Building a Platform

There is always some new thing that authors are told they are supposed to do in order to promote themselves and their books. Building a Platform is one of the latest. Not THE latest, I'll write about that one in a different post.

Building a platform is tied to name recognition and the kind of author you are/and the books that you write.

In my case I have two series and two names that I write under--which means two names for people to recognize.

What I hope I've set up as a platform that people are beginning to learn about me are the following:

1. I love to promote other authors. I have guests on my blogs often.

2. I lend a helping hand to aspiring authors--with tips about writing on my blogs.

3. Readers are important to me--I love hearing from them either online, via email or in person at book signings, book and craft fairs, and library talks.

4. I am an ordinary person--just one who writes. I have a big family that I like to write about on this blog. If you are one of my followers on Facebook, you'll hear a lot more about what's going on with my family. I love to cook and often share what I'm fixing for dinner on Facebook.

5. One of the reasons I write about law enforcement is because over the years I've had many friends and family members who are or were police officers or deputy sheriffs. My goal has always been to make the officers I write about more human than some I've read about in other books.

6. My Rocky Bluff P.D. books, though always have a murder and the solving a crime, there are family issues.

7. These books do not have bad language in them--though the bad guys do use profanity , I just don't quote them.

8. There is plenty of romance--but I always shut the bedroom door.

9. This may seem like an odd platform, but it is mine.

10. When Dangerous Impulses comes out--won't be long now--I hope you'll give it a try.


Tara Anderton said…
Hi Marilyn - thanks for your insite. I am always looking for interesting ways to promote myself as an author. I am new to this platform stuff and am glad other writers like to give advice on how to get your name out there.
Thanks again!
Thanks for visiting, Tara. Other authors build their platform differently, totally concentration on their book(s) or the character's profession, or perhaps a period in history. This is what works for me.
Billie Johnson said…
Great comments, Marilyn. I see 'platform' as a new name for a process that has been around for a long time...maybe updated a bit for the 21st century. It is very similar to 'branding' which was all the buzz 5-6 years ago.

Regardless of what it is called, it is vital for an author to get rolling with it as soon as possible. At OTP, we are focusing more and more on the author's platform and long range plan to make decisions about production schedule, promo commitments, even which cover designer gets the assignment..and more.

So if you think that this is just fluff or fashion....think again!

Billie Johnson, Publisher
Oak Tree Press
Cora said…
I love that cover on Dangerous Impulses! A real grabber.

You are a consumate professional and I always listen to your advice--I might not take all of it--a lot depends on what we write and what our fan base is looking for, but I always listen.
Lesley Diehl said…
I love your platform, Marilyn, so much that I've modeled mine after yours although I must admit my language is a bit more graphic than yours. Promoting other writers always brings the good stuff back home, and I'm trying to do more of that.
WS Gager said…
From the moment I became an Oak Tree author, I've followed your platform building techniques. I just wish I had your stamina to get things done.
W.S. Gager on Writing
Yep, Billie, if it's not one thing, it's another. Not all things work--nor can we do everything, but I think a platform, branding, or just plain name recognition if important.

Cora, I love the cover too. You have to figure out what works best for you. There is plenty of stuff I don't do that could work better for others. (Frankly, I've run out of time.)

You made me chuckle, Lesley with our graphic language bit. It just wouldn't work for me.

And dear Wendy, I'm running out of steam. I just do what I can do.

jrlindermuth said…
A clear agenda, Marilyn, and you set a good example for all of us. Though we've never met in person, I feel I know you through your comments on FB and your blog.

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