Our Mission Statement:

The mission of Pens & Pages Writers Guild is to facilitate and encourage writers of all genres, to share resources and tips about the writing process and, most of all, to provide a positive and productive forum that will encourage and support each writer in his or her creative endeavors.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Visible, Verifiable, Virtual!

Whoops! I am late again.

First of all, wish me a Happy Birthday. I'm 46. I'm resolved to never lie about my age. It's not like I could get away with it anyway.

I'm thinking a lot about the author's platform lately. This is a concept which attendees to last years FiW Conference will recognize immediately, as -- along with the repetetive drumbeat of "More likely than not, you won't be published" -- the concept, buzz word, what-have-you seemed like an unofficial theme of the 2009 conference.

I think I only mentioned a little about your 'platform' as a writier at a PnP meeting but, like critique, I believe it's a subject that stands up to a little periodic refreshing. I want to disclaimer right now that when I first heard of building your platform at the FiW '09, I was a little miffed and put off. I mean, I want to be a writer, for goodness sake! If I'd wanted to be a salesperson, I would hit the pavement and apply for sales jobs!

Because, like it or not, that is what "building your platform" is all about. Some folks have a ready-made platform in some other area -- like sports or politics -- and don't need to work at getting name recognition to help boost sales of a book. Like former presidents don't have to be writers to get book deals, see. Some are "industry names" -- not known to folks outside of their industry, but very well known within it -- all they need to do is demonstrate their saleability to a publisher and bam! = book deal.

As it is with success breeding more success, so it is with your author's platform -- you gotta have it to get more. In the just-linked article from Writer's Digest, the author mentions visibility, and if I had to use one word to describe "platform" -- say I was on a desert island and I could only take a few words with me -- this would be the one I'd use. This can be problematic for a technophobe like me! (I don't even have a - gasp! - Facebook page!!) But like it or not, in this day and age, visibility - high visibility -- usually evolves out of digital social media.

I despise knowing this! I really do. If there were any way around it, I would take it, you betcha. But the more I look into the world of writing/publishing, the more the truth of the matter crystallizes: you must be visible, you must be verifiable, you must be Virtual! (okay, that middle "v" word is questionable, but I gotta do things in three's. It's an OCD thing.)

So, in the spirit of the subject of the above post, I encourage you to hit the highlighted links embedded in the post and get educated on how you can build your 'author platform' from scratch.

Because we can't all be Paris Hilton, now can we?

1 comment:

Sheila Siler said...

Well said - thanks for the encouragement on building a platform.