It is daunting, you know, to try to look at the publishing battlefield ahead and wonder if you have the weapons to fight it.
I have never come across an easy submission campaign to literary agents and traditional presses – large or small. Many new authors, using the path of self-publishing, forego establishing for themselves a writer’s platform mainly because it takes experience and credits to make one up.
Many traditional publishing markets require a writer to have some measure of experience, just as it is trying to find a dayjob other than writing. A writer’s platform is essentially a resume.
So how does a new writer build one up?
First of all, it takes time. In our “I want it all and I want it now” society, many new authors don’t want to try to spend time establishing themselves.
A writer’s platform should highlight publishing credits and education, and if at all possible, experience and fortitude.
Write nonfiction articles for trade magazines, especially for hobbies and professional training you have. Ignoring this takes away a lucrative and possibly easy publishing credit. My first important publication was a nonfiction article on the hobby of metal detecting for Lost Treasure magazine.
Write short and flash fiction and submit to literary journals that are pertinent. There are several databases online for them and between online and print magazines, THERE ARE MANY.
Try your hand writing different forms of prose and poetry and submit them. Matter-of-fact, write and submit often.
Establish yourself not only on Twitter or Facebook, but other online forums such as Stage32 and LinkedIn.
Search for writing freelance jobs on LinkedIn, Odesk, or other writers areas for work.
Check out technical and content writing for software companies; also consider freelancing as a technical writer for pharmaceutical/medical companies as well as technolgy companies. These look good on a resume.
Above all, be persistent and spend TIME doing it. You’ll be surprised how quickly your platform begins to build.