What is your platform?

In her eBook How Editors Think, Marcela Landres has great advise for any author: the need to have a platform: who knows you and who do you know?

Barack Obama and Dick Cheney have extensive platforms – my platform is a little less intense, a bit more, how should we say — accute? But every author needs a platform, a network of interested fans, a few humble listeners…read: people who want to read your book!

So how does a guy like me build an effective platform?

Tip #1 is to Stop Writing and start building your platform. Get away from your desk, head to a conference, start blogging (hi, nice to see you!), attend a writer’s conference, join a writer’s group, publish a short story, run for president, become an angry, balding, nearly-obsolete white man. It’s about building your network, expanding your reader base, and having your voice heard.

Would love for you to share how you’ve built your platform…go ahead…Click the link, leave a comment…


5 Responses to What is your platform?

  1. Joan says:

    In a way, I’m an accidental writer–never intended to write, but fell into it starting with fanfiction. But career wise, I was an engineer working in the computer field and about 5 years ago I was caught in a reduction in force–I was laid off. As it happened, I was of an age where I could retire and start withdrawing from my 401K without penalty. Although I had intended to seek employment, I ended up reading a book that got me interested in Richard III. His story was compelling and the more I read about him, the more I started thinking I’d write a short story or article or something. To do that, I needed help–I joined the Richard III Society and Critique Circle–an online critique group. It is from these two groups that I formed my core base. From there I’ve expanded to the Historical Novel Society and the Independent Authors Guild.


    This Time (trade paperback)
    ISBN-13: 978-0-9824493-0-1

  2. Gayle says:

    I’ve been writing a column for 8 years. I also write on line. I go to poetry readings, writer groups, and most of my friends are writers or creative types. I have a platform. 🙂

  3. Bobby Ozuna says:

    Great question…that is an aspect of my career and discussions I have been talking about lately. I mentioned “brand building” on my show with John Kremer Wednesday night and I think it is imperative, first and foremost, that authors first see their work as not just a passion but a business. And like any business, you have to establish a mantra or brand, something that isolates you from the masses and allows people to know who you are and know what you stand for.

    In working to establish my own brand or platform for my career, I have had to isolate myself in deep thought, meditation, consideration and prayer to determine what my gifts meant in relation to my writing career. Not only am I an author but I am also a great speaker. I help others as often as I can and in time, I was given the chance to establish a platform or stage available to indie authors–the Bobby Ozuna Show.

    I am hoping to build credibility as a source of not only knowledge and expertise in the world of indie publishing, but also provide a HUGE online platform for indie authors–something they can’t always get because of the negative stigma associated with POD publishing.

    I think the question is great and it is imperative, that if an author wants to build long term credibility and establish a life and career in the literary world, that they first determine what they are in relation to writing, what their books signify and what other attributes they possess that can become beneficial to others.

    Great post…

    ~Bobby Ozuna

  4. I planned my DAFFODILS light mystery series (Divorced And Finally Free Of Deceitful, Insensitive, Licentious Scum) around 3 goals:

    1. a humorous series about middle-aged, divorced women –write what you know, plus that is the largest group purchasing books.

    2. a series set in New Smyrna Beach, my hometown, featuring real places/events that would appeal to locals and tourists (and make a good souvenir!)

    3. a catchy “hook.” Boy, it was hard to come up with DAFFODILS, but I finally did thanks to my husband. (BTW, I’ve never been divorced, he’s the DAFFODIL in this family.) However, my characters incorporate many real life incidents from divorced lady friends and family.

    The formula worked for me. As the only series set in this small beach town south of Daytona Beach, FL it was relatively easy to get press coverage and the line (mostly locals) stretched out the door at my first signing. That generated word of mouth.

    Next I approached local hotels, restaurants, gift shops, etc. in an effort to snag the tourist market. Since many of those establishments were featured in the first book, where the DAFFODILS trio ate and partied their way through town, it wasn’t an overly hard sell. The beauty of tourists is that they buy the first book here, then go home and purchase the rest of the series or request special orders from their bookstores. The requests got my foot in the door of American Wholesale Books (Books-A-Million) which is very picky but does support regional authors.

    And, that’s the story of my success, such as it is (not a TV series yet, though I had one bite.) Since my humble beginnings of peddling them locally (the local market is still among my largest), the series has been accepted by B&T, American Wholesale Books, and INGRAM!
    I made it to the Ingram iPage through a juried panel of major players in the industry (sponsored by PMA, now IBPA).

    Oh, there were some very good reviews from RomanticTimes Book Club and others which undoubtedly helped!

    One would think that’s about all a micro-independent publisher could accomplish but no, by getting in on the ground floor of Amazon’s Kindle (the wave of the future IMO) I’ve acquired an entirely new audience not related to tourists or New Smyrna Beach.

    I’m still waiting for a TV series, since Desperate Housewives seems to be waning, the reason my first bite was canned. The DAFFODILS were thought to be too similar to the witchy housewives’ show that had just debuted. But, my ladies are completely different and funny … hope springs eternally.

    Linda aka Mary Clay

  5. […] also goes back to our discussion of your writer’s platform. While Palin turned this thing out in a matter of 4 months, it took me 6 years to write The Cigar […]

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