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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Q & A: "I'm a writer. How do I build my platform?"

Most writers I know prefer to write over building their platforms But they also understand how critical platform is to securing a book contract and reaching readers. Karen Hardin, President of PriorityPR Group & Literary Agency, offers 4 wonderful tips to start building yours.

Q: Any tips for how a writer can be growing her platform?

It takes approximately one to two years to really get a solid foundation under a platform. Writers often wait until they finish their book to begin, but that is when they already need the platform as they are ready to self-publish it or present to a publisher. Unfortunately, with no platform, they have no audience.

Here are four important steps to begin:

1. Build Your Writing Resume

I usually instruct my authors to spend time while writing the book to build their writing resume. Choose 2-3 strong online magazines (by “strong” I mean has a good strong readership ideally of 100,000 or more) that fits the audience for their book and submit to them monthly. You may or may not receive payment. That is not the goal. The goal is to make that audience your audience. If you are published monthly in a magazine, then the readers become familiar with you and most will eventually gravitate over to your blog, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account to find out more about you.

2. Build a Database and Page Views

Work to build a database and page views for your blog or website. This is important to publishers and to us. If we write and no one reads it, then what’s the point. Building page views is all about posting and reposting in your primary social media forum so that you are found. For example, if you post in any area just once a week or once a month, then your readership isn’t really going to grow like you want. It’s a matter of putting out great content that THEY want and need on a regular basis.

3. Pursue Endorsements

Work on endorsements. These take months usually to obtain. You need at least one recognized name or recognized title to really sway publisher’s in your direction. Who do you know or who do you know that knows someone influential? Sit down and write out a list.

4. Make Friends and Help Each Other

Last, who do you know who has a much larger social media reach than you? I have friends in my corner who have Twitter followings of 100,000+. Sometimes they have reached out to me first to ask a question or help with something and via relationship we can begin to help each other. Other times I have sought out people who reach an audience that fits mine and tried to see if we can help each other.

What does that mean?

We each have gifts and talents and can use them to help each other. Is there a way you can supply something they need now, so that they may be willing to help you with something you need in the future? What do you have in your hand to offer? What is your skill set or gift? Think about who you can help and possibly they can also help you. Those are win/win scenarios.

This can really help when it comes time to launch your book or get a publisher’s attention.

Margot adds: Karen, this wisdom is golden. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

Connect with Karen:
Karen Hardin
President of PriorityPR Group & Literary Agency
Over 25 year’s experience in the publishing industry

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