Understanding Author Platform Part 2–All the World Wide Web’s a Stage

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk Creative Commons

Last week, in Understanding Author Platform–Part One we talked about how platform has changed in the digital age, why tools of yester-year won’t work and how an outdated approach can do little to eventually drive book sales (and also leave a writer too worn out to create). We also talked about why some experts may make us break out in hives when they try to give us tools to build our author platform. If sales or marketing isn’t our art, then the tools can feel awkward and clumsy and can do more harm than good.

Yes, I am giving you guys permission to hate sales, marketing and PR, but I am not offering permission to avoid building a platform. I have been saying for years that all authors—traditional and nontraditional—needed to have a strong platform.

A strong social media platform takes a lot of pressure off authors, leaving them less stressed out and more able to do their art. A solid platform can assure sales of new books and even revive old titles.

In short, a platform is vital for anyone who wants a writing career. 

My two year-old-who commandeered my new iPad 3 is your future reader. Every teen with an iPhone and every college kid with a laptop is a future reader. In a world where bookstores are fading to the pages of history, if you aren’t on social media?

How else will they know you?

Redefining Platform for the Writer-Artist

I feel that, if I’m asking you guys to commit time, talent and energy to build a platform, it is only fair you should understand what I’m asking you to build and why. We need to pan the camera back. We also need to forget all those mind-numbing lectures about metrics and web sites and demographics and target audience, etc. etc.

Ack!

To change our approach and make social media our art we need to slip on some WANA rose-colored glasses and really see the opportunity we’ve been given. Social media isn’t a free way to advertise and spam people about our book non-stop.

It is our stage.

Meet the Author-Performer

Think of it this way. Technology has finally made it fiscally possible for us to do what other artists have been doing for generations. Platform is getting our art and ourselves out there and getting known. What people then think of us and our art, the emotional response they get from our name and our art eventually becomes our brand. 

The problem for writers has been that printing was extremely expensive. Until the Internet and e-books, NY had almost total control over printing and distribution. There was no other way for fiction authors to create a platform…unless they had a ton of cash.

Writers all want to write one book, hit the Beginner’s Luck Jackpot and become world famous for being brilliant. Hey, I’ll admit I wanted that, too. Yet, that almost NEVER happens, even in the traditional sense.

This is like us learning to play guitar, writing some songs, recording a CD on our Mac and hoping a smooth-talking agent drives by our house as we are practicing in our garage, hears our siren’s song and lands us a million-dollar recording deal.

Yeah. Keep dreaming.

No, what do musicians do? Many start playing in church or at the state fair or the local nursing home for FREE. They then get older and better at their craft and their art and play at restaurants, dives, the VFW…for FREE! If they get good enough, they might be able to sell downloads or CDs for $5 a piece. If they keep working hard and getting their art seen by more and more people and people LIKE it they then get bigger breaks.

They get to open, for FREE for a bigger band. If they do enough work and put in enough time and get themselves out there as they are improving their art in ways that create a market for their sound, they are then rewarded with record deals and people are then willing to pay money for their music.

I still remember years ago, I went to an unveiling of the stealth bomber out at Alliance Airport here in DFW. This was a private event before an air show. A sound caught my attention. One of the bands was warming up before they opened the show to the public. It was an all-female country band and they used a banjo, which I thought gave them such a fantastically unique sound. I chatted with them for a while and told them that I just knew they would make it.

That band was the Dixie Chicks.

 

The same band that was playing for free or close to free at an air show was the exact same band that went on to tour the world, win Grammys and make millions. But they didn’t get that in the beginning just because they were talented and unique. They had to convince others that they were worth the investment.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this. The digital age has changed the learning curve/career path for the writer-artist. Before we wrote and wrote and wrote, and, after enough drafts and submissions we either gave up or we wrote what the gatekeepers were willing to try and sell. Most writers, even after a book deal, failed to ever make a living writing.

That path is still available (for now), and, if that is the way for you, I won’t stop you. I will, however, say that career longevity doesn’t look so hot if you don’t have a platform (those people who dig your sound). Yes, writers have a sound–it is called writing voice. 

