Thursday, October 14, 2010

Producing my Platform?

Imagine writing your memoirs or teaching the world everything you know about your profession or trade in a best-selling non-fiction. Or perhaps you'd like to write an acclaimed murder mystery series. Sound good? Sure it does. I talk to lots of people who tell me that they've always wanted to write a book, and I always encourage them to go for it. But what I don't talk about is publishing's dirty little secret - the elusive author platform. So if you're going to write a book, don't leave home without it. 

What's an author platform, you ask? An author platform is the missing link that most aspiring writers lack. Joanna Penn writes in her blog, The Creative Penn, "The author platform is how you are currently reaching an audience of book-buying people, or how you plan to do so. It is your influence, your ability to sell to your market. It is your multi-faceted book marketing machine!"

Most new and aspiring authors do not have a significant platform (present company included), which is a shame because it may be the one thing that keeps most writers from getting an agented publishing deal, regardless of writing quality and creativity. It hasn't always been that way, but the publishing business is in an economical funk and isn't investing much $ in new authors right now. But as they say, it's just business.

The interesting thing is, I just recently received a letter of acceptance for my book, 20th, from a publisher  who really liked the idea and my writing style. At the same time, they declined to publish, because I do not have an author platform; zero speaking engagements, no 100,000+ twitter fans, and I don't have thousands of pre-established readers, or viral video. Ugh! What a conundrum! 

So what do I do? Well, I'm not going to spend thousands of dollars on a publicist (not yet anyway), but I have decided to work my platform and show the folks in New York City how an Indy author can rise to the occasion, even when the economy is in the tank. That's right. Starting now, I am officially on a mission; a mission to divide and conquer the far reaching expanse of the planetary platforms for self-publicized-published-authors. So watch for me in the latest headlines and seven o'clock news, because I need a platform damn it, and I'm going to get one!

Oh, and by the way (sheepishly humble), would you mind sharing this link with all of your friends and family who happen to enjoy reading and getting to know the authors they love? Be sure they know that I'm the author of  the political thriller, Killing the Giants, and two other thrillers I hope to publish soon. And if you think about it, stop by your local library and ask them to purchase my book and invite me to speak! I mean really, it's the least you can do to help the author of The Writing Bomb get that elusive publishing contract! Boom!

By the way, Killing the Giants is available on Kindle for ONLY .99 for a short time.


  1. Hey there Jeff,
    Your blog was recommended to me buy my friend Kimber.Love it so far! You have some great ideas. I am the author of two nonfiction books published out of Gloucester MA by Rockport publishers. Currently writing my first novel. I would love to talk 'book' sometime!

    Melissa Placzek

  2. WOW - how sad that another industry has virtually closed it's doors on anyone not already a member. When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a writer someday. It's sad that we were once told, "You can be anything you want to be as long as you want it bad enough and work hard for it." and now they tell us, "You can be anything you want to long as you know this many people, get approval from these people and pay for exposure to those people over there - and then you might have a chance."

    This conversation has made me wonder if there are frustrated authors out there who have started their own publishing companies in order to be more help to authors like yourself.


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