So, why do publishers pick up these manuscripts? Because celebrities already have a platform. People who follow those celebrities will immediately go out and buy the book, bolstering it to the top 10 on the New York Times Best Seller List. It doesn’t even necessarily matter the reviews that the book gets, the people have already bought the books, making the publisher a ton of money.
Take the Kardashian girls for example. They published a novel entitled Dollhouse. After tragedy happens in three sisters previously glamorous lives, everything changes. While the sisters are very close, one does get back into the glitz and glamor of fame bringing jealousy, pain, and backstabbing into the relationships. The reader wonders if the family can stay a tightly knit family. Is the writing great? No. Do they sell a lot of books? Yes, because they have a platform of ready buyers.
However, just because you don’t have a platform yet does not mean you do not need to write books. Stephen King’s first book, Carrie, was published in 1973. At that time, it did not make the New York Times Best Seller List. Why? Perhaps it was because he didn’t have a platform. However,
King has written almost 50 novels; more than 40 of those have since made it to the NYTBSL. Why? Because once he built a platform of readers, every time he came out with a new book, those readers would go and buy it, bringing even more readers with them.
John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, did not immediately make it to the best seller list. He did
what all writers should do; as soon as he completed his first novel, he started work on his second, The Firm, which did make it to the best seller list, because by then he had a built in following.
Your name may not be well-known enough to help sell books, but don’t let that discourage you. This is why it is important for you to build your own platform. Your platform must extend beyond your family and friends. What will that sell? 100 copies?
How do you build a platform? There are several ways. You must shamelessly promote yourself and your book. Use Twitter. Use Facebook. Create an email list and send out a quarterly newsletter. Start a blog. Use any other media means available to you to get the word out about you and your work. Be consistent and persistent. It will pay off in the end.