Yet, now that amateurs can get out and sell books for 99 cents, people in publishing are aghast at the swarm of talentless hacks that will inundate the world with bad books.

Why?

These authors are the “free or darn close to free band” we get to listen to at the local bake sale or BBQ pit. If audiences like them, we buy their $5 CD or drop money in a hat. If we don’t? We don’t make eye contact, and the band doesn’t get a second invite. Positive word of mouth will not spread for lousy bands, no matter how great their “marketing” is. Same with bad books.

So, when new writer runs out and slaps up a 99 cent book or a $2.99 book or give books away for free, it is part of building a platform. If the writer uploads a horrible book that gets pummeled with digital tomatoes, he either cries and gives up or he tries again to write a better, more crowd-pleasing book. He performs again and again and he gets feedback a heck of a lot faster so he can tune his art accordingly.

Thus, writers who don’t go the traditional route can build a platform with minimal social media and writing a lot of inexpensive books (playing for almost free at the State Fair)…or we can make social media an extension of our art and rely more on blogging. Since social media relies on a lot of WORDS, we should totally ROCK at this! Or we can do both—write lots of books and do social media. Isn’t technology AWESOME?

Define Social Media as Part of Your Art

Social media is like us being the band that goes to all the parties and all the mixers so people at least get to know us, like us as artists and grow to be loyal fans. Blogging isn’t a chore, it is a demo tape of our artist voice. It is a free performance at a local mall. And, since writing is our art, if we will approach it as such, our attitude toward it will improve because we will be approaching with a totally different intent. 

If our intent is to share our passion, to affect people, instead of a chore to be endured and a way to part people from their money, the experience will be more enjoyable for all concerned. Eventually, once people come to love and trust the artist they will be more willing to part with more money to buy the art.

Please Stop “Targeting” Readers—It Makes Them Nervous

That group of people who dig your sound–writing voice–will likely be a certain demographic. This is why it is critical for writers to stop blogging about writing all the time. It limits the audience. This is why I train writers to blog in a totally different way that uses the same voice as their fiction. For more about why blogging about writing is bad, I highly recommend my post Sacred Cow Tipping–Why Writers Blogging about Writing is Bad.

Writers often freeze on words like “target audience” when it is really far simpler than we try to make it. Blogging (the way I teach it, at least) will naturally connect you to your demographic organically, and just like fans are loyal to their bands, readers are loyal to their favorite authors.

They can be loyal to you, too😉.

Does this make you feel better about social media and blogging? What are your thoughts or feelings about my definition of author platform? Feel ready to get your laptop case and go on the digital road? Remember, you don’t have to do it all alone. Make sure you check out the #MyWANA crew. They love being Roadies. They think it makes them more mysterious.

I LOVE hearing from you!

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of March, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of March I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.

No Mash-Up of Awesomeness this Week. I am preparing to teach all weekend at the Texas Two Step Conference held by the NTRWA. So for any writers in the DFW area (or who want to drive to the DFW area), come hang out with me! The conference is only $150 and there is going to be a lot of talented people there, including the amazing Candy Havens and Roni Loren. Check out this link for details!

, , , , , , ,

  1. #1 by L.S. Engler on March 28, 2012 - 1:00 pm

    I love this post! We are living in an extremely exciting time, when this chance to really build up a platform is exciting and revved up with an energy of new possibilities. Your demo tape analogy is spot on: eBooks, blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc, etc, all seem to really open up the ability to spread around our work, build up a platform, beyond the previous restrictions of the cost of publishing. It’s fantastic, and a great time to really take advantage of exposing yourself, getting out there, and seeing just what you can do. We all start somewhere, but we don’t get anywhere if we don’t start in the first place!

    Even if I am a writer who blogs about writing.😉 Would anyone believe me if I just claimed I was doing it ironically?

  2. #2 by paulphilipcarter on March 28, 2012 - 1:02 pm

    I’m a #MyWANA Roadie! Woohoo!

    Love this!

  3. #3 by Jarm Del Boccio on March 28, 2012 - 1:04 pm

    Thanks so much for this well thought out post, Kirsten! You have put me at ease. I love to blog about all sorts of topics, and share resources and links to them. It’s a potpourri of ideas. I appreciate your encouragement…I’m pursuing the idea further for my A to Z blogging challenge in April!

