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A Big Leap in Author Platform: Victoria Dunckley’s Big Breakthrough

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Your Book Writing Coach

How Dr. Dunckley’s Leap in Author Platform Came About

Note: This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared in April 2014. This new version includes the exciting growth of Dr. Dunckley’s platform after her book, Reset Your Child’s Brain, was published.

Have you been putting one foot in front of the other with your author platform – writing blog posts, showing up for social media, tweeting about colleague’s posts, and wondering when your platform might take off? Here’s a true life story to inspire you to keep doing what you’re doing. You never know where the next small step will take you.

I received this e-mail from my client, Victoria Dunckley, MD, addressed to me and Vicki’s agent and publisher after I forwarded a link to her and suggested she post a comment. You won’t believe what happened next:
“A few weeks ago Lisa emailed me and suggested I comment on an article that appeared in Huffpo about banning handheld devices for children under 12. I did so, and my comment generated a thread of nearly 100 more comments! I posted a link to my latest PT article within the comment, and received nearly 20,000  hits to the article due to viral Facebook activity. The original Huffpo article received more than 1 million views, and over 300k likes on Facebook – it’s certainly becoming hot topic.

How That One Comment Impacted Dr. Dunckley’s Author Platform

“Since then, I’ve had three media interviews:

1. Scholastic News, a publication that goes out to over 3 million children ages 10-12, about screen-time effects on the brain

2. A PBS Magazine publication in New Mexico, on Electronic Screen Syndrome.

3. The Carlat Report, a child psychiatry newsletter, on childhood obesity – which I naturally tied into screen-time reduction. The Carlat was significant because it’s my first “professional” mention in psychiatry.

victoria dunckley“In addition, the author of the Huffpo article contacted me, as did the owner of reSTART (one of the only tech addiction facilities in the country), and I’ve since joined their listserv which includes all the screen-time experts across the country. Normally my ideas gender resistance and defensiveness, so it’s been great to find this community, and of course it’ll help with the book too.  They are already linking to my articles. And one of the experts is right here in Culver City, so he and I have been working together and may do some speaking together too.

“Also a woman from contacted me and said she might have speaking opportunities for me and also mentioned an upcoming film. So I’ll be talking to her in more depth in a couple of weeks.  Incidentally, although addressing EMFs in the book is a little risky, there are numerous EMF awareness groups around the world with like-minded followers, so I’ve made a more concerted effort to connect with them on social media.

“Thank you, Lisa!! your email was like a gift from the universe!  It’s really opened things up.”

Note, this was all in response to a COMMENT on a Huffington Post article (in which Dr. Dunckley linked to her Psychology Today post) – PR, speaking opportunities, connecting with like-minded colleagues – all this from one comment.

How You Can Grow Your Author Platform in 10 Minutes a Day

So, imagine taking 10 minutes a day to comment on a post and link to a post of your own when and if appropriate.  Not a big time commitment,  but a great opportunity to become part of important conversations in your field – and who knows what might come of it?!

Here are 3 ways to help find such opportunities:

1. Do a “google alert” for specific search terms that are in your area of expertise. Then, when articles address those terms, Google will let you know and you can comment and share.

2. Subscribe to specific columnists on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Fast Company or other news sources after identifying whose posts may be most germane to your own work. Comment on and share at least one post per day.

3. Follow other thought leaders in your field on Twitter. Read their blog posts, comment and share.

2017 Update on Dr. Dunckley’s Author Platform

book photo author in bookstore
Victoria Dunckley finds her book on the shelf of her local bookstore.

Of course, now that Dr. Dunckley’s book, Reset Your Child’s Brain, has come out to great acclaim – and 55 5-star reviews on (as of July 2018 it is now 86 five star reviews!), the publicity continues.

That woman who contacted Dr. Dunckley after reading her Huffington Post comment then invited her to speak at a high profile forum at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Dr. Dunckley has spoken at a variety of venues and online summits; been quoted on NPR, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle; and interviewed on national TV, including the Today Show and the Hallmark Family Channel, as well as several news programs.

What could blogging and commenting do for your author platform? Feel free to share your favorite author-platform building strategies below. Or just ask a question.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jeanne T says

    Lisa: There are e-courses and coaching available for things like blogging and building one’s email list. Although the intended audience is virtual entrepreneurs with online businesses, might a good blogging course or a course in building one’s email list benefit a budding author? If so, do you have any such courses or coaches to recommend?

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