A Marketing Team reason for rejection

OK, let’s look at some of the numbers: 

• There are 195 million active internet users in the United States.

• Americans rate the internet as the #1 “most essential” media source in their lives—ranking it higher than TV, radio, or newspapers.

• An eye-popping 77% of Americans (nearly 4 out of 5 people) go online to buy books.

• More Americans buy books online than buy books at Target, Wal Mart, Sam’s Club, B.J’s, and Costco combined.

• The number 1 place in the world where Americans buy books: Online.

And you’re telling me you don’t have the time or interest to set up an online presence for yourself? Seriously?

Just last month I got a proposal from a college student telling me how she’d published her first book right out of high school and now she was ready for fame and glory with her second novel. I was curious, so I did what any guy does before a blind date. 

I Googled her.


No author website, no blog profile, no Facebook page, no promos or reviews for her first book, no author interviews, no book excerpts, no chat room transcripts, nothing. The only thing I did find was that her first book was in the Amazon.com catalog—and (no surprise) it ranked an abysmal 2,481,729 in sales on that site. 

The fact that she is anonymous online is killing this girl’s chances at publication. My Marketing VP already assumes that any new author is just another unknown who is unworthy of his support. How can I argue on this girl’s behalf when a simple Google search confirms his dour pre-supposition about her? I just can’t.

“Mike,” you say to me, “there’s too much online. It’s too demanding—and too confusing. It moves so fast, and I just don’t have time to keep up. I just want to write books. Isn’t that what’s really important anyway?”

Look, you must understand something: My Marketing VP doesn’t give a flying fig about whether or not you’re too busy or too old or too whatever to get yourself out there in the online world. All she cares about is that you are where book buyers are. And guess what? They’re online.

Remember, once you decided to become a “professional” writer—someone who actually makes money from stringing words together—you also decided to pursue being a public figure. And if you’re not able to be seen online? Well, you’d probably better stick to amateur status.

What You Can Do About It

1. Do the basics online. 

At an absolute minimum, every aspiring author needs a website or blog profile page to showcase his or her ambition. This is both your billboard and your “Yellow Pages” ad on the Internet. 

When you send me a book proposal, I expect to be able to find out everything I want to know about you simply by typing your name into a search engine. In fact, I may quote some of what I find out about you online to my Marketing VP when we talk about your book. Do you really want someone else’s random thoughts about you to dictate that conversation? Of course not. 

So take charge of your online presence. Create a website or a blog profile that communicates everything great about you and your writing…and do it now.

2. Find a friend to handle your online presence.

If you really are too busy, or too intimidated, or “too old” to start up your own author presence on the web, then you’d better find someone to do it for you. You can hire someone, but most often the best route is simply to find an internet savvy friend or family member and ask that person to set something up for you. With the abundance of online tools already out there, it’s fairly easy to put up a bare-bones web page or blog profile, and anyone with regular internet experience probably already knows what needs to be done.

So get help, and get a good author showcase for yourself out into the world of cyberspace…and do it now.

3. Grow up. If you’re still pouting about this online requirement for publishing success, well stop it. This is the 21st century, and in this publishing climate, an internet presence is mandatory for authors. So grow up and get yourself online…today.

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