Editing on Slush Heap

I just had a great time appearing on Slushheap.com’s Google Hangout On Air. It was loads of fun. The host, Rudi Fischer, ran the show wonderfully with a little help from my hubby John, who was filling in for their regular co-host Darcie Duranceau, who was out sick. I hope I get to go back sometime so I can meet her. The other guests were Jim Ault, who specializes in marketing, and Katie Hayoz, a YA author from Switzerland, who told us all about the writing group she uses to help critique her stories as part of her editing process.

The hour was full of great information and fun. I encourage anyone writing a book to listen in. Slush Heap does a weekly show specializing in matters facing writers, so you might want to check out their backlist of shows as well.

Building Your Platform

So, you have written a book. Or you are writing a book. Or you have a great book idea. It is never too early to start building your platform. I’m not talking about something you need plywood and nails for; you need to build a following. By starting now, you can have readers salivating for your book by the time it is published.

This is important no matter what publishing route you choose. Of course, if you are self-publishing to an ebook or print, you need that audience so you can sell your book. If you plan on going the traditional route of finding an agent to sell your book to a big publisher, having a strong platform can help make your book more attractive.

So, how do you do this?

Social media is a wonderful tool. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and many others exist to help people connect. Look for other writers on these sites. This is a great place to start. Writers are usually very good about helping each other promote their books. Get your friends to talk about it online. Participate in the many Twitter chats for writers. You can learn a lot about getting an agent, working in your genre, self publishing and more. Chats are done on Twitter by including a hashtag in each post. This is an example of a hashtag: #litchat. Hashtags like this enable people who want to follow the discussion run a search for that term and all the posts will appear.

Facebook lets you make a business page for your book. Promote it on Twitter and Facebook to get people to like it. Everyone who likes your page will get the updates you post there. Keep everyone updated on how the writing is going, put up a few sentences periodically, and generally hype your book.

Start a blog. Dedicate it to your book(s). If you write paranormal romance, for instance, really make the most of this genre on your blog. You can host giveaways on your blog. If your book is ready, promote a giveaway of a copy or two to people who comment or follow a simple set of instructions you set up. If your book is not ready, offer writers in that genre that you’ve met on Facebook or Twitter the chance to promote their book by hosting a giveaway for them. Let them write a post or interview them. This will help you generate traffic and interest in your own books.

Join blog tours. If your book is ready, join them as an author and visit many different blogs to talk about your book. Be prepared to give copies away to lucky winners at each blog stop. If your book is not ready, offer other authors to host them on their blog tour. Again, this is all about bringing you traffic who will help you build your platform.

By the time your book is ready, you should have a ready audience who will be eager to snap up your book. Promotion is an author’s best tool to compete in the marketplace. Using these sources, it costs very little; lots of time and a few copies of the book for prizes.