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Thursday, October 16, 2014


Preparing Your Author Platform

Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, chances are you’ve heard all about the importance of building a platform, or, your visibility as an author. Your platform can include your following on social media, personal and professional connections, membership organizations and other avenues where you promote yourself, such as bylines in articles and blog posts.

When I first started learning about the idea of a platform, I was a bit confused. I’d always thought it was more targeted toward writers of non-fiction or memoirs. But then I picked up a great book on the topic called Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz. In it, she discusses various platforms of both  non-fiction and fiction writers and offers examples of ways to brainstorm ideas for areas of expertise to help with future book promotion.

For example, fiction writers can become “experts” and write and speak about the following:

  • The creative process
  • A specific location or time period
  • Universal human themes
  • A particular time in people’s lives (coming of age, etc.)

In my work as a blog tour manager here at WOW! Women on Writing, I help authors to develop topics they can write about for guest posts with bloggers along the tour. One of our recent authors, Sydney Avey, was promoting her novel The Lyre and the Lambs, and came up with the following topics for her tour (which were all excellent, by the way):

  • The Legacy of the Adult Orphan
  • The Writer’s Journey
  • A Look Back at California culture
  • The Importance of Book Reviews
  • The Power of a Story
  • Mothers and Daughters: Communication Across the Generational Divide

Using the tools I’ve picked up along the way, I’ve slowly been trying to build my own platform, especially because so many publishing houses and agents prefer to work with authors who already have a following before book publication. I’ve tried to mix in more writing and publishing tidbits in my Facebook posts, tweets and blog posts, along with mentions of pop culture, which is another fun topic that interests me. I have written a YA and MG book, and based on their story lines, here are a few topics I can use for my own platform in the future:

  • Growing Up in the 1980s: Technology My Children Will Never Understand
  • My Top Five Children’s Books About Time Travel
  • Why the book Girl,Interrupted Resonated With Me
  • The Danger in Keeping Secrets

How are you working to grow your own platform? What topics could you write or speak about as they relate to your own works-in-progress or published books? Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, I’d love to know!

Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer and editor who also works as a Blog Tour Manager for WOW! Women on Writing. Visit her blog at Renee’s Pages, follow her on Twitter, or check her out on Pinterest to get a better idea of her platform.

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Blogger Margo Dill said...

Thanks for this post. It's something my writing group and I talk about a lot. I have thought about focusing on building strong girls and empowering them, but then I also write about boys--so how about strong kids? I also have a love and joy of reading and writing and wanting to share that with kids. SO I wonder if you can have two platforms?

1:14 PM  
Blogger Renee Roberson said...

@Margo, I absolutely think you can have two different platforms. Hope Clark comes to mind when I think of this. She started out with a platform to help non-fiction writers and freelancers with her Funds for Writers newsletters and has since branched off into having a fiction platform with her mystery books.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Patricia A. McGoldrick said...

Enjoyed the interview, Nina! Also, the book cover drew me to it instantly! :)

9:06 AM  

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