1. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Writer's platform (I think that's the term)

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by CMastah, Oct 21, 2014.

    So I read about this thing called a writer's/writing platform, right? Where you have a blog/site where you reach out to potential readers before you've even released your book (complete with contact info and such).

    What I wanted to know is, when should I start one up? I'm about 36,000 words into my story (and sadly haven't finished a third of it, will need to see what I can cut after I finish writing it) so far.

    I also wanted to know if I should start using a pseudonym from the get go or do so after getting an acceptance from an agent.

    Additionally, what do I actually put on the blog? How much detail do I give out? Any links to a good example of a writing/writer's platform?
     
  2. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I had writing platforms twice, with two different writing projects, on which I was publishing my writing. I basically published the content as I wrote it, in 2k words chunks. Sometimes there were several parts to a 'chapter', other times it was one chapter per post. Each post was accompanied by a music video or a song, titles of chapters were catchy, the topic bound to get attention so it worked well. You need a 'hook' - interesting premise, but you also need regular content to keep readers interested. Not many people care for teasers and musings of an aspiring writer. They want to read your story, and you have to give them that.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's never too early to start a platform -- the more of a following you have, the better. But yes, you really need to have something interesting to put on a blog/facebook page/twitter account, etc. Almost all published authors have websites, etc., but most of them suck.

    If you want to use a pen name, you might as well establish stuff with that name, if you can.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    A platform is a way to establish your credentials. It's almost mandatory for nonfiction writers, but what credentials can one establish for writing fiction other than having successfully published fiction? If one is self-publishing, it can be a way of getting your name out there, but for trade published authors, it's one of those "great if you do but not necessary" deals. All of this assumes, of course, that one knows how to work these things well, and doesn't suffer from foot-in-mouth disease - and there have been more than a few of those.

    If I'm reading your post correctly, you haven't finished the first draft yet and you don't know what to put in a blog. I would say that a social media presence should be at the bottom of your priority list right now.
     
  5. Havier
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    Havier New Member

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    As chicagoliz says many authors have really bad websites, to build a platform you will need a website and integrated social media, so you write articles on your site and share it on social networks asking people for reviews and things like that to get them involved, after that you will have to create a email list (Newsletter) to maintain your audience.

    I'm currently creating an integrated (All in one) service like this so anyone interested can go to webcaracas.com is a work in process, maybe some of you can help me with some insights about what writers like you may need on their websites.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Until you have something published, what will bring people to your website? And what will people do once they're there, with nothing to buy?

    I agree with shadowwalker - finish the book, find a publisher, THEN make a website.

    (I'm currently starting a new pseudonym... I have two book deals for it, but until I have covers or blurbs to share, I really don't have much to put on a website...)
     
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  7. cynthia_1968
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    cynthia_1968 Active Member

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    Hey y'all,


    I just finished my novel, and I'm currently working on my second project. I've sent various emails with the first three chapters to publishers, and I've launched a site at the same time. I even created a book trailer on Youtube, and I use twitter too.

    I think, if you want to be taken seriously, then you've to go for it. And I mean the whole nine yards. However, it helps if you finish your story first before you start a site, and using Youtube and twitter.

    None the less, a blog page is a good start... but you've to know what you're going to share with your audience and write your own biography too. Make it something catchy.

    We're living in the 21st century after all ;)

    One last piece of advice though, prepare yourself to be rejected a lot by publishers until one day one will discover you. :pop:
     
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  8. Havier
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    Havier New Member

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    BayView, of course he have a lot of content to offer, as he mention 36.000 words in his history, that can translate into several blog posts tweets, Youtube videos like Cynthia says, to see how people relate to the history while building a net, a group of people related to your history that will help you to spread the word about your book pre-launch. This podcast episode may give you a great guide on this topic http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/book-marketing-time-travel/
     
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    How many people do you follow based on random excerpts of unpublished books, Havier? I don't follow any.

    The few authors I follow are ones whose books I've read and enjoyed. I think I'm pretty common, that way.
     
  10. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    How many hits are you getting daily? Can you track the sources of them and find how people are hearing about you and going to your site?
     
  11. Havier
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    Havier New Member

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    Please listen to the podcast or see the actual group on Facebook //www.facebook.com/groups/357112331027292/ srry if it look like i was selling something, there is an incredible value in creating a platform before you launch, it could be on Facebook, twitter, youtube even this forum you named :)
     
  12. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Thanks guys, I think I may avoid a platform for now because I remember reading somewhere that if I post excerpts from my story, I can expect lots of publishers to refuse my book. Perhaps if I get lucky with the first one, I can take it into consideration (one of the reasons I also wanted a platform was because I read that agents will usually google you and that you should have some web presence along with contact info).
     
  13. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not necessarily. Posting excerpts (bits and pieces) can be an enticement; post much more and you've given away the show (ie, why would a publisher want to 're-publish' it?)
     
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  14. cynthia_1968
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    cynthia_1968 Active Member

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    I've had 256 unique visitors since I (re-)launched the site last week, and I've 271 followers on twitter.

    The book trailer is viewed 174 times on Youtube.

    It's not much I know, but it's a starting point anyway....
    And about publishers: I'm pretty sure that they will Google you... :write:

    In that respect, publishing bits of your novel on your site, even though it's tempting, is not a wise thing to do.

    However, you can write a synopsis. :read:
     

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