A few weeks ago I’ve read an article by August Birch which really got me thinking. The entire article is inspirational and filled with insights into building an author platform and you should definitely read it, but there is one thought that really struck my mind.
Your platform is the virtual coffee shop where you sit down with one fan at a time and have a personal conversation — en masse. This is important to note: it’s a personal conversation, not a BULK fire-hosing of content.August Birch – The One Thing I Wish I Knew Before I Started Writing Commercially
I knew, from a personal experience, that people don’t just buy your book because you shove it into their face. I’ve tried everything; promoting on social media, spamming, yelling, all sorts of dumbass things, but none of it worked.
Also, it was clear to me that I need to build a platform, but I didn’t know how and why and what to do with the platform.
My first attempt of platform building happened last year when I’ve built a website designed to give people instruction on writing. The idea behind that project was good, but the bad thing was that I wasn’t sure how to write myself.
Yes, I had a novel behind me, but I’m not sure that I could teach anything about writing at that point.
That website escalated into a YouTube channel, I worked on it for a couple of months and I was really getting better at video production but my content wasn’t anything spectacular, which is kind of expected from a beginner.
I gave up the idea of YouTube and blog during summer 2017 because it consumed too much of my time. Having a full-time job, 2 hours commute, and a family left me with zero time for the actual writing or anything else.
I had some sort of academic approach to which simply demanded too much energy and time. At that point, I didn’t know that it can be done differently; with less pressure.
My entire life I was imagining that I must accomplish something great or I would see myself as a failure. Having these thoughts in my mind I would become anxious and trying too hard, concentrating on something which is completely not in my power (like winning the Nobel Prize or becoming a bestseller).
With that approach, my work was daunting, tiresome and unpleasant.
From time to time I would remember how much I loved writing when I was a kid. I would write or invent stories at home, sometimes I would tell them to other people as if they happened to me (that’s just a fancy way to tell that I was a liar), and they would actually believe me.
Not in my biggest nightmares have I thought that writing would become something I’m afraid of. But, it did.
Earlier this year, I’ve built an author website, published a novel in English (which you can get for FREE), and decided to have a more modest approach but I was still pretty much clueless on how and why should I promote my work.
My author platform was initially meant to be blogless, but as I was reading more and more stuff on writing and book promotions I realized that now I might have to say something and one day I just decided to start blogging.
This should be my 63rd post since I’ve started this blog, and I feel that I still have to find my blogging voice and to sharpen my writing tools but I must say that I’ve learned a lot during these few months.
- The best way to lear something is by doing it.
- The ideas for writing come more easily by time.
- Getting people’s attention is difficult.
- It feels good to post an article a day.
- It doesn’t matter if no one is reading if you’re enjoying it.
However, the best thing I’ve learned this year was that all you need to do to be a successful blogger and promoter of your work is to write posts as if they are an over the coffee table conversation.
Really, when you look at it this way:
Who are the people that are most likely going to buy your book?
Because you and your friends had countless conversation spiced with a cup of coffee and often they were about your book or your struggles as a writer.
Your friends have an insight into your craft, your thoughts and they appreciate your effort to write a book.
Can you make that same effect into your future and current readers (if you have them)?
Of course you can!
Not everybody will be thrilled by the things you write on your blog, but it doesn’t matter. It just means that it’s not for them. Those who are going to like your writing will treat you as a friend because you were a friend to them.