Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Time that doesn't exist & an OLP

I don't have time to do everything that life demands of me and write my book. I am a night-owl, and writing comes at the end of the day (or the beginning of the day on most nights). After the requirements of earning a salary are complete, the animals are sorted out, domestic life is organised and I get to sit down, the sand is quickly running out of the clock on my desk.

So, I need to write lots (and I can easily write 2000 words in a sitting) yet to get published I am told that I need to have an 'on-line presence'.

An on-line presence (OLP)? What's that all about then? Well, we live in an age of technology and at a time when everybody is writing a book. (You're reading this post so I guess you are too?). Therefore publishers can be choosy - very choosy - when it comes to parting with some cash for a new book. They need to be sure that the money invested in you and your work is going to be returned, with profit. So that's where an OLP comes in.

Are you marketable? Have you even considered how to promote your book and yourself? These type of questions are what publishers are asking when they consider your mss. The obvious way to show them you are - and that you've considered all of this whilst writing your masterpiece - is to have an OLP. After all, if loads of people already recognise your name, have had an interesting build up to the release of your book and have stayed with you over all these years, then you must be saying something right and you have a ready-made list of potential buyers of your book. This is what they are looking for on your CV which you took in behind the synopsis (why does that word always make me shiver?)

So, have you opened up a Twitter account to get out there? Do you have your own blog/site? These types of OLPs take years to build up, just as it took you years to write that book. So it stands to reason that you have to run these OLPs alongside your writing. Basically, unless you have written one of those rare masterpieces that sells itself, no OLP = no book deal.

Which brings me back to the title of this post. If I don't have time to write my book (and that's not a real 'if'), then how the hell am I supposed to find the time to create a substantial on-line presence?



  1. It worked! :)

    I sympathize with your lack of time as well as with your OLP (love that) quandary. Fitting the time needed for writing into an already full daily schedule isn't easy, but it's like most things in life: if we really, really want something badly enough, we find time to accommodate it. Sounds like your writing has to happen in snippets of time stolen from sleep.

    I started my blog in 2008 as a means of increasing my visibility. As an introvert, it was hard, but it gets easier, and along the way I've met a lot of wonderfully supportive people online. I find I have to discipline myself and set time limits on my internet time or it can easily take over my writing time, and if we aren't writing we hardly need an online presence to help us sell anything. Right?

    Good luck with both your writing and developing your OLP.

  2. I can totally empathize. I've been working on a novel, and am actually getting close to completing the first draft. One of my issues is that while I want to build an online presence, there is a complication - my spouse is uncomfortable with the idea, because while it is a work of fiction, he *thinks* it may be mistaken for an autobiography. So for me to create an OLP, I have to do so under a pseudonym that is NOT in any way linked to my FB or Twitter account - the accounts that have my real name, the accounts on which I have friends who are actually interested in the novel. Fun. So I guess I have to create another Facebook account... yippee.


Thank you!