I’m not referring to a literal platform. Luckily I have a flat all to myself, no need to curl up at night on a series of planks laid edge to edge over a (hopefully) stable scaffolding.
I’m talking about a brand, reputation, that thing that takes you from “Anne-who?” to “Oh. My. God. I just saw Anne-Mhairi Simpson walk across the road. She went into the pharmacy! Forget the coffee, I don’t care that the waiter’s hot, let’s go, I need her autograph, NOW!”
Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Maybe slightly exaggerated, but you know what I mean. As a writer in an ever more technological world, the word is that we need to get involved with it. As the world gets smaller, everyone knows everyone else. Except that increasingly they are building their social circle online. If you’re not online as well, you might as well be the crazy old lady who lives in a one room hut halfway up a mountain in Wales with only three goats and a dead chicken to talk to.
By the way, if you are that lady, I have the utmost respect for your way of life. Please don’t curse me.
It is, after all, perfectly valid as a lifestyle choice, but maybe not so good for getting your name out there and recognised in conjunction with your books.
Now, much as I would like to take credit for this wisdom, I can’t. Nope. Not even a single letter. If you’re wondering, that letter would be ‘w’. I like it. It’s symmetrical.
No, the wisdom comes from Kristen Lamb – my Twitter friend Peter Koevari (an excellent writer of high fantasy) told me Kristen is a “social media guru” and he is right. Not only does he think she is cool, but numerous other writers, agents and publishers do too. You can find her blog with vast amounts of useful FREE information on how to (and why you should) build a social media platform here.
It is because of Kristen that I started this blog. You see her all over Twitter linking to her latest blog post, which I then go and read religiously. You see other people retweeting her all over Twitter and telling you how amazing she is. You even see other authors and publishers mentioning her awesomeness on their websites.
God, I hate her.
Just kidding. She has taken her knowledge and put it out there in several accessible formats at an affordable price and a huge amount is even available for FREE on her blog. Notwithstanding, a focussed plan (which her book provides) is always much better than an information dump (there’s a lesson in there regarding plotting, I’m sure). The only reason I haven’t bought the book yet is because I want to get the version that includes a couple of other books at the same time and my finances are such that I have been forced to choose between knowledge and food for the next two weeks. Guess which one made the cut?
But I have been reading her blog, so I hope I have done something right. Since you are reading this right now, I obviously have.