Building Your Platform

I recently picked up Emily Giffin’s latest novel Where we belong. Here are some quotes from her two full-page acknowledgments:

First, she thanked her loyal readers…”talking with you on Facebook, Twitter, and book tours gets me through every painful bout of writer’s block…”

I thought. How do I get through writer’s block? A glass or two of wine? A walk through the Botanical Gardens, a deep discussion with myself as to why I’m putting myself through this torture. Well, it isn’t really torture. The truth is what else would I do with my life?

Back to Emily. So she gives eternal thanks to her editor Jennifer Enderlin, to Stephen Lee, her publicist, to too many to name at St. Martin’s Press (13 I counted). The entire Broadway and Fifth Avenue sales force. To Olga Grlic for the cover design.

And oh, yes,  her world-class agent, Theresa Park and her team…and to Molie Smith and Mara Lubell for taking care of her website and for Sarah Hall, Danielle Burch and Susan Stockman for their publicity efforts.

Then, of course, thanks went to family members for their moral support, to her assistant. Who among us trying to build our platform has an assistant?

So, these are some of the people behind Emily Giffin’s where we belong.

And to top it all off, have you seen her photo?

What would your writing be like if you had such a team?

So, that kind of discouraged me and made me wonder about all this building a platform hype. I mean, isn’t it really the other way around. What are your thoughts?  What ever happened to good old-fashioned writing?

Are you beginning to feel alone in building your platform? I for one sometimes think I am building a house with only a hammer and a box of nails.

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2 thoughts on “Building Your Platform

  1. I believe most published authors DO have a “team” of professionals and helpful others though in the recent past much of this team came from within the publishing industry (first reader, copy editor, editor, etc.)

    Most of the marketing, too, was handled by “the publisher.” Nowadays, more and more of this work is left to the writer – to create a buzz, to build platforms to attract a fan base, as opportunities at traditional publishing houses continue to shrink and more and more authors turn to e-publishers or self-publishing.

    Learning the writing craft demands oodles of time and energy.. so all our efforts to market ourselves can detract from that.

    All I know is that the product (the book, story, etc.) comes first. And our love for our creation is what motivates us to get it out there, whatever platform we use.

    • Thanks for your comment Thelma. It can be pretty frustrating and time consuming having to deal with the business side of writing. But it’s also just as difficult finding an agent. I think we’ve got to get on the band-wagon if we don’t want to be left behind. E-books are becoming more and more popular and self-publishing is losing its stigma. Though, what counts in the end is writing something people care to read about. But here’s the hitch: One should not write for others but what one needs to write about. And perhaps that’s the secret. It’s when you honor your true writing self that people will care to read you.

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