This month, I’m hosting Day 3 of the Virtual Book Tours for all
the children’s book authors/illustrators who are part of the
October Showcase at the National Writing for Children Center.
Today, I’m pleased to be hosting Day 3 of the tour for author
Karen Cioffi. She has provided us with a great article about building a platform.
Creating Visibility Before Getting Published:
Build Your Platform
By Karen Cioffi
The road to publication can be long and winding … and filled
with rejection. So what do you do while you’re submitting your
manuscripts and waiting patiently? Okay, maybe not patiently,
but waiting nonetheless.
That’s easy. And, its very important. Create visibility. I don’t
mean standing on the street corner singing at the top of your
lungs. I mean creating an online presence that depicts who and
what you are. In other words, you need to create your platform.
There are a number of writers who are reluctant to begin
promoting themselves because they haven’t landed a publisher
yet. Or, they’re still learning the craft. This mentality won’t cut it
today. You need to begin that visibility.
The first step in your platform journey is to create a blog using
a blog site such as Blogger, or a website. Either one is relatively
simple to create, and can be free. Obviously, you will want to
create your platform right from the beginning by posting to your
blog with content that is in the genre you are writing.
Important Tip: Make the name of your site something that will
grow with you, and your name should be part of the site name.
But wait a minute. Let me backtrack. For those who aren’t sure
what a platform is, it is a means to let readers know what your
area of expertise is. Yes, I know, you might be shaking your head
and thinking that you don’t have an area of expertise. But this is
how you create it.
The next step in your journey is to create your platform and
online visibility. Learn your craft and as you’re learning, write
about what you learn. In other words, if your book is about
cooking, blog about cooking…you’ll be creating your area of
Once you feel comfortable adding content to your blog, start
writing articles and submitting them to article directories. Again,
keep them focused on the area of expertise you are trying to
create. You may not get paid for them, but they will establish an
online presence. And, if your articles are beneficial or interesting
to others, it will bring traffic to your site.
The publishing and marketing industry has changed. In today’s
writing market publishing houses, big and small, expect you to:
1. Have an online presence (website or blog);
2. Have a platform;
3. Have a following;
4. Have the potential to increase that following;
5. Have a marketing strategy; and
6. Be able to sell your book.
Selling books is now a joint effort between the publishing house
and the author. And, if you’re venturing into the self-publishing
arena, promoting yourself is even more important. So, don’t
procrastinate. Start creating your online presence and platform
Follow all 7 authors on their 6-day Virtual Book Tours and
leave comments and you could win the Giftbox Giveaway from
the National Writing for Children Center. Click here to keep
following the tours: http://www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com/