Create your writer’s platform

In my last post I mentioned that I needed to start thinking of my writer’s platform. There are lots of great resources out there that can better guide you to developing your own, amongst them Kimberley Grabas at http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/, but I wanted to share my own experience tonight.

It’s been on my list for a while, since I self-published my novel ‘The Face Stealer’. I knew I knew very little about self-publishing and self-promoting and freely admit that I’m pretty lousy at it. I’m fearful of being seen as spammy so have been very reticent in tweeting about my book’s availability. I tweeted twice about it, both tied in with blog posts to make them feel less spammy. The result? two of my colleagues who follow me on Twitter, didn’t know for several weeks that I’d written a book. I’ve ended up printing my book cover and pinning it to my desk surround to let colleagues know what I’ve done. All a bit pitiful…

I’ve told myself that none of this matters—for now. Publishing the first book taught me the technicalities of Amazon’s self-publishing platform, and changed my attitute to my own writing in a positive way. I’ve matured as a writer, and know that despite telling others for years that it’s just something I do because I love it, I actually do want to have some success with it. The act of self-publishing catalysed that mind-switch and if that was all it did, and I didn’t sell a copy, I was satisfied.

I still am satisfied. I’m not worrying about selling the first novel, but I am starting to be more concerned about the novel I’m currently writing. If you’ve seen my status report posts, you’ll see that I am on track to finish a draft this year, which means I’ll have another book ready to publish sometime in the first quarter of next year. This is driving me to get my head around the ‘writer’s platform’.

So, tonight I decided to sacrifice the time I’d usually preserve for actual writing, and make some substantial progress on this quest. I guess the thing with this quest is it’s quite nebulous, and is going to be different for different people. I read this post at http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/ and started making notes in a mindmap. Off on a tangent but I love a good mindmap. This is the beast I created:

From this I’ve given myself a few tasks to get going on:

  • Enter a competition in the Southport Writer’s Circle (as a toe in the water to actually attending a meeting)
  • Get in touch with my company’s internal magazine and see if they’d like to run a story on their staff who’ve published
  • Get a smashwords copy of my first book prepared
What approach do you take with your ‘platform’? Are you a planner or a winger? Let me know in the comments.