We’ve spent three weeks toward establishing your brand as a writer, now it’s time for perhaps the most important aspect, differentiating it.
Differentiation is what separates you from the rest of the aspiring, and
published, writers out there today. As the market is consistently saturated and
companies merging leaves a multitude of questions, differentiation is vital. Don’t believe it’s saturated? Take a look at this Tweet sent by Colorado literary agent Sara Megibow.
Let’s say that you have written a space exploration adventure, fantastic. You’ve put your heart and soul into working on the manuscript for months, possibly years. Now you submit to an agent that represents Science Fiction. Why should they even take a second glance? The brutal, and honest truth of the matter is that there are probably about a dozen other space exploration adventures that the two can choose from in their slush pile. If Megibow is receiving 615 queries in such a small window, how important do you think it is? If you said anything besides “Absolutely Essential,” then please reread the above paragraphs. Someone wasn’t listening.
The only way to make it so that that agent chooses you is by differentiating
your brand. The manuscript itself has to have high quality writing and individualized
elements of storytelling. It’s all vital. However, if you’ve created a brand that is
unique, then it will allow the agent to see your presence on the web before they’ve
read a single page. As a result, if they are looking for a space exploration adventure,
it will allow you to be noticed as opposed to the writer that hasn’t even started a
blog or has no social media presence.
In this case, it’s looking at several elements. What have you done in your life
that has given you the expertise to write about space exploration? What elements
are combined in the space exploration that hasn’t been seen in a while? What new
scientific breakthroughs have occurred that you use in your story? Have you
interviewed the pioneers of this newly discovered science?
This entry is very, very specific. But from it, you can clearly see that if you
think of these kinds of things ahead of time, then you will be able to create a unique
brand for agents, edits, and readers to see what you’re doing, then know that you’ve
really taken the time and effort to make your manuscript of a higher quality, and
something that will be marketable.
If you’re just now joining, welcome. You can see the previous week’s work here:
As always, you can see the latest updates at ThomasAFowler.com, the conversation’s live on Twitter @ThomasAFowler, use the hashtag #WritersConquest with any questions, comments or concerns. Thanks everyone. Kick some ass, and be proud of what you do.