Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Platform (And I Don't Mean Your Shoes)

Back in the day when we still used typewriters--back when I was writing my first articles (yes, that far back)--we would have never imagined the world of social media. The only people I might run into would be my postman as I hung out at my mailbox (for months or years.) My first articles for a newspaper were written by hand! (Yes, I need that exclamation mark.) My first computer was a marvel. I composed newsletters on that thing, losing a few through the click of a button. My screams were heard for blocks. Oh, and just try to read that dot-matrix print out.

Definitely I love the ease of communication with the publishing world--agents, editors, other writers, the readers. Also, I love that I can retrieve most of what I've written through back up. But this new level of social media in a writer's life really has this introvert longing for the days of quiet retreat. How do we build that platform we're told we need? I didn't have a clue, but I did love email and being able to communicate. That at least helps. It does make me nervous at how I'm presenting my message. I want to be clear and to not meander too far from what I'm spending time writing. How do I stay on track? What best conveys who I am as a writer?

I went on a search of books to read about the subject and I thought I'd share the titles I'm working through on my Kindle. Living where I do, I love that I can sit in my jammies and search for books--at midnight if I so choose. This has helped me the most. I'm in the middle of working through them so no reviews yet. Blogging is my first order of my makeover, thus the blog-heavy titles.

1. 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo by Bryan Allain.
2. You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins.
3. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt.
4. Are You There, Blog? It's Me, Writer by Kristin Lamb
5. We Are Not Alone: The Writer's Guide to Social Media by Kristin Lamb.

Kristin Lamb also has a blog talking about social media, and everyone knows about Michael Hyatt (if you don't, go there--reserve days to go over the site.) The main thing is get your writing time mapped out first, then discover what time you have left to work in the kind of social media you feel fits you best. You don't have to do it all. Agent Amanda Luedeke of the MacGregor Literary focuses her blog posts (Thursdays with Amanda) on social media and that platform, too, so go there. 

What kinds of things are you doing in social media? What intimidates you most? Are there any blogs or resources you are following to get your platform established? Do tell! 



  1. I like that you state we should define our writing time and fill in the social networking around that. Wise advise.

  2. Well, Mary, I figure what's the point of torturing myself with social media, if I'm not writing? LOL. What I've gleaned from the gurus of building platform is that you have to define who your audience is in your writing, then give those readers something with your social media. Your blog shouldn't be about writing unless your audience is writers. I'm having to redefine this on my blog/other social media.

    With my work with writers I do have some audience right now with writers, so I'm still offering that, but if I were to ever publish fiction, I definitely would want that focus only.

    It's such a fine line to walk with social media, too. What do you share? What do you stay away from? Argh! All while being authentic and true to yourself. And here's one more, just to further ugh me out--how much do you promote your writing/books (I don't have books) without making people gag? I feel that an author needs to give readers access to your books, but don't keep forcing it down our throats. If you promote too much, people get turned off. Give people something.

  3. For me, speaking has definitely been my best "platform"! No other social media comes close. . . for me, anyway. Speaking has sold thousands of my books; social media, maybe hundreds. . . But hey, social media do get me some speaking engagements (tho' most are by "word of mouth"! I have yet to do any radio or TV interviews. I may seek some here in my new home area of Bloomington, by and by. :-)

  4. Millie, I think speaking is a great vehicle for selling books! And I do think you might get some connections for speaking through some social media. That's wonderful.

    And Bloomington has some beautiful area surrounding it--have you been to Nashville? I love the area all around Bloomington. :)

  5. Nashville and Brown County are still on our "to do" list, Crystal! But we'll get there, by and by. . . :-)

  6. I love social media but I don't like the time it takes. But I've met some wonderful folks that I wouldn't otherwise have met were it not for social media!