Chapter 9: Building Your Author Platform in Person

cooking classesWe just spent the last few weeks together doing some technical things like creating a new g-mail account, facebook fan page, twitter account and a simple author web-site. Now that the computer work is done, it’s time to put some pants on, head out the door and build your author platform in person.

Platform and Reach

Consider your platform to be the method (or methods) you will focus on to connect with people. Consider your reach to be the number of people you connect with through your platform. If your book is a technical “how-to” manual or a cook book, you may have a completely different platform approach than someone with a poetry book or a romance novel.

For example

If you are writing a cook book, your platform might include:

  • Become the teacher or guest instructor at the local cooking school.
  • Film a few YouTube videos of you making your recipes.
  • Hold a monthly sampling at the local gourmet food shop and serve samples of your signature recipe.
  • Select and visit a gourmet food store or local butcher each week and then do a review of the shop as a blog post.

Closing the loop

Here is where you put your new on-line platform tools to use. Let’s say you met 6 people as a guest instructor at a local cooking class. When you get home, try to connect with some of the people through one of the on-line tools we just built. You might send a quick e-mail, a facebook friend request or follow them on twitter. Nothing fancy is required, just a simple note to say you wanted to make a connection. After all, you truly have something in common.

The snowball effect

Platform magic will start to happen soon after you start putting yourself out there. The connections you make will lead you to more connections with people you never would have met if you didn’t make the first connection. It’s like a reach snowball rolling down a hill.

Slow and steady

The key to expanding your reach is to start today and take a relaxed but steady approach. Help and support others first, build real connections with people, and before you know it you’ll have a blossoming healthy reach. When the time comes for you to announce your book’s release, you’ll have an easy way to communicate with the long list of people you’ve made real connections with.

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