Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Top Five Ways to Build a Platform

Ok, so I'm not an expert on this. I'm just like you, a struggling writer, a nobody, one who's been told, "We can't publish you--you have no platform." We all hate that excuse, "no platform." We hate it because it means we're good writers but we're not famous, or outgoing, or life-changers. "No platform" means I could be a world-change agent, but I have decided to just be a writer. "No platform" means I like to write, but I don't want to engage my audience one on one. "No platform" means no book deal.

So write an ebook and forget about platform. The problem with that line of thinking is that even with an ebook  eventually you will have to market the darn thing and suddenly you must again deal with the elephant in the room. Wait a minute, before we continue trying to deal with that nasty elephant that we call "platform" let's just replace that scary word with something more managable and meaningful: "social passion."

Now think about your manuscript, think about what you like about it: the characters, the message, the genre, or perhaps you like the audience. What ever you like about your manuscript...well, that's your social passion. For instance, if you love the genre of Romance then let your social passion be that...and then expand on it.

1. Start with a website. Be sure to make it professional so you don't trigger Reason #39 on agent Mike Nappa's list, "Your Internet Presence is Shoddy and Unprofessional."

2. Offer a class at your local library (or your church, or college) and teach about your social passion. If you are able to create intense characters offer up some of your time to teach at your local writer's group (that always opens doors to bigger venues). Get some speaking engagements (no matter how small).

3. Get an author picture done. Get a good one and make sure you look professional, but not boring!

4. Get socially connected. It's easy to go overboard with this one since there are so many avenues to follow in this new virtual world. But the basics are still the same: get a Facebook fan page so people can "like" you, get a blog going (think outside the box when it comes to subject matter because there are now a gazillion blogs out there). Get on LinkedIn and connect not with friends but with experts or professionals in your field, get a Twitter account (though I'm not sure if Twitter is getting read as much). Still, Twitter is a great way to approach people in your field. Learn how to use these social avenues and be sure to have fun with them; otherwise, they will seem like just work.

5. Get creative. Spend some serious time thinking about how you want your social passion to show: Do you envision yourself traveling in your own city, speaking with children about books? Do you envision yourself teaching? Are you the energetic, encouraging kind? Are you funny? For myself, I wanted to start a conference. I wanted a place where people could come together to learn, to be encouraged, to have fun. I wanted to meet the people who were leaders in my area, so I went the conference route. My upcoming conference MotherHeart Conference 2013 will be in Richland WA on May 3, 4th. I named my conference after my manuscript The MotherHeart of God: Biblical Evidence for the Femininity of the Holy Spirit. Because of this conference, I have met so many amazing people, and ideas for my social passion are now jumping to mind more and more. You can check out my website here at (you can also buy tickets here...FYI)


  1. This has got to be one (if the THE) most informative site I've ever visited on writing. Actually, there's one other one (can't remember his name) but I downloaded his entire book and it was Awesome. This is the only other one I've found to be that helpful: I will be coming back again and again and again! With your help, I should be a great success!

  2. This is a great list of "do's", especially for a first-time Author. I really appreciate your advice, especially on teaching. And you like to do an entire Conference? Wow! I had not even thought of that one, but've got me thinking! So much appreciate you!

    Dr. Margaret Aranda