Creating a Platform Without Connections

How sad that title sounds; it’s like Going to Kindergarten Without Friends, or Having a House Warming Party Without Guests. And just as scary, or disheartening as going to school alone, or looking around an empty room, being asked if you have a platform makes one pause and envision a long, empty platform at an abandoned train station – dust and dried leaves collecting in the corners, random scraps of paper blowing across the wooden boards, only ghostly echoes to keep you company.

Not really knowing what a platform was, I started researching to see what I needed to do/get. After looking up platform on the internet and reading books about publishing I’ve come to the conclusion that a platform is not easily defined. You can’t just go out and buy something that comes home in a box to be unwrapped, put together, and used. It means:

  • Do you have connections?
  • Do you have contacts?
  • Is there, at your disposal, a way to get information about your newly released book out to the public, locally and beyond?
  • Have you got an awesome website that will do this? And is it being widely followed.
  • Are there book clubs that are waiting to read your novel?
  • Do you have book signings planned?
  • A way to get your face on television?
  • Do you own a book store where you can order and then sell your book, keeping it on the front rack for months?

Ok, that last one is a bit sarcastic and above-board, but wouldn’t it be cool!

So, what do I have?

  • I have a sparkling personality. People like to talk to me.
  • I’m retired but have maintained some of my friends from work who may be willing to read my new novel.
  • I have a medium-sized family all excited about their new author relative.
  • I am a member of Pinterest (having a little fun with that adding boards that relate to the story).
  • I’m a Twitter user (building up followers and enjoying the camaraderie of the writing world).
  • I have this blog, which I’m slowly learning how to use.

I’ve got a little work ahead of me. And I guess that is the point I’m getting at:

  • Writing, in and of itself is a meaningful, worthwhile, enjoyable endeavor that I highly recommend. When I started writing, I asked myself what would I like to read, and then I wrote it.
  • Editing is a necessary evil that comes with writing and the plan to publish.
  • Publishing is exciting because it is your product live and in color.
  • Marketing sucks, but if you do not have the gumption or stick-to-itiveness (sp) to market the product that you just breathed life into, then you should give up at the writing part and continue to enjoy your creation in and of itself.

I’m not a quitter. I will get this platform built, I will learn to market, I will personally meet with managers of book stores to schedule book signings, I will encourage readers to write a review, and I will continue to post blogs to this site because I want it to be awesome and I’m working toward that end.

In fact, I’d love to hear from you out there about your trials and tribulations of marketing your product. What worked? What didn’t? Is there a platform in a box that I could just buy and bring home to assemble? (Ok, that last one is desperation.)

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