  4. #4 by Gin (@2ysur2ysub) on March 28, 2012 - 1:05 pm

    I love your writing. It’s passionate and you have lots of advice to offer. I will search your past blogs. I would love to start my platform, but I’m hesitant to do so because it’s a mystery, and I fear the seminal issue that I address in the novel will be leaked out, somehow. I will not be going the traditional route for publishing. I will likely do an e-book for 2.00 or something. I just want to get it out. Keep blogging. I’ll keep reading.

  5. #5 by ramblingsfromtheleft on March 28, 2012 - 1:05 pm

    Okay, since I have plans to post a thing or two about this social media stuff, I’ll go on record here with the Queen of Social Media. If I ever had a notion of a platform or to define who I am as a writer, it has gone through a wonderful cycle of change since I began my blog. In that one venue I have been able to stretch and define my voice. I’ve decided that what I love is sharing my love of the art … the craft and the joy of writing. That includes music, film, TV and all things writerly. It also includes the theme and the setting … New York City.

    Instead of worrying about “creating” a platform I have decided to use Facebook as I used my blog … to share my love and allow others to hear my voice. I don’t like tweeting, but even in Twitter there is an opportunity (when I define it for myself) to strenghten our vocal cords and define who we are. I am not a throw-back to the old days and intend to enjoy these new exciting days to invite others to enjoy what I enjoy. If and when I get published … NO … when I get published, they will “see” my profiles, know what I do and if they enjoy me, they will enjoy what I write🙂 See you around the net!

  6. #6 by Heather Marsten on March 28, 2012 - 1:05 pm

    Jeese, WordPress ate my reply. I agree with you. Having followed some posts on media marketing through blogging, writing posts, and other blogs, I am beginning to tire of the blatant ads, the marketing games, the have to click to read an article, and pure writing to try and get a reader to purchase something. I know that people are trying to make a living but the quality of what is offered is dubious. One person is offering a writing class and offered a free ebook of the first lesson. I downloaded it and found it to be repetitious, poorly written, and not offering anything of substance. Given that, I wouldn’t consider purchasing the person’s writing program, fearful that the rest would be of similar quality.

    I guess, if one is casting a hook using an ebook or some other device, make sure it is of top quality. I am more prone to purchasing books from authors who share blogs of substance and aren’t constantly advertising. When I find a great blog, I automatically google the person’s name and see what they have written. I have purchased more books from bloggers who haven’t tried to sell me something than I do from ones who advertise incessantly.

  7. #7 by James Loscombe (@James_Loscombe) on March 28, 2012 - 1:11 pm

    Exactly what I needed to hear. The thing is that as a writer it seems natural to write about writing but then all you end up with as an audience is other writers. Which is great for connecting to the scene but it isn’t so great when you’re trying to sell books. It’s one of the reasons why I have rethought my whole approach to social media in the last few weeks. Thanks.

    • #8 by Kathleen on March 28, 2012 - 1:57 pm

      This is exactly my trouble with blogging as an “author.” When I write about writing, nobody reads. So I write philosophy, faith, family–all the things I also write about on a “paid” basis in other venues. And I hope someday the people who read my blog will trust me enough to whip out the credit card when I break into fiction.

  8. #9 by Leanne Shirtliffe on March 28, 2012 - 1:14 pm

    I love the Dixie Chicks analogy, Kristen. What a story. Plus it’s always fun to say, “I knew them when…”

    This example reminds us to always put our best feet forward…like on our blogs, our “free” writing.

  9. #10 by hannahkarena on March 28, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    What a great great post and what an excellent analogy! This rejuvenates my–what sometimes seems like a pointless time-suck–efforts researching, submitting to, and getting published in smaller literary journals. Thank you for the post!

  10. #11 by hannahkarena on March 28, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention. Getting in published in smaller literary journals . . . FOR FREE!

  11. #12 by Marcy Kennedy on March 28, 2012 - 1:20 pm

    I’m so jealous that you got to see the Dixie Chicks before they were famous.

