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Write on, Wednesday! Do’s and Don’t of Fiction Platforms

By Leslie Lindsay

You hear all the time, “build your platform!”  But what exactly is a platform, you say?!  Well, the terminology, platform comes from the theater in which the presentor/entertainer (that’s you, the author) is on the stage, while your “audience” (readers) are on the sidelines.  It generally means you have a place to promote your work; that is–readers who care. 

Every writer will have a different strategy to developing his or her platform–it all depends on your personality, your goals as a writer, and often the types of writing you do. 

Here’s a list of do’s and don’t for fiction platforms (but I think you can translate many of these to non-fiction as well).  This is literally a clipping from a Writer’s Digest magazine…but don’t ask what issue.  It’s been tacked to my real-life bulletin board over my desk for awhile now.


1.  Local publicity; especially if you live where your novel is set

(DOESN’T WORK:  mass snail maillings)

2.  Book giveaways

(DOESN’T WORK:  Non-book [swag] giveaways)

3.  Wide-reaching blog tour

(DOESN’T WORK:  small blog tour)

4.  Group signings and events

(DOESN’T WORK:  Solo book signings)

5.  Cultivating a community where fans want to return

(DOESN’T WORK:  Paid advertising)

6.  Encouraging or teaching fans to do what you do

(DOESN’T WORK:  Book trailers that are merely commercials)

7.  Hosting reader comepetions for media or creative work

(DOESN’T WORK:  Saying ‘yes’ to too many time-comsuming requests

8.  Ramping up the excitement prior to the book launch

(DOESN’T WORK:  Extravagant publication parties)

Here are some other ideas you may like from “Be a Better Writer with Pearl Luke”


“All Freelance Writing”  http://allfreelancewriting.com/2010/01/25/freelancing/marketing-pr/30-ways-to-build-your-writer-platform/

Go, on–find at least 5 new ideas…and write on, Wednesday!

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