Platform Building: A Must for All Writers

A friend from my South Jersey Writers group confirmed what I had been hearing in every class and on every blog.  “Your manuscript could be great,” he said, “but if you’re not socially connected, the publisher’s not interested in reading it.”    

Gone are the days when writers only had to focus on their writing.  Now we need to be masters of the social media if we want a publisher to look at our manuscripts. 
            But how do you become socially connected?  Here are some tips I picked up.  Ideas are welcome.
1.      Become an expert on the topic you write about.  Research about the topic.  Look for relevant current events and comment on them.
2.      Visit other blogs in your genre or topic.  Follow them.  Leave comments.  Tell people who you are.  Guest post on a blog where permissible.
3.      Create your own blog about your genre or topic and blog often.  Set up a consistent routine so followers know when you are likely to post. 
4.      Create an author page on facebook and invite friends to join it.  Announce when you have posted something new on your blog or website.  Ask people to visit and leave comments.
5.      Create a google+ account to connect with other writers and friends and associations relevant to your topics and become involved in online conversations. 
6.      Join twitter.  Tweet.  Retweet.  And “Like” tweets or comments.  Ask for retweets.  Thank the person for the retweet.  Use hashtags [#] and join online conversations.
7.      Join LinkedIn and become part of some online conversations there as well.
8.      Pinterest is a visual media.  If you can make visual connections to your topic or book, do so on pinterest. 
            These are all free.  You can also build a website [.com] and/or buy your name.  You can connect your blogs and media to your own website and sell your books through a link on your webpage.  I haven’t gotten to this point as I don’t have anything to sell…yet.   
            I completed my Write Your Memoir in 6 Months course.  My first draft is 65,246 words.  Now the real work begins.  Revision.  I hope to bolster up my media platform while I revise.  But as most of you realize, social media takes much time…and patience. 
How did you build your social platform and how long did it take before you started seeing some results?  Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

12 thoughts on “Platform Building: A Must for All Writers”

  1. Excellent post! Building your social media platform is very time-consuming, Victoria. You've got a pretty complete list here, but all these things take a lot of time and effort to build a following. (Another great social networking site is Goodreads…for both authors and readers…) The vast majority of publishers nowadays expect authors to do their own marketing and you are right that they expect authors to already have a platform. I think when newbie authors are writing a book, they think most of the work is done when the book is finished, but that's not true. Marketing takes more time and, in some cases, more effort. I've seen some wonderfully written books be virtually ignored because the author does almost no marketing and I've seen mediocre books gets noticed because the author spends most of her time marketing.

  2. Good stuff, Victoria. I would suggest also joining Indiebound community of independent booksellers once you're published.

    Instagram is also a very happening place to share photos, and might be more effective than Facebook if you're writing to a YA audience.

    But, without question, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are the most important outposts a writer can establish to build platform and create community.

    By the way, I found this article on G+.

  3. I'm so happy you have your manuscript done. Sure, there's work to do, but you've accomplished something huge.

    I agree having a platform helps, but I think a good story is still a good story.

  4. Thank you, Michelle. Most people don't realize how much work writers do outside of creating stories or essays. Like any career, writing is multi-faceted.

    Thanks again for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog. Please stop by again.

  5. Thank you, Ellen. Building a social media platform is extremely time-consuming, and with limited time, it seems next to impossible.

    Thank you for recommending Goodreads. I guess I need to join as a reader until I have something published and ready to sell. I know you review books. Do you review books ON Goodreads or only on your blog?

    I realize I have much to learn about marketing and that I need to do this if I am to shop my memoir and then the book itself. About how long did it take you to gather such a following, Ellen?

    Thank you so much for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog. Please stop by again.

  6. Don, welcome and thank you for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog. Thank you for telling me which media you found my blog post.

    I will check out Indiebound community of independent booksellers once I become published. Thanks for recommending it.

    I do write YA short stories. If I write a book-length manuscript and publish other than at children's magazines, I'll connect with Instagram. Thank you for that kind bit of information.

    I truly appreciate your visiting my Adventures in Writing blog and offering advice, Don. Please stop by again.

  7. Thank you, Theresa, for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog and thanks for the good wishes. I'm excited to have the first draft complete.

    Theresa, you have a wonderful blog. How long did it take you to build up your following on your blog?

    And I agree with you. Social media aside, a good story is still a good story.

    Thanks again, Theresa, for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog. Please stop by again.

  8. Hi Lynda. Thank you for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog. Being active online. That's the hard part. I either have time to create stories, or I have time to visit sites and discussions and leave pithy comments. However, you are 100% correct. I need to make time for both.

    Thanks again, Lynda, for reading my blog post. Please stop by again.


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