    I think the fact that we’re willing to write for free, and to do it before we have an agent, contract, or book out, puts us at an advantage too because it allows us to build relationships with people who might otherwise not have purchased our books because they’re not in a genre they normally read. It opens up a whole new potential fanbase outside of what we might otherwise have identified as our “target readers” if that’s all we were focusing on.

  12. #13 by LauraDrake on March 28, 2012 - 1:47 pm

    You’ve written good posts before, Kristen – but this one is stand out! I get tired of writers whining all the time….”NY is just too hard to get into — they’re just not taking any new authors.” Technology has opened up other choices! Wonderful! Are they happy? Some aren’t. They’re still whining, “But now I have to have a platform? I just want to write!”

    If these were my kids I’d tell them to quit whining and go rake leaves. Why do you think you get almost all the money from the sale? Oh, you wanted all the money, AND no responsibility?

    What planet did YOU grow up on?

    Thanks for letting me rant. Here’s your soapbox back.

    • #14 by Jenny Hansen on March 28, 2012 - 2:22 pm

      LOL…I love it when you rant.

    • #15 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 28, 2012 - 3:10 pm

      LOL. Amen! I feel the same way. Publishers drive me nuts. They whined no one was reading books. Now books are exploding and they are still whining. No WHINING. This is a great time to be a writer and it is even awesome to be a publisher if you will embrace the new and stop mourning the old.

  13. #16 by epbush on March 28, 2012 - 1:54 pm

    Reblogged this on Coal City Steam and commented:
    I liked this post – I think it is of use to so many writers. Part one of this is just one step back from here. Check it….

  14. #17 by Kathleen on March 28, 2012 - 1:55 pm

    I like this take on blogging, etc. I started blogging to build a platform, but it built so slowly that I realized I couldn’t justify it on those terms. Finally I came to peace with blogging as an adaptation of the private Journalling I used to do. I break all the rules of author-blogging…well, most of them….but the following is building, even if they’re quiet in the combox as they have been this week. And it’s good writing exercise, too–having a daily deadline, figuring out what I have to say that others will want to read. I love it, even on an overcrowded week when I’m forced to resort to photo posts and re-posts from two years ago to get it up on time.

    Now Twitter…Twitter I haven’t figured out how to maximize yet.🙂

  15. #18 by Kathleen on March 28, 2012 - 1:59 pm

    One other thought…it’s often been said that selling books is about building relationships. In the past month or two I’ve really seen the truth of that. I was selling books in churches, and I sold them like crazy in my home parish, where ppl knew me–and in other places, the vast majority of those who bought books did so because they knew me, too. It really underscored the importance of that “platform”–just building relationships with people.

  16. #19 by moonbridgebooks on March 28, 2012 - 2:04 pm

    Brilliant way to put it: “Blogging…is a demo tape of your artistic voice.” Darn right, and so many new authors don’t get it at all. Part of the purpose of social networking is to break that fourth wall. People who like an author on a more personal basis are more likely to want to buy her books. Professionals will say stick to a blog theme – true, but write to the audience who will want to buy your book. For those who want to blog about writing, how about how and why you wrote the book and developed the characters, to give further insight into the book. (JK Rowling on the new Pottermore site will be posting her notes written during Potter creation and tidbits about her writing rhyme and reason.)

  17. #20 by Donna Brown on March 28, 2012 - 2:04 pm

    You are so right! Blogging about what I know to build a platform. I can write about more than just writing! What is your view on article writing being part of this platform?

  18. #21 by davinkwriter on March 28, 2012 - 2:09 pm

    I am new to your blog but I wanted to say that I am thoroughly enjoying what I read here. This type of free information is priceless. As a writer who takes the art side of his stories and blogs seriously this information is a great help to how I view what I do.

    I seriously need to take my blog more … well seriously. I’ve always believed it had the potential to be a great platform for my voice I just always thought I had to have some sort of focused blog dedicated to a topic. Now I am sure that all I need to is speak to who I am and the rest will work it’s self out. To that end I am currently working on my next blog post “The Compleat Libertine: Clearing up the libertine Confusion”. I hope you’ll stop in sometime and give it a read.

