Just about everyone who sends me a book proposal needs to grow their platform. If they’re in a hurry to find an agent and publisher, this can seem a daunting step. Here are 3 easy things you can do today to grow your platform:
1. Join the International Association of Writers where you can list yourself as an expert in up to five categories for the media. Founder and host of the site, Fern Reiss, has many connections with the media and many journalists have begun to use this site as a resource for stories.
You can also list up to five speaking topics. Linda Gradstein says that only a few days after posting her profile she began getting inquiries from meeting planners to book her for high paying speaking gigs. Other writers have been interviewed by journalists based on their profile on the site.
There are many additional benefits including audios, special reports and articles from experts in the field, including yours truly. At $149 for the year, it’s a deal!
2. Contact the PR person in any associations you belong to. Let them know that you are available to speak to journalists on the following topics. Perhaps you can write a press release for them to send out, which quotes you on a newsworthy issue. Or you can just ask them to keep you in mind when journalists call to interview an expert. Examples can be the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, Association of Image Consultants International, or even a local or regional chamber of commerce.
3. Think bulk sales: Are you already associated with any corporations or organizations who might be interested in giving your books to their customers, employees or donors? A couple of my clients, both psychiatrists, have worked directly with pharmaceutical companies. I suggested they include these connections in their book proposals and actually ask the companies if they would be interested in bulk orders of the book. Success–one author has named two pharmaceutical companies as interested in purchasing 5,000 or so copies of his book–and he listed this prominently in the book proposal as item #1 of his promotional plan. Knowing they can probably sell a certain number of books up front takes the risk out of publishing a new book–publishers love it.
Michelle Girasole says
Brilliant, Lisa. Excellent advice, as usual!!
Pat Hastings says
Great information Lisa, I didn’t know about The International Association of Writers and just joined it. I like the last idea of bulk sales, but not sure where to begin with that. Perhaps you could speak about it in another blog. Blessings Pat
Lisa, what do you think about a blog as a way to grow your platform? Say you establish yourself as an expert and then?
Yes, a blog can be a great way to help you grow your platform as an author. It definitely means more than just establishing yourself as an expert. You want a large audience who is interested in what you have to share and teach them or in the stimulating discourse your blog represents. It helps if your blog entertains, as well.
The biggest challenge, often, is to get people to visit your blog. You’ll need to find ways to bring them there–online articles, guest bloggers on your blog who invite their lists, or guest posts on other people’s blogs, facebook, twitter any new posts–the possibilities are endless.
And your community of readers are people who can help you understand your market and what they really want, so you can develop your book, products and/or services to meet their needs and desires.
Suzanne Chilton says
Lisa’s Writing Blog is terrific. We are newcomers to creative writing. We fashioned Civil War era family memoirs into a musical play and submitted it to a play contest…told it was a pageant and given good suggestions. Published our play on our Blog for comments and are receiving minimal hits. Fashioned play into Storyteller format and performed at a local heritage days with good feedback. Started writing a historical romance novel based on two characters we love. Took a writing class sponsored by local Arts Council. Class members formed a Writers Guild for critiques at monthly lunch…retired writing teacher is facilitating. Great Journey!