The Basics of Building a Writer's Platform

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If 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 Platformexplains what a platform is and the common building blocks of a writer's platform.

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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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