Welcome back. I really appreciate those of you who are investing just a bit of time taking this journey with me – the journey toward becoming an indie author/publisher.
As usual, my first thought is that not much happened this week. However, when I start going through my notes, I see that’s not actually true. Lots of little things have happened, things that add up to progress – at least a little progress.
This weekend I took a significant step forward in “building my platform.” That’s the industry’s term for being in contact, one way or another, with lots of folks, folks. Now, many folks think that really just means – folks who will buy your book. And in a way, that’s true.
However, people who really understand platforms and how they work know that a platform is a collection of people who are interested in you and what you are doing. Now, that might mean that they think they can learn something from you or your material – read your “how to” book on how to skin a possum, or watch your vlog or YouTube channel to get instruction on how to do the Electric Slide (one of my real areas of expertise). Or it might mean that they can be entertained by something you do – read your post-antebellum historical novel with a distinct Marxist undergirding, or hear your latest musical composition for spoons, forks, and colanders.
But the people in the know also understand that nobody wants to be constantly asked to buy this or download that. People want to get to know you as a person and become engaged with you on some level. It might be by following you on a journey, physical or mental, as you attempt to do something you’ve never, ever, ever, in a million years thought you might do – like becoming an indie author/publisher.
What I like about that notion is that it’s very real. And it’s not hard to do. For me, at least it’s just a matter of being willing to share what I’m doing – not as a salesman, but just as an authentic person who is trying to do something he finds interesting and challenging. Of course, the key is to be honest about it all – like when I wrote in one of the earlier blogs about being totally clueless when it came to this very thing – building a platform – and had to turn to others for help. Now, it was great that I found that help in the persons of my daughter, Kristin, and son-in-law, Logan.
And so, with their help and encouragement, I reached out this weekend to my facebook friends, real people, with whom I have had, over time, real relationships, and offered them the opportunity to join me on this adventure. Almost fifty people have already done that, and that makes me very happy.
One last thing about building a platform. All the experts will tell you that it’s not about how many of your friends are willing to follow you, but how many of their friends they are willing to invite along for the ride – and then, of course – how many of those people’s friends. So, if you’ve decided to join me as I travel the road to authordom (see, I’m so clever I can actually make up new words), please don’t be afraid to invite some of your friends to come along for the ride. If nothing else, I hope they’ll have a few good laughs along the way. And who knows, if something good comes out of all of this maybe they, and you, can feel like they’ve been a part of it right from the beginning. Thanks.