I just received this in my inbox from a client who wanted to set up a call about platform building:
“I’m so immersed in my book, at the moment. I spent the day editing, from your suggestions, the first four chapters. I’ve fallen in love with my book, once again. ”
Developing a platform as an author is important, especially if you want a traditional publisher to publish your book, or if your goal is to reach a large number of people.
However, many times people go about building their following or author platform by doing what everyone tells them–“You have to be on Twitter.” “Blog, for heaven’s sake.” “Speak.” “Get some good SEO for your website.” “Get a website.” The list goes on.
The truth is that it takes the same kind of passion this author found in her book to create an author platform from which to reach readers. Sure, learn about what’s out there, but rather than feel pressured to DO EVERYTHING, allow yourself to experiment and find out what you ENJOY.
Do experiment. You may find that something which intimidated you or seemed artificial actually turns you on. This happened to Pat Hastings, author of Simply a Woman of Faith, who first told me, “I can’t market my book. I know nothing about marketing. I don’t think I’d like it.”
She found out that reaching people was something she loved–speaking, blogging, writing a newsletter, answering e-mails–she loved these activities. She even hosted her own radio show for a while and loved that too. And a presentation at a church about the topic of her book led to an invitation to visit and teach in Hawaii. Two years later, she lives in Hawaii full time. So, try new things out, see what you love, but always ask yourself, “Is this feeding me?”
If the author who e-mailed me today discovers the passion in certain methods of reaching potential readers that she rediscovered in her book, she’s much more likely to reach her goals when it comes to publishing her book, having an impact for large numbers of people and making an excellent living at the work she loves.