success”

Today, a publisher will assess the potential of an unknown author’s manuscript by checking “Social Network Following”, before glancing at the work.

The assumption is that a huge Following indicates potential sales for a new writer.

This, of course, is Nonsense. It shows the writer is not “unknown”, but how does that convert to sales? A popular blog might attract Followers who are not interested in the author’s genre, only in the posts themselves.

Gosh! Someone Follows because they actually like the tweets/posts and not because they are champing at the bit for the first published work? Again, gosh! An established writer’s Following would mainly consist of existing readers who have already demonstrated their likely purchasing intent by owning shelf-fulls or kindle-fulls of their works. An unpublished writer’s Following indicates – at best – that people like their posts/tweets. Or, sadly, that they have used a Quick Fix (see upcoming post).

But never mind the reality. We are dealing with fiction, here; a corporate fantasy, in fact.

So How Big Is Yours?

Some publishers require a Following of over 30,000. Numbers are a publisher’s life-blood. One author was asked his Klout rating before that publisher would even look at the work. (Klout compiles all of a person’s social networking activities and assigns a value to their performance. My rating is around 51.)

So that particular publisher relies upon the number-crunching of a non-literary company which has never read a word by the writer, based on a potentially-fraudulent Following, rather than actually reading and assessing the manuscript? Sigh.

Why Authors Socially Network?

Certainly, authors blog /post/tweet other than to build a Following to impress a publisher, or to promote themselves or their work, for example:-

  • to have fun
  • to entertain, educate or inform
  • to exercise those writing muscles
  • to communicate with and engage with followers (writing can be a lonely activity)
  • to promote a pet project, a campaign or strong personal views on a topic other than their work-in-progress

But we are looking at impressing publishers, not genuine social networking…

Next time : How To Impress Publishers With A Huge Following

3 thoughts on “How To Spot A Winner

    1. I’ve come across this Followers’ requirement several times in the blogosphere. It makes no sense as a measure of potential sales for a new writer, but publishers like numbers… perhaps they should be focusing on words instead? Anyway, don’t let rejection beat you down – some of the best selling writers racked-up many rejections, as we saw. Have confidence and keep pushing!

      I don’t suppose the rejections include helpful reasons for rejection?


  1. Pingback: Quick Fixes To Attract Publishers | Andy McKell

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