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The Basics of Building a Writer’s Platform

Categories: Build a Platform & Start Blogging, Tip of the Day, Creative Writing Tips Tags: platform, selling books, writing.

writing platform | become a writerIf you want to sell more books or simply get your name out there, a writer’s platform is essential. Chuck Sambuchino, author of Create Your Writer Platform explains what a platform is and the common building blocks of a writer’s platform.

What is a Writer/Author Platform?

Platform, simply put, is your visibility as an author.

The definition of platform, broken down, is your personal ability to sell books through:

  1. Who you are
  2. The personal and professional connections you have
  3. Any media outlets (including blogs and social networks) that you can utilize to sell books

The Building Blocks of a Platform

The most common building blocks of a platform include the following:

  1. A website and/or blog with a large readership
  2. An e-newsletter and/or mailing list with a large number of subscribers/recipients
  3. Article/column writing (or correspondent involvement) for the media—preferably for larger outlets and outlets within the writer’s specialty
  4. Guest contributions to successful websites, blogs, and periodicals
  5. A track record of strong past book sales[1]
  6. Individuals of influence that you know—personal contacts (organizational, media, celebrity, relatives) who can help you market at no cost to yourself, whether through blurbs, promotion, or other means
  7. Public speaking appearances—the bigger, the better
  8. An impressive social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, and the like)
  9. Membership in organizations that support the successes of their own
  10. Recurring media appearances and interviews—in print, on the radio, on TV, or online

Not all of these methods will be of interest/relevance to you. As you learn more about how to find success in each one, some will jump out as practical and feasible, while others will not. My advice is to choose a few and dive in deep—and don’t be afraid to concede failure in one area, then shift gears and plunge into something else. It’s better to show impressive success in some areas than minimal success in all.

Lastly, know that building a platform takes time. Strive for something real—strong channels that will help you sell. Simply being on Twitter and having a website does not mean you have a platform. Those are just the first steps.

This excerpt is from Create Your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino.

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2 Responses to The Basics of Building a Writer’s Platform

  1. tayman0522 says:

    Can you describe ways to help develop your platform? I have a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and a website, but I am struggling to develop the readership that I would like to have.

    I have read a few books on the subject, and I believe that I have some good ideas for creating interesting content, but I wanted to know what your thoughts were as well. Thank you for your article!

    • Describli says:

      Really helpful tips here! I would also say that a platform is something you’re feeding all the time, not just when you’ve recently published a book. Too many writers have said that they try to promote their new book, only to find out that they’re yelling at empty space on Twitter. Daily content, even micro-content, that is relevant to your message, is really helpful.

      Now for the shameless plug – Describli.com is a site where you can write a little bit each day in response to a prompt, and other writer’s rate your writing. If it gets a lot of good ratings, you head to the top of the list and gain more readers, more visibility, and a bigger following. We know it’s hard to build up a platform, and blogging can be a full time job – this is something that is shorter, and a ton of fun!

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