“You need to build yourself a platform for your writing.”

I’ve been hearing that advice for a number of years and doing my best to ignore it.  I’m a writer. I don’t want to be a salesman. I certainly don’t want to spend hours dreaming up a strategy to market myself to an invisible audience.  Who needs business cards, editing services or an agent?

All I have to do is sit tight and let my audience come to me, right?

Wrong. This year, reality smacked me in the butt and pitched me, headfirst, into the realm of self promotion.  My writing is finally beginning to take off and everyone is asking me about my platform. I’m fortunate to start my career in the midst of the Twitter and Facebook revolution. I can promote myself from the comfort my own home—no traveling expenses. Meals are on the house. Laundry service available 24 hours a day. Mail pick up at the touch of a button.  I love it! After visiting countless blogs and reading the advice of agents and published authors, I’ve decided to become proactive and build a platform.

Here’s what I’ve done:

  1. Set up my Blog called “The Raven’s Eye.”
  2. Set up a Twitter account.
  3. Registered on Facebook.
  4. Begun work on an author website.
  5. Scouted new sites that feature strong writers for feedback.
  6. Bought Nikki Leigh’s “Book Promo 101” for additional advice.
  7. Bookmarked agent sites that give free advice for aspiring writers.
  8. Reaffirmed my commitment to my writing group “Sweethearts” at Writer’s Village University.
  9. Entered my work in contest(s)
  10. Joined a fabulous new site called Editor Unleashed where I can meet other authors, meet professionals in the writing field, get advice on markets and read about how to overcome the obstacles writers face in the pursuit of publication.

My platform is an ever evolving thing, a delicate seedling full of potential. It’s going to grow larger and stronger as I educate myself about the process of self promotion and continue to write, submit and publish my stories. It’s just starting to sprout buds. I can detect a hint of fragrance.

I hope the blossoms are huge and beautiful.

  1. Q says:

    Just one more suggestion: get your own domain even if it feels expensive. I use Tiger Technologies (after Holly Lisle) but any would do. Those free ones will grab your writing profits (from ads, here and there; whatever). I made my little “Firearms” 34 page PDF and it pays a regular income that has payed my domain many times over, during the two years — (not my book perhaps, affiliate sales must have done a lot). Oh well! I think there’s much more to it. Look over WordPress for Dummies (it was put together with Matt Mulweg — no “dummy”, the creator of the software you’re running under on your blog — and I still prefer “web log”). And then there’s John Poazides and others associated with WorpPress.

    I don’t have Nikki Leigh’s book; on your recommendation, I think I ought to order it up, though the mule delivery will take a while, here.

    “Sweethearts”, at Writers Village — indeed, you have a good group there (though could I stick to your schedule? Probably not)

    Another site, one that you take a look at —

    And about contests – “On the Premise” is a good place — I’ve no idea how much they respect their author’s rights commitment – but they are about here

    Now about Twitter and Facebook – from here, in goon country, they default the local IP in Spanish – I have to find a way to hack around that but it does seem that they are certainly a way of promotion — part of that “platform”: get us “out in the world:” I think that yes, it could work.

    Keeping all this techie stuff is a drag; takes up huge swaths of time. If you are fortunate and can do it with ease or have some around you that can do it, then of course you gain: otherwise your actual “writing time” will be the loser. Mrs. Q does say I lecture a lot. She’s probably right*!


    *She’s always right!

  2. ravenlaw says:

    Thanks Q.

    I will take a look at what getting a domain entails. You’re right, this tech stuff takes up a lot of time. I’ve been reading about the blogs, twitter and Facebook. Seems like some agents think they aren’t great for finding an agent, but good for getting a follow. Poets & Writers has an article featuring several agents who have opinions on these things.
    There’s a general feeling that these medias are going to become saturated with tons of useless ravings and loose some promotional power.

    Most agents still think their valuable for keeping a following, though not a deal breaker if they are considering publishing an author.

    It still comes down to talent.

    Thanks for the visit!


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