Updated: Dec 31, 2019
If you are going to be an author/writer you will need to have an audience. DUH. How you go about getting that audience is daunting. (In a later post I will have some very in-depth information on that.) No agent or publisher is willing to take a chance on an author with no social media presence.
Yes, you may have written a great novel, but chances are they're not going to even give you a second look if you aren't on social media... you get the drift. Not only do you have to be on these things, you need followers and you need to be engaged with said followers. At the time I wrote this I had 120 followers on Twitter. I have only been on for about 3 months. (Update: as of Feb. 27 I have 862).
Agents/Publishers will look at your website, your blog, your Twitter feed and they will then decide if they like what they see and maybe they will ask for your manuscript. (I think, I'm just guessing here)
But don't think that just because you are on these things that you will automatically get looked at by an agent. NO. See first your query letter has to get their attention. Google how to write query letters and do your research. If traditional publishing is the way you want to go. John Gilstrap has an excellent example of this on his website.
Writers Digest has a post about this.
It is so subjective though. One agent may hate your work today, you resubmit a year later, and they love you. (Not necessarily the same agent but agency.)
Agents are looking for a certain thing. I'm not sure they know what the certain thing is, but when they see it they know it. You have to keep trying and working at it. You can't give up.
I don't know him personally, but I thought if he can do that, so can I. But if you really want to write, get paid for it, have people like it and buy it, you can't let fear run your life. (I had been writing posts and I just hadn't published my site yet. I was a chicken. I still am. But oh well, it's too damn late now.)
That's what I'm doing. I'm letting the fear of rejection or making the wrong choice of doing it on my own hold me back. It's scary but I shouldn't fear it. I should embrace all that I have accomplished. In less than 18 months I have one completed 97000+ word novel, one I just got back from the editor, one 25000 word novella, currently with the editor, and two other books started. My beta readers have given me great feedback and like my books, so I may not suck at this.
My editor kept saying just get your blog out there. Start building a presence. I had every excuse in the book. Well I need to wait for this, or for that, or my cat is mad at me I can't do it today. But they were all excuses. I was just scared. Don't be. Most everyone is helpful, they all know you have to start somewhere. I don't know about you, but I'm damn tired of being scared or worried, and not doing it.
Although at some point I will probably end up on my floor in the fetal position, with an empty glass of whiskey.
I write crime fiction horror, thriller, and paranormal novels. My time in the Coast Guard and my degree in Forensic Chemistry helps me create fantastic stories.
If I'm not writing, I am binge watching Netflix and probably drinking whiskey.