Writer Platforms Demystified

Linda’s Writer Platform Class

Writers of all stripes cringe at the word platform. Ick! It’s all that messy time-sucking social media, they whine. Why do I need to know what somebody ate for breakfast?
Writing Tip for Today: The answer is simple–that SOMEbody might just be your reader. And in order to connect with more potential readers, you have to interact with them. This term’s Platform Building class was one of the best I’ve had. Here are a few things we discussed regarding platform:

  • Marketing is Getting Someone to Like You. We used this quip by Jane Friedman to illustrate that marketing isn’t some weird complex set of rules. Rather, it’s you connecting with another person (the potential reader) and trying to establish some kind of relationship. In the checkout line, at the car wash, in the waiting room–all these and more are opportunities for you to “sell” yourself. If you are pre-published, sell yourself as a writer. The more people who recognize your name when you have a published book, the more books you’ll likely be able to sell.
  • But I Hate Selling! Don’t think of your platform as a way to sell used cars. Think of it as building relationships. You don’t buttonhole your Facebook friends to BUY BUY BUY your book. That’ll get you unfriended. Instead, you nurture relationships by actually engaging. Maybe you’ll have to actually care about what this person cares about. If you are sincere, listen and show you care, your “prospect” turns into a friend–a real one.
  • How Do I Build Platform if I Don’t Have a Current Book Out? The million dollar question! On our last class, we talked about starting a speaking career alongside writing. Someone asked who wants to hear you speak if you aren’t published yet? Think of what you’re passionate about. Chances are, you know a LOT about that topic. Begin by offering to speak for free, choosing small groups at first if you are shy, and practicing your presentations. It’s a case where one hand washes the other–the more who hear you speak, the more name recognition. When your book is in your hand, your readership will be ready for you. Platform Building is for ALL writers, published or pre-published. See you on social media!

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

6 comments on “Writer Platforms Demystified

  1. Awesome class, Linda! It motivated us to put ourselves out there. I finally cowgirl’ed up and submitted something! And I just heard back from Port Yonder… a big YES! I am going to be in their anthology and I’m super excited 🙂

    • Awesome! I’m bursting with pride. It was a fabulous class and all of you made a huge effort. Success comes to those who don’t give up. Keep Writing!

  2. Hmm. Good idea. Course now, I’m wondering–‘what could I SPEAK about??’ My interests are so diverse. My blog has been almost all a defense-of-the-faith/apologetic thing and I’m writing Christian fiction for nice church ladies…and I love horses and am fairly knowledgeable, but they only figure in in small doses in my writing, if at all. {Sighing} Suggestions??? 🙂

    • Maybe think of some ways that horsemanship (and womanship) is like being a Christian? Trusting God in the Saddle? I’ll think on it some more.
      Keep Writing!

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