Speech Excerpt – Sample
**This is only a small portion of a twelve page (5,232 words) speech I enjoyed presenting as a guest speaker to The Highland League of Writers Group, Highland, Illinois…
6) OK…next topic…I mentioned an author platform earlier which goes along with the question about social networking. YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST CREATE AN AUTHOR PLATFORM even if your book isn’t completed!!! Now I’ll amend that statement: Ask yourself WHY are you writing a book? Are you writing it for the joy and passion of writing, as a fun, creative hobby and are NOT that concerned with whether it ever gets published? OR do you plan on publishing it to earn a few bucks, or a lot of bucks, plus the joy of writing?
If you want your book to be PUBLISHED AND FOR READERS TO KNOW THAT YOU AND YOUR BOOK EXIST AND YOU WANT IT TO BE BOUGHT AND READ AND TALKED ABOUT then you MUST CREATE AN AUTHOR PLATFORM!
The author platform in general is used to impress agents and publishers. Portions of it are also used to interact with readers and draw attention to yourself. The platform includes any previous type of writing you’ve done: books; articles or stories in newspapers, magazines, anything to do with writing, editing, publishing, copyrighting, marketing in this field.
And a ton of your author platform involves the internet: articles & online content you’ve written, actively blogging on specific sites, maintaining your own blog, having your own author website that you keep updated, possibly a bulletin board, newsletters.
Your author platform involves building fans or friends or simply having a good number of decent contacts on: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and LinkedIn. It’s advantageous if you have a blog where you consistently write enticing, informative content and can start to build a base of followers.
But you also want to come across as a real, live person with other interests in life besides just trying to chat about your book. If you don’t throw in other off-topic comments a little here and there, people will be turned off by the constant advertising of your books in their face.
WHY, you ask, is it so important to have an author platform? Because, as I stressed earlier, if your goal is to SELL your books, people have to know you and your book EXIST! That’s especially critical if you’re with a small publishing house and they are limited on how much they market your book.
Of course, your book needs to be entertaining and well-written, but FEW people will know about it until you build a base of contacts and friends you can CHAT with or post to about your book & your writing endeavors. That’s assuming you want people to BUY your book! Hopefully some WILL get excited about your book, purchase it, love it and then tell others about it – word of mouth advertising!!
An author platform shows people – which could be your prospective agent, publisher or current and future fans of your books –it shows off your books and projects, credentials, talents, references, interests, your influence, your involvement in the writing field, your quantity and quality of contacts and efforts made to increase your contacts and that you are serious about networking to aid in your endeavor to succeed as an author.
The internet is your friend and enemy. The points I just covered explain how it is your friend. The internet can become your enemy easily, as it is a gargantuan time suck. Occasionally I’ll set timers to ring so I don’t play around on the internet too long. And even they don’t always work – because I ignore them.
So, don’t be afraid to set up accounts on the main social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and get a blog going at Blogger.com. Your blog, if set up properly, can even serve as your author’s website! Track down people you already know and Friend or Like or Follow them…Start looking for other authors to connect with. Find blogs that discuss the genre you write in or cover a subject you write about. Post comments. Make friends. Invite them to your blog or Facebook page, etc.
~~~Gina Marie Long, Web Copywriting and Content Marketing