How To Increase Your Platform

So, the last time we chatted we talked about the need, and the opportunity, for authors to build their “platforms” via social media. Whether blogs or Facebook or Tangle or Twitter or YouTube or other online communities, generating a following is easy enough from the technology end.

As authors know, the hardest part of writing is staring at the blank screen. Whatever will you write? Whatever do you have to say that’s interesting and/or useful to anybody, let alone the entire blogosphere?

Wait a minute! You just wrote an entire book. Or you’re in the midst of writing one, right? What’s your subject matter? Can you expound on a specific fact beyond the scope of your book? If you’re a chemist (pay attention, Richard), what new developments are there in the world of beakers and test tubes? If you’re a geologist or paleontologist (Carl), what’s new out at the dig site? If you’re a home schooling expert (Martha), what new curricula do you recommend for the Fall term?

Even if nothing from the content of your book is newsworthy, share with readers the process you endured in conceiving, gestating and birthing your new “baby.” We all want to know how you achieved the monumental task of filling a hundred or two hundred or more pages of text. Did you rise before daybreak like John Grisham keystroking a few score words before heading off to work? Did you lug your laptop on the subway or commuter train grabbing a few minutes here and there? Or do you do as I do, kiss the wife, kick the cat and punch the computer ON button (I did get that in the right order, didn’t I?) as soon as you breeze through the front door arriving home from a day of…sitting before another computer?

Authors I admire, Brandilyn Collins among them, commit themselves to a specific number of words on their next literary endeavor each and every day. They also commit themselves to Facebooking and Twittering and blogging each and every day.

Writing is hard work, no doubt about it. Marketing your book is even harder, at least for most authors. It’s the marketing that’s key, however, because if you have no following, there won’t be any publishers willing to consider, much less buy, your manuscript.

Help others improve their lives via your social media communication and you’ll increase your platform one follower at at time. Stay true to your calling and others will one day be calling you.

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