Yesterday I wrote a little bit about the nonfiction writer’s platform courtesy a presentation at the University of Wisconsin Writers’ Institute. “I will get famous BEFORE I write my book.” That’s the mantra you should repeat to yourself every day if you write nonfiction. Become the sought-after expert in your subject area. Start locally, build to regional recognition and, if you’re dogged enough, take on the nation. Make yourself the go-to guy. Then sit down to write.
What if you, like me, write fiction? Your platform is altogether different. You have no specific expertise—other than the way you construct your stories, the words you choose, the phrasing, dialogue and tone that naturally works its way into your writing. Yes, ma’am. That’s your writer’s VOICE. It’s what sets you apart from every other writer on the planet.
And what you suspected was coming is, in fact, here: you must get your writing out there, and every day. Blog. Join webloops and other on line groups. Start a fan page for your books on Facebook. (That’s on my list for later today. I’ll let you know how it goes.) Link your blog to your Facebook page or post your daily blogs there, too. Twitter? Sure. LinkedIn? Why not? Try with every fiber of your being (except those reserved for the writing of your books themselves) to reach the broadest possible audience. The more readers find of your work and the more they like it, the more likely they are to buy and read the writing you have for sale. Simple, right?
“Oh, man,” you say. “That’s so much WORK.” Well, yeah. It is. Here I am, beginning a weekday blog, and it IS work. But I’m doing my best to show all of you out there what my writing is like. As this blog grows and I’m a little more accustomed to doing it every day, I’ll include a few posts that showcase my writing itself. Perhaps I’ll toss out a daily writing prompt, too, that we can all use to jumpstart our own prose. See? That might help generate a following.
And how about guest blogs? Today I’m guest blogging on Lois Winston’s site, “Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers.” At that site I talk about how I got the idea for my first novel, UNREASONABLE RISK. It’s a thriller about sabotage in an oil refinery. You can check it out at: http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com/. While my first book is definitely not a traditional cozy mystery, complete with crafts like knitting or scrapbooking, it also isn’t dark and nasty and full of serial murderers. It might appeal to some of Lois’ regular readers. And I’m giving away a copy of the book to somebody who leaves a comment at the blog site. It’s another way to build readership. Next month I’ll be a guest at Sylvia Ramsey’s new author interview blogsite, and that one will be a longer post. Sylvia asks interesting questions. I’ll let you know when I’m over there and hopefully you’ll check it out.
On Monday, here at my own blog I’ll discuss the nonfiction book proposal and who needs one. In addition, I’ll spend some words on memoir and travel memoir, which require different types of agent submission. Curious? Come back Monday.