  19. #22 by suzanna on March 28, 2012 - 2:18 pm

    I’m sooo glad you said authors shouldn’t write about writing – I could never see what they hoped to achieve by that – I’m still new to this platform stuff but this post makes total sense.
    Thanks Kristen

  20. #23 by Jenny Hansen on March 28, 2012 - 2:22 pm

    You had me at the photo! Love it, love it, love it.

  21. #24 by Judy on March 28, 2012 - 2:40 pm

    Wonderful blog Kristin. And exactly right on. …I hope anyway. Thank you

  22. #25 by Jim Murray on March 28, 2012 - 2:57 pm

    Kristen, when I first started reading your blogs and you would mention “Author’s Platform”, my mind pictured a train station (can you visualize the wooden walkway?) Needless to say, I had a long way to go to get up to speed. So I bought your books “We Are Not Alone, The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” and “Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer”. You are a genius! And those books are worth MORE than their weight in gold! Not only do I understand PLATFORM but I’m building mine and have already written a bunch of blogs. Now to edit them and get them posted. Still have a lot to learn but, in the meantime, I’m starting to build my Twitter and FB base before I launch the blogs. Thanks for all the teaching (and cheerleading). Rah Rah writers!!

  23. #26 by Janiera Eldridge (@LazenBeauty) on March 28, 2012 - 3:39 pm

    Wonderful blog post. I loooooove this! I’m currently looking for an agent and I have an established book blog, twitter and Facebook. I’m hoping it will help me sell books when it gets released given that my platform is already established.

  24. #27 by August McLaughlin on March 28, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    Great post. I particularly love your stop targeting readers point. Doing so really does turn into some sort of target practice! More along the lines of arrows than simple aim.

  25. #28 by mliddle on March 28, 2012 - 4:32 pm

    Hi Kristen –
    This post was full of timely information for both writers and bloggers that I forwarded it to several of my friends and placed on my key social networking sites. But it is not just the information that is valuable, but how your writing connects to us – the reader. In each of your posts, you model to us what how to connect, how to provide info in ways that make us want to read further, how to write well, etc. Whether you intended to or not, you have become our unofficial mentor!
    There is so much I could comment on but I think I will state that I think you’re correct that if we want to be writers we have to get our brand, our names, out there to people. We have to submit all those free CDs (our free writing) to where people will be: on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. As my day gets closer to launching my own brand for the first time, I believe even more that creating e a FB page for my blog was a good decision. I will have to be careful not to spread myself too thinly so that I can still do my writing.
    Thanks Kristen for such a helpful post –
    Monique Lddle

    • #29 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 28, 2012 - 4:49 pm

      Awwww, thanks *hugs*. But even musicians have the same issue. Sure, they need to play in all the parks and bars and malls as much as possible, but not to the point that they cease to be able to create art. If they over schedule to the point they are late or no-shows or the music stinks, it is counterproductive. They are artists and so are we and we have a lot in common!

      Make sure you are connecting with the WANAs. Launching all alone is scary and now unnecessary😀.

  26. #30 by Stacy Green on March 28, 2012 - 4:48 pm

    This post really resonated with me. What it boils down to is being ourselves and reaching out to people. With social media, we’re able to cultivate our interests and share them with others, for free. Readers can get to know writers as people, even communicate with their favorite authors. That’s something a lot of people take for granted these days. And I agree with no more targeting and using the tired ways of pushing people to buy. I’m starting to understand the best way to market your book is to be yourself, cultivate what interests you, and support other people. I’m getting it.

    My question is – how do we step outside our wonderful writing blogosphere and reach those readers who aren’t writers? Is it about Twitter hashtags? Goodreads? Our brand? My Thriller Thursday posts are starting to reach new readers – ones that aren’t writers, and that’s awesome. But is that enough?

    Thanks so much, Kristen.

  27. #31 by Peter DeHaan on March 28, 2012 - 5:17 pm

    Your phrase “author-performer” brought the whole thing into perspective for me. Bravo!

  28. #32 by Nathan Perkins (@Greaternater) on March 28, 2012 - 5:35 pm

    There is a lot of work for the starving artist. We do so many things that we’d rather not do so that we can finally do what we must. Working full time, blogging, self promotion of all sorts, all so we can write.

