Tips for Growing Platform––Part I What is Platform?

fountain penPlatform. An ugly word for writers. I’ve been sharing recently about changes in the publishing industry and how they affect pre-published authors like me. How publishers want us to be “publish-ready.” We can learn the craft of writing, but we now also have to be marketers and networkers. Click to Tweet #amwriting #growingplatform

I’m not an expert and I don’t claim to be, but I’ve been on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIN since 2009. Maybe some of you have been on longer. To introduce you to me a bit: I’ve started four blogs, but now only keep this one. Currently, I’m a part of several more. Through the next few posts, we’ll look at social media, blogging, and networking to help you grow “platform.”

What is “platform?” Webster’s dictionary says, “A raised horizontal surface of wood, stone, or metal; a raised stage or flooring beside railroad tracks. A statement of principles and policies, especially of a political party.”

I suggest that “platform” is sphere of influence. Your sphere of influence. How well are you known in your sphere? Let’s look at “influence.”

According to Webster’s, influence is “the power of persons or things to affect others, the action or effect of such power. The ability of a person or group to produce effects indirectly, by means of power, wealth, high position.”

from Flickr

from Flickr

In days past, publishers made authors out of wannabes. The publishing house had resources to educate authors and perform the necessary editing. They had a whole marketing department staffed by individuals whose sole job was to market your book so that many copies would be sold––to help the publishing house recoup any advance on royalties they’d given to the author, plus make a tidy profit for themselves.

Publishing houses still have these staff members, but the role of the wannabe author has changed. We must now take a larger active role in selling our own book.

Many writers don’t know anything about marketing. But now, we must learn. Because publishers look at several things when considering a wannabe author. The first, of course, is the writing itself. But of secondary importance is platform. We’ll be discussing this more in the next few weeks. Click to Tweet #amwriting #growingplatform

What about you? Are you engaged in social media? Leave a comment and let me know.

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