Writer's Platform

Here's the place to share a writing or marketing tip you've used successfully and want to pass along.
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Alice Holt
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Writer's Platform

Postby Alice Holt » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:19 pm

Oh oh, I've been reading again. In my quest to become published in the military history niche, I have found a WD book "Create Your Writer Platform". At first I cringed at the work ahead of me, but the more I read, the more I see that it is not really work but another form of non-fiction writing and creating a following. Do any of you have such a platform? Is it a website with a link to a blog or just a blog? How many followers do you have? How long did it take you to get from "I have to do this" to "there it is"?

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Re: Writer's Platform

Postby sammy2 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:41 pm

[quote="Alice Holt"]Oh oh, I've been reading again. In my quest to become published in the military history niche, I have found a WD book "Create Your Writer Platform". At first I cringed at the work ahead of me, but the more I read, the more I see that it is not really work but another form of non-fiction writing and creating a following. Do any of you have such a platform? Is it a website with a link to a blog or just a blog? How many followers do you have? How long did it take you to get from "I have to do this" to "there it is"?[/quote]


Most successful writers have a platform. Presence on social media. Their own web site and blog. Separate web site for every book. One for their company if they self publish. It takes time and moves slowly unless you get lucky and go viral like Bieber on utoob or that 50 shades of black author.

rob-lost
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Re: Writer's Platform

Postby rob-lost » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:20 pm

I've seen some debate around whether it's cart or horse, the platform versus the work.

It seems to me that a platform is a valuable tool for establishing credential and reputation in non-fiction subject areas. I don't believe that a platform is a bad thing for fiction writers. Just less certain to be of assistance to an up-and-coming writer.
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ostarella
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Re: Writer's Platform

Postby ostarella » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:29 pm

[quote="rob-lost"]I've seen some debate around whether it's cart or horse, the platform versus the work.

It seems to me that a platform is a valuable tool for establishing credential and reputation in non-fiction subject areas. I don't believe that a platform is a bad thing for fiction writers. Just less certain to be of assistance to an up-and-coming writer.[/quote]

Yeah, a platform is to establish credentials - not sure how a novelist does that. Readers either like their books or they don't. But having a social media presence can be helpful to some, if they know enough not to put their foot in it (I've seen some that go into their personal lives so much I'm actually embarrassed for them). Personally, I don't pay any attention to author sites unless I already like their work enough to see what else they've got out there, or when the next book is due.

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Brien Sz
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Re: Writer's Platform

Postby Brien Sz » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:53 pm

I don't pay attention to writer's sites, blogs, twitter accounts, FB pages - just not my thing. I was at a WD conference a couple years ago where agents did say that for non-fiction writers having a web presence of some kind was very important because it helps establish credibility as well as seeing how many people follow you. It's understandable for an agent to want to know an idea of how many people may be willing to buy a book from said non-fiction writer right off the bat.

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Dreaming Imrryr
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Re: Writer's Platform

Postby Dreaming Imrryr » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:07 pm

[quote="Alice Holt"]

Oh oh, I've been reading again. In my quest to become published in the military history niche, I have found a WD book "Create Your Writer Platform". At first I cringed at the work ahead of me, but the more I read, the more I see that it is not really work but another form of non-fiction writing and...

...creating a following.

[/quote]



Hey there sailor (and yes I know you used to be a soldier too). :)

You've got it right on the first try, author platforms are used to create a following.

Now, just what an author platform exactly contains is hard to pin down.

In her article "A Definition of Author Platform" on her website, former Writers Digest staffer, Jane Friedman, says "Author platform is one of the most difficult concepts to explain, partly because everyone defines it a little differently. But by far the easiest explanation is: an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach."
https://www.janefriedman.com/author-platform-definition/

Now, Jane Friedman's article seems mostly geared for traditional publishing.

But there are OTHER ways of thinking about platforms.

In technical terms, a platform is something you stand on, and authors metaphorically stand on their author platform.

I define an author platform as everything you do that is or can be connected to your author products (fiction or nonfiction).

In terms of the internet, an author platform is everything you do online that is or CAN BE connected to your author products...even if it is only just your author name.

For example, if an author's name is on their fiction and nonfiction books...and the SAME name (or even a different name that can be identified as the author) can be found in an online forum engaged in a "flame war" (insult fight), well then, that's the author's platform...and it's not making the author look good.

There's an old saying, "Don't [expletive] where you eat."

There's a good reason why the bathroom and the kitchen are (hopefully) in two separate rooms in most houses.

And in the world of ebooks, online self-publishing, and indie authors...an author platform (specifically a blog) can be used as a marketing tool.

I know, I know...there maybe some people who disagree with me.

And even Jane Friedman says in her article: "A lot of people confuse platform building with marketing, promotion, and publicity. While those types of activities can build your platform, let’s be clear: being an extrovert on social media will not, by itself, lead you to a platform that interests publishers."

But, I'm talking about ebooks, online self-publishing, and indie authors.

In a future installment of The Indie Author ATSO Guide, the guide may or may not cover the subjects of advertisements, conversion marketing and author platforms.

:)

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Alice Holt
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Re: Writer's Platform

Postby Alice Holt » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:02 pm

Thanks. As a military historian, I see where I have to go. So I updated my public profile.


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