STOP the presses. Forget those social platforms. There’s something else you need to do first to build your readership.
In the last blog, I shared about how writers build a body with our God-given imagination. We create individuals, families and perhaps a romance or fantasy that exists only in our minds.
With the created characters, a writer moves into developing a plot and then a complete story. One that hopefully draws readers into a wonderful world of your making.
So now you have the people, the place andthe product. What next? Everyone in “the know” insists writers build a platform. For newer scribes this means a list of ways to market and promote a book(s) through such things as:
- Social media
- Selling through fairs and book signings
- Book readings at local libraries and bookstores
The ways and means of building a platform are as various as authors themselves. Each comes up with a means to get a book into the hands of the world—not just family and friends.
Perhaps you are a seasoned writer and what I’ve just said makes you yawn and think, “What else is new,” and your index finger is hovering over the exit key. But bear with me if you’re still reading what this fledgling writer is trying to say.
Building a platform is much more than creating your persona online for the world to admire. It is creating yourself as a person so that others are interested in reading your work. Then they will learn to trust you—even if they don’t know you personally.
So what I suggest is that we need to build the foundation for our platform through things such as:
Integrity: What we write is who we are. When we say we believe certain things, are we willing to uphold to those beliefs even when writing something else might garner more readers. I want to be known as a writer who doesn’t include gratuitous sex or violence and my readers expect that. That’s just my preference, not a judgment statement.
Encourager: Be willing to build others up on their platforms. Become an encourager to those who are learning the craft or feel discouraged in what they are doing. Share the work of others on your social media sites and be the best cheerleader the world has ever known.
Stay away from politics: Of course everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But as writers we should keep personal thoughts for loved ones and maintain neutrality with the rest of society. After all, many will not agree with our positions. Why alienate a potentially large group of readers when it’s not necessary or professional?
Build a platform. But start with creating a podium of moral disposition others will admire, respect, and trust. Those are the qualities to build on first and foremost before you begin creating your online presence.