Platform is part of the process

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I love working with writers. Whether it’s during the process of plotting or even post publication, I love seeing how different authors minds work. I love the behind the scenes glimpses I get of those around me.

In the midst of the behind the scenes moments, a lot of talk about a writer’s platform comes up. (Probably because I am both a writer and a marketer…I doubt many writers feel the need to bring up their platform in random small talk scenarios…)

Most of the published writers I know are not too thrilled that they also have to do their own marketing. Confessing what I do for a living to a published writer usually starts a litany of complaints or confused questions.

And I get it, trust me I do. It can be really overwhelming to think about having to keep up a website and a blog and a Facebook page and an Instagram and a Snapchat and and and. It can be a lot.

Except that for a writer, platform building isn’t marketing. It’s storytelling. It is, in fact, part of the writing process.

Think about it this way: What good is telling a story that no one is listening to? What good is telling it if no one even knows you’re telling it?

Building your platform is telling the story of your story. And you get to tell it to those who care about you. You are not just shouting out unto the void, you’re telling your friends and family about it. And then they will tell their friends and family and your circle of influence begins to grow. You are telling a story that catches on.

Publishers only have so much influence when it comes to marketing a book. A book may be critically acclaimed, but that doesn’t mean it is read by the general public. Your personal connections—your friends, family, and co-workers—make a huge difference.

The leg work an author is expected to do in building their platform and marketing their book does not have to be extensive. Choose two or three things you can do well and begin to unpack your story—both the one you’re writing and the one you’re living. Those are the stories your circle of influence wants to hear.

New Address

photo-1446475157725-e6dada23994eMaybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t, but I’m not located in Bohemia anymore. And my name isn’t “Lex from Bohemia.” I mean, it is Lex. But I do have a last name. Postcards from Preppy Bohemia was a title I loved for my blog, but if someone was looking for my writing, they were not going to find it under my name.

I have one piece of digital marketing advice for anyone looking to start their own platform:
If you’re going to put content somewhere on the interwebs, put your name on it.

For our tech-free folks, the domain is the URL (web address) for your site. It’s how people find your blog/site/store/whatever. If your name isn’t on it, people aren’t going to find it.

One of the best blog posts I’ve read in the past year is from Chad R. Allen (who has a great blog for anybody interested in Christian publishing, by the way.) on how he as an editor interacts with platform right off the bat. He discusses how he will google a writer’s name when he encounters their book proposal.

When I Google a writer’s name, what I hope to see at the top of the search results is the author’s blog or website. This tells me the author has an established location online that Google’s search engine considers worthy of top billing.

See, part of the publishing game is marketing. A lot of getting a book published is letting people know it’s out there. If you don’t have a platform, editors are more likely to move on because they are not willing to put in effort if you have not put in the effort.

The problem is, if you’re name isn’t on the platform you’ve built, how are editors or even readers going to find your work?

So I figured it was time I started practicing what I was preaching.

Welcome to AlexisDeWeese.com! I may not have top billing on google yet, but with some SEO work, we’ll get there. I’m excited to have the new site up and rolling. Pardon the dust as new features emerge.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and share with your friends!

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