Tuesday, April 19, 2011
What is a platform?
There has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth since the days when writers just wrote. We can no longer stay in our artistic dream dimensions to weave genius into our words. We have to step out from our creative cocoons and tell the world we have arrived. So, what is a platform? It’s all the relationships we form and all the things we do to announce our presence to the world.
Why do we need it?
We need a platform because the hard reality is we must prove to publishers our work will sell. We need to show them we have the know-how, the connections, and the motivation and drive to do what it takes to sell a book. And we need to do it before we start to query. The sooner the better because it takes time to develop relationships.
How do we build it?
There are many ways to build a platform. A popular, effective, and inexpensive way is to plunge into social media. Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and forums are all free, fun, and informative. The writing community is a generous one, full of wonderful people willing to help each other out. The main thing we need to remember, though, is that social media is about the relationships. This means the benefits of the connections should run both ways. Give back. Be generous. Offer people help, advice, encouragement. If you promote other people’s work as much as you promote your own, then it will become a rewarding experience.
Another way of building relationships and finding connections is to get involved. Join your local writing group, attend writer’s conferences, offer to teach writing or take part in speaking engagements. I’ll be attending the Sydney Writer’s Festival in May. Send me an email if you’ll be in the area for it.
How have you built your platform? When did you start? How important do you think it is?
Note: This post is part of the A-Z Challenge. To learn more about the challenge click the image on my sidebar.
Reminder: Please vote for my blog here. I’ve entered it into the bonus People’s Choice Award as part of the Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs Award 2011. My blog is listed under W.I.P It: A Writer’s Journey -- Lynda Young.