Platform vs Reputation


Readers might not be aware of the crude reality faced by writers: To succeed in the publishing world, or even to score a chance at publishing a book, a writer had to build a “platform” (in short: build a following and become an expert in his / her field). Now it’s all about “Reputation” (which, in the older days, would, basically, eliminate the chance of becoming published by the likes of Louis-Ferdinand Celine or William Burroughs: some publishers include a clause in contracts, whereby a publishing agreement may be cancelled if a writer is found to behave “disreputably”). Apparently “reputation” is important even if a writer forgoes the old publishing model, and skips publishers by releasing his / her books directly to readers:

“As the growing eBook market for fiction overtakes the print sector, traditionally-published and self-published authors face a new marketing issue: reputation.

Not just a specific book’s reputation, which historically was set by book reviewers, readers and librarians, but also the author’s individual reputation. From authors who go on the attack to dispute negative reviews to a single, wildly-popular book reviewer’s thrashing of a self-published novel that triggered readers to give it one-star reviews on Amazon while openly admitting they had not read the novel, all it takes is one bad comment to go viral and in an instant, years of work goes down the Internet rabbit hole.

For publishers (self and corporate) bemoaning a lack of time, effort, or interest in reputation management, you can choose to disengage. Just keep in mind that readers, and bloggers, won’t. Once you put that book out there, you have exercised your freedom of expression. Be prepared for others to do the same.”


Oops! I better go back to Facebook, and be nice and charming to all my friends…


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