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Creating an effective writer's platform

by Rita Ashley
(Medford, OR)

If you were to engage in two activities to enhance your platform, what would they be?

ANSWER:

A "platform" really just means that you have created a name for yourself and have a lot of interested people to contact when you have a book published.

Publishers want to know that you can promote yourself and sell a lot of books yourself.

1. Join writers' forums and online communities, and network to make yourself known and liked. By helping others--answering questions, critiquing work, providing tips--you give strangers a reason to take an interest in you.

2. Attend writing conferences as a participant or volunteer. Either way you will meet other writers, agents, and editing professionals with whom you can develop professional relationships.

These events wouldn't happen without volunteers, and every event requires plenty, so if you can't afford to attend a conference, offer your services for anything from picking up and transporting authors to setting up and putting away chairs.

These are the sorts of steps I and other established writers take on an ongoing basis. I also teach, Twitter, and use social networking.