Guest Post: The Supplies You Need to Build a Writer’s Platform

by Meryl Evans | Category: Books, Marketing, Meryl's Notes Blog, Writing 10 comments

Welcome to meryl’s notes blog (this here place you’re lookin’ at) in Plano, Texas. We’re honored to be a stop in Laura Cross’ WOW! Women On Writing Blog tour. We’re giving away a prize. Read on to see what you can win.

About Laura Cross: She is an author, screenwriter, ghostwriter, freelance book editor, and writing coach specializing in nonfiction books and script adaptation (book-to-film projects). She writes two popular blogs, www.NonfictionInk.com and www.AboutAScreenplay.com, and teaches online writing workshops. Her latest book is The Complete Guide To Hiring A Literary Agent: Everything You Need To Know To Become Successfully Published. You can download a free chapter, view the book trailer, read the full table of contents and purchase the eBook at www.GetALiteraryAgent.com.

The Supplies You Need to Build a Writer’s Platform by Laura Cross

Literary agents and publishers are looking for nonfiction writers with established platforms. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to land a book deal or acquire an agent without one. A platform encompasses the ways you are visible and attracting potential readers. It conveys your expertise and influence. Every author’s platform strategy will be unique to him or her. One size does not fit all. You must follow a path that is natural for you and your writing. However, there are five essential components or supplies you need to build a writer’s platform:

1. Understand Your Brand Image: Establish an author identity and use it consistently throughout your material. Your personal brand is how you package and present yourself to readers to distinguish and differentiate yourself from other writers.

2. Develop and Promote Your Expertise: Are you the go-to expert in your field? You can establish your expertise through:

  • Professional credentials
  • Writing articles
  • Being featured on radio and television, and in print media
  • Testimonials and endorsements
  • Speaking engagements
  • Teaching workshops, seminars, teleclasses, and webinars
  • Hosting your own online radio show or podcast
  • Creating informational products
  • Being a resource for reporters, journalists, and television producers
  • Sending out press and news releases
  • Creating and distributing online informational videos
  • Answering questions via LinkedIn groups and YahooAnswers
  • Blogging and guest posts

3. Have an Internet Presence: Every potential author needs a website or blog. If you already have a web presence when you begin approaching media you will have an edge over other writers. A blog can add to your credibility, help you establish your expertise, and provide a means to capture potential readers for your database.

4. Build A List of Contacts: Publishers want to know just how many potential readers there are for your book. The number of fans you have from Facebook, followers on Twitter, connects on LinkedIn, and subscribers to your blog provide tangible figures. Producing a weekly or monthly e-zine or newsletter is an effective way to grow your list of contacts. Your website and blog can include an opt-in page to capture subscribers.

5. Engage In Community: You can network through local and regional events, national conferences and conventions, and online social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Online networking sites give you access to connections and a platform to share your writing and expertise.

Your turn: What are you doing to establish and grow your author platform?

Win: You can win a class (choose from any of the classes — Meryl is jealous because she doesn’t qualify!) or a digital copy of her book. For a chance to win, please leave a comment at least 50 words long answering her question. Or write about your favorite character in a book. You have until 11:59pm on February 16, 2010 to qualify for the drawing. The unbiased and robotic Random.org has the honor of picking the winner.

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10 comments

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