    • #33 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 28, 2012 - 5:50 pm

      But I feel that is the wrong attitude. Blogging and social media ARE writing. If we say we LOVE writing–that we eat, breathe, sleep writing, then why is this such a chore? If it’s viewed as a drudgery people will feel it and then it is a waste of time. Social media is a chance to get out and create and meet future fans, to affect people using our talent with words. For those who don’t possess the skill or desire to bring their art to the world of digital, they will likely remain starving artists.

  29. #34 by Yvette on March 28, 2012 - 5:35 pm

    Hi Kristen! Confession time. I spent about 6 months last year, after reading WANA, writing out test blog posts, and then quailed at the last minute. I decided to opt for your ‘at the very least’ route, which is to at least start commenting routinely on blogs and becoming part of the online community. I admit I was too scared to start my own blog. So that’s why this year I’ve suddenly popped up in the blogosphere! I have subscribed to about seven or so blogs on writing and humour. So I now spend half of what used to be my writing time, online, reading/commenting on blogs. I have to thank you for that advice. It was the easiest way in for me. I have ‘met’ so many people and learned so much this year already!! It’s been amazing.🙂
    Yvette Carol
    p.s. I’m relieved to hear you got my 1250 words. I now live in a state of temerity!

  30. #35 by Naomi Baltuck on March 28, 2012 - 5:38 pm

    This post is a huge relief to me! I count myself as a storyteller first and then a writer, and I was concerned that my posts were mostly very short personal stories that might parallel a point relevant to the writing life, but they are usually also applicable to living one’s life mindfully and joyfully.

    You do it all the time to illustrate your points–what are people going to remember about this post? The story about the Dixie Chicks, and they will never forget either the story or the point you made while telling it. I am relatively new to blogging, but I got a good start (thanks to your book Blog Are You There, It’s Me, Writer). Some of my followers are writers, but I think most are photographers, poets, travel bloggers, storytellers, moms, and artists. They follow me because they like the stories and photographs I use to illustrate the stories. I had been wondering if I should be concentrating more on writing techniques, but now I think I can just keep doing what I’m doing. I’m still small potatoes, with less than a hundred followers, but I got five new followers yesterday, so it seems to be working! Thank you for all your good advice, Kristen–I really do take it to heart.

  31. #36 by Em on March 28, 2012 - 5:46 pm

    Thanks for the pep talk.

    Most of the people I follow have the typical writer’s blog. I have more of a fan site, and I’m still waiting for my fans to find me. Hey, it will be a while. In fact, I laugh when I think about it. I guess I’m following Stephen King’s example, as well as yours, I like both of you. You are genuine, honest, and speak your minds. I actually feel like I know both of you.

    It’s simple, I know you because of what you’ve shown me.

    That’s what I’m going for.

  32. #37 by Catherine Johnson on March 28, 2012 - 6:26 pm

    I feel a bit guilty for starting up a metaphor game after doing your course about not blogging about writing, but it is fun. I’ll try really hard and have one post a week not about writing, promise🙂 And I love that you discovered The Dixie Chicks, that’s awesome.

  33. #38 by Reetta Raitanen on March 28, 2012 - 6:27 pm

    “Blogging isn’t a chore, it is a demo tape of our artist voice.” This is the perfect summary of why blogging is so important for writers. It is also a tremendous way to get more writing practice and figure out what your true voice is, maybe even experiment a little. More Cowbell, bloggers😉 I resurrected an old post of yours with that title from last March in my link round up.

  34. #39 by thedailyreject on March 28, 2012 - 6:51 pm

    Thanks for this post. I always read about how blogs should have a theme and a target audience, and if you don’t then you’ll be unsuccessful, but I’m learning that you can just be interesting and true to what you have to write and that will be enough to win over people who just wanna hear what you wanna say about anything that perks their interest.

  35. #40 by Writerlious on March 28, 2012 - 7:04 pm

    Doh! Wish I’d seen this post before I created my blog. I blog about writing and YA. Hmm…. Maybe I need to gear more of the posts to the YA genre. Am feeling some book reviews coming on. 🙂

    • #41 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 28, 2012 - 7:32 pm

      No, don’t do reviews. Serious time suck and unless you want to brand as a book reviewer, might not be the best use of your time. There are plenty of well-established book bloggers out there so you are way outgunned. Also, to blog as much as you need to, you’d spend all your time reading. Get a copy of my book Are You There, Blog? and it will help.

