One of our earliest episodes for Newbie Writers Podcast was to define and figure out what the heck is a writer’s platform. Since this is still a troubling term for writers, here are a couple ideas to help you build your own platform:
A platform is what you stand on to make your point. So what is your point?
An easy way to think of this is: Why are your writing this book?
Non Fiction – the point and platform is often the theme of the book.
From this platform and theme articles, blogs, web site, twitter posts and audience segmentation will all flow. Think of the platform as representing your passion and beliefs, it’s what you stack all the social media and other books on. The bigger the platform, the easier it is for people to see you as you stand a head above the crowd.
Fiction – What is a central theme? Child abuse? A discovery journey? Find a solid theme that you are willing to discuss and expand upon for at least a couple of years, and you have your platform.
For instance, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin to express her idea that if she was devastated over the loss of her child, wouldn’t a slave woman feel the same? The story was about motherhood, the platform was the call to end slavery.
Once you find that theme, you can write articles blogs etc. about that theme and the tie it to your fiction book that addresses the platform issue.
Children’s books– Your platform can be reading is important and your book is an example of fine children’s reading.
Or the children’s book touches on a popular issue or theme. Again, be cautious of being trendy, you have to discuss this subject forever, it helps if you like it or believe in it.
Memoir, can be regionally targeted, time targeted, issue targeted. Whatever group you discuss will be the target group who will relate to your story, their shared concerns will be your platform.
And a caution about a book and a platform – how much do you like it? How committed are you? If you are passionate about a cause, or the subject matter of your non fiction book, you will love the endless conversations, the lecturing, the book signings. But if you wrote a book because it was trendy, you will soon tire of the subject – your platform – and you’ll become bored.
You will notice, and so will your fans.
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