Hello to all you writers out there, it’s Adair Heitmann here writing to you on this snowy winter day about: Writer’s Platforms. If you are anything like I was a few years ago I was overwhelmed by the programs at writing conferences and articles in the press about “Literary Platforms.” At the time I didn’t think I had one, wasn’t sure exactly what one was, or even how to go about getting one. I took dubious notes, listened to keynote speakers and was still like a deer in the headlights.
Then it dawned on me, a writing platform is simply a tool you use to promote yourself and your writing. It can be in person, online or a combination of both. A writer’s platform is a marketing term to get known before you get published. This way agents, editors, publicists have more confidence that you have a following before they commit to your project.
After spending dedicated time and focus building my platform, now I think of my writing platform in metaphorical terms. It’s like a swimming platform. My writing platform is solid, I can go to it for safety, it’s out there working for me even as I rest. I can hang onto it or sunbathe, even dive and jump from it in joy and abandon. It’s a springboard for all my writing endeavors.
Basic First Steps in Creating Your Writer’s Platform:
1. Network, go to conferences and programs.
2. Have business cards printed up and use them. A cost-effective online solution is Vistaprint.
3. Create an effective and accurate email signature, this way your platform is always working for you every time you send an email.
4. Increase your online presence with a website, and with blogs and tweets.
5. Figure out your specialty or niche and build around that.
If you want more in-depth information about how to build a writer’s platform and have fun doing it, be sure to sign up for the Writer’s Platform program at the Fairfield Public Library on Tuesday February 15, 2011, 7pm. I will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about writing platforms and you will leave inspired.
Until then, keep on writing!