      • #42 by Writerlious on April 2, 2012 - 8:52 pm

        I will. Thanks Kristen!

  36. #43 by richardmonro731 on March 28, 2012 - 8:21 pm

    Kristen, you hit the bull’s-eye with this blog. Blogging is a long-term love affair. Like all love affairs, the longer we invest in the relationship and the more we commit to the relationship, the bigger the returns.

    I suspect that blogging is also a test of our love for writing. If blogging is a chore, how much do we really love the craft of writing?

    Thanks again for another thoughtful and thought-provoking blog.

    • #44 by mollyputz on March 28, 2012 - 11:18 pm

      I couldn’t agree more about how we should maybe reevaluate what our passion is (or at least how deep it flows), if writing a blog that can be fantastic even with short posts causes immediate urges to laundry instead. Come on, no one likes laundry. If that beats blogging, either consider a different passion or switch to unscented fabric softener! Great comment to a great post!

  37. #45 by mollyputz on March 28, 2012 - 11:14 pm

    I preface this by saying I completely get these posta and it makes me so much more confident when people who supposedly “know” tell me I’ll never be successful if I deviate from the standard road, which gives me about the same odds as becoming a professional hog wrestler.

    Really though, I am giddy over your musician analogy because it is SPOT on! I started my blog in December and joined twitter and all I hear (ahem from certain in-laws at least) is that I’m wasting my time that I could be spending “doing real writing.” now I have the perfect response. I’ve known the answer inside me but could never articulate it. Blogging is writing, too, and tweeting is practically an art!

    I’m glad I joined this community and I can’t wait to read more of your blog and find other great ones, too.🙂

  38. #46 by UnrestrainedFancy on March 29, 2012 - 1:35 am

    Thanks for another dose of encouragement, and for the reminder that our future is definitely resting in our own hands.

  39. #47 by Neelima on March 29, 2012 - 1:48 am

    Kristen, how do you use FB to promote your blog readership? I’m curious about how you can integrate platforms without making it seem too forced or repetitive. Thank you for your insightful post.

    • #48 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 29, 2012 - 7:30 am

      I just post the link on my regular page, my fan page (Author Kristen Lamb) and the FB MyWANA page. The WANAs usually gather there to help each other spread the word. Twitter is my preference, though.

  40. #50 by tracikenworth on March 29, 2012 - 5:19 am

    Thanks for the post!! Very helpful.

  41. #51 by E.K. Carmel on March 29, 2012 - 5:51 am

    Kristen, the way you explain all these scary (to me) concepts is often a revelation. Honestly. I finally *get* it when you use analogies. I dipped in to the social media stream with a blog a couple years ago and recently with Twitter, but you give me the courage to keep going. Thank you!

  42. #52 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on March 29, 2012 - 6:18 am

    As usual, am late, am late. For this very important date. But you know I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, right? I love that you met the Dixie Chicks when they were just Dixi Chic.🙂 Great analogy. And I love to see how many WANA friends are here to support you and remind everyone that these techniques work!

  43. #53 by Kecia Adams on March 29, 2012 - 7:50 am

    I am really starting to see this working after taking your Blogging class in October (go #WANA1011 !) At first I thought the blogging was taking away time from my writing but I kept at it and now I am seeing that the blog IS my writing. It took some repetition for the concepts to sink in, though. DUH!🙂 Thanks for stressing that writers ARE different when it comes to social media and platform building.

  44. #54 by Char on March 29, 2012 - 8:25 am

    How do we get past the “well that’s boring, no one will want to see a blog post about that” syndrome?

    I will keep plugging away, returning frequently to re-read your inspirational posts.🙂

  45. #55 by granbee on March 29, 2012 - 1:21 pm

    After reading this post, I am heaving a huge sigh of relief that I have completely side-stepped all temptations to blog about writing. Ugh! Now I understand with my cognitive mind what I had perceived in my spirit previously–Tease the readers with actual samples, (like brownies!), not recipes!

