Monday, August 24, 2009

Climb Up on That Platform and Sell!

The release dates for what I call my "debut" novels are still months away, but it's not too early (and may possibly be rather late) to begin planning how to market them. They aren't going to sell in any great numbers just sitting on the "shelves" of online bookstores. (They may not sell in any great numbers at all, but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm doing this to fulfill a lifelong ambition with no illusions of becoming a "best-selling author".) That said . . .

I've sketched out some ideas that are workable---the obvious idea is multiple book-signings wherever I can get permission---but there is so much more to this marketing thing. Now I find I must have a "platform", too!

Recently I bought Novel Writing, a Writer's Digest Yearbook which isn't included with the magazine subscription. It's full of excellent information, but I bought it for the cover ad: "Author Platforms and What They Mean to Fiction Writers". It is a one-page article on the very last page. The article by Jane Friedman, a publisher and editorial director of the Writer's Digest Community, finishes by summing up platform building as "knowing what audiences will be most interest in your work, always thinking about know you can be more visible to them, and reaching out to them in meaningful ways." (Read more from Jane at her blog There Are No Rules.)

Okay, so building a platform and having a marketing plan are essential. I'll bet "Jo March", squirreled away writing in her little garret, didn't have either one! Alas, that was then, and this is now.




Kathy Otten said...

Thanks for sharing all this helpful info. When my first short stories were released I had no clue about marketing. I'm getting better, but I still feel so lost...
Anyway, I'm one step closer, thanks to you.

Anonymous said...

Yikes..this writing business really is a BUSINESS! Platforms, marketing, sell sell sell! Thanks Judy for your helpful info, I'm learning lots through you!

K9friend said...

Wouldn't it be nice to "only" have to worry about brainstorming, culling ideas, outlining, writing, editing, submitting, re-writing, re-submitting, etc., etc., etc.?

Now we have to be salespersons, too?


Margaret Tanner said...

Thanks for sharing this helpful information. It was very generous of you. I am a lost soul really when it comes to marketing and promo, although I do the best I can, which I fear is not very good at all.

nlindabrit said...

This is the side to writing that I dislike the most. It is so alien to my nature and if I am honest, I am too much of a coward to want to tackle the issue.