How Do You Balance Writing With Platform Building?

Digital Native / Flickr

Digital Native / Flickr

I’m often asked, “How much time should I spend on writing and how much on building my platform?”

It’s a difficult question to answer. After a very long preface, I attempt to offer guidelines over at my column on Writer Unboxed.

Should You Focus on Writing or Your Platform?

I hope you’ll take a look, and let me know in the comments (here or there) what you think belongs in the guidelines.


Posted in Writing Advice.

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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Self (Publishing) Help: What is a Book Doctor? Do I need one? « April Line WritingSusanJohn R WorsleyJane FriedmanJulian Summerhayes Recent comment authors

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Julian Summerhayes

Sorry Jane but the link is broken

John R Worsley

“It necessarily varies based on the author and the work in question.”

I find that to be the answer to many questions! Which is why I’m picky about who I follow and listen to; I derive little value from catch-all answers, and greatly appreciate people like you who take the time to sort through and articulate the it-depends-ness of an answer.


Hi Jane,  I really like the guidelines you’ve put forth. I fall into the “work on your writing” group, but have to give props to a debut author in town who needed to “work on her platform” so she formed a consortium of sorts to build a blog. I think group blogging is a very savvy way to strike a balance. With 8 writers and 2 posts weekly that comes out to one blog post/month which is far more doable and allows for more time to “work on your writing” no matter where you are on the career spectrum. Something… Read more »


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