  46. #56 by debreilly on March 29, 2012 - 3:54 pm

    I love the graphic, Kristen. We are capable of so much, but we don’t find that out until after we TRY! Thank goodness YOU blog about writing!😉

  47. #57 by debreilly on March 29, 2012 - 3:56 pm

    Reblogged this on debreilly and commented:
    This is a great read, especially for writers.

  48. #58 by artinstructor on March 29, 2012 - 8:04 pm

    Great Post – the obvious is often ignored. Getting that out in the beginning is important in starting fresh. I enjoyed the read.

  49. #59 by micheleberger on March 29, 2012 - 9:05 pm

    Hey Kristen,
    I have just finished your book, We are Not Alone, enjoyed it (talk about shaking us writers up!), learned a ton and have been recommending it to many writers I know who say, “I don’t know what to do with Twitter” etc,. As someone building an author platform, I’m trying to do it with integrity and delight and moving away from ‘shoulds’ –which makes my inner resister come out and feels overwhelming. So,I’m working on implementing many of your very good ideas, but at a pace that feels fun and interesting and what I can do consistently well. The biggest key is not to be overwhelmed or wait to get started. Your books (and blog) helps break this process down into simple steps. Thanks, Kristen!

  50. #60 by corajramos on March 29, 2012 - 10:02 pm

    In each of your posts, there is always some word or phrase that causes an epiphany in me. This post it was: social media is our stage. That phrase gave me the whole picture in an instant image. It explains why I have been working my tush off toward consciously finding, expressing solidifying my voice–and working to find the subjects for blog posts that fit my platform–my performance. My blog posts are beginning to make an impact outside of WANA group, being mentioned in different blog newsletters, some outside the US. I see a crack of light coming in to tell me I’m on the right path, thanks to your mentoring.

  51. #61 by Amelia Loken on March 30, 2012 - 9:00 am

    Thanks for the illustration using the band idea. That helps me get a better picture of the publishing world. So much of it has been behind closed doors for so long. The idea of sending out queries and manuscripts was like sending radio transmissions out into the void of space and hoping the aliens answered sooner or later.

  52. #62 by lynnkelleyauthor on March 30, 2012 - 11:51 am

    Kristen, your blog posts always rock. I remember how relieved I felt when your Sacred Cow Tipping post came out. I really didn’t want to write about writing. It gave me the green signal to do my own thing! Thanks for all your help.

  53. #63 by schadah on March 30, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    Reblogged this on coconutroses and commented:
    I love this. This is what I’m talking about.

  54. #64 by tamieka73 on April 3, 2012 - 10:59 am

    Reblogged this on Tamieka73's Blog.

  55. #65 by Brianna Soloski on April 6, 2012 - 9:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s motivated me to get more short stories on Amazon and take the leap with my first novel.

  56. #66 by john on April 10, 2012 - 9:48 am

    great blog! thank you for your great advice!

    here is my newest book:

    theoldmanandthewhale.com

  57. #67 by luckyfind on April 10, 2012 - 1:13 pm

    This way of envisioning the writer’s situation today and the developing of a platform as the way to reach people is very useful. A lot of us have already moved in this direction to some extent or other, but to outline the process this consciously is valuable. It’s a gradual process, and hopefully there are breakthroughs along the way, where momentum gets the ball rolling faster. Thanks for this blog. William J. Jackson, author of the novel Diving for Carlos, and the novel Gypsy Escapades.

  1. Link Feast | Reetta Raitanen's Blog
  2. I didn’t know I was going to York… | The Many Worlds of Char….
  3. The Turndog Tales: 25/03 – 30/03 « Turndog Millionaire
  4. Reading Outside Your Genre | | mohanalakshmi.commohanalakshmi.com
  5. Links of the week #12 « S. J. Maylee
  6. Industry News-April 1 » RWA-WF
  7. Link Feast Vol. 1 | Reetta Raitanen's Blog
  8. Mind Sieve 4/16/12 « Gloria Oliver
  9. My Big Fat Platform Mistake « Audrey Kalman: Writing of Many Kinds
  10. Links of the week #12 | S.J. Maylee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: