We've written a manuscript that we're proud of ........................................................... Check!

We've created an online presence with a website/blog/Facebook & Twitter Account........Check!                  

Now all we have to do is sit back and wait for our audience to come to us.....................Right?

Yep, if we live on an imaginary planet in a parallel universe where writers snap their fingers and suddenly their phone is ringing because Dreamworks is calling to beg that their fantastic manuscript be made into a movie (actually, it could happen, you never know)!

However, assuming that none of us actually live outside of the earthly realms, we'll pause to consider the fact that the artist typically needs to make some sort of spectacle out of themselves for the purpose of gaining an audience.

We've already drawn attention to ourselves via the internet and now we must move to the next step in the process of building our fan base by:

                                                              Making Good Use Of Local Platforms

If I was a young actor and my dream was to one day be a part of the Hollywood scene, before packing up and leaving for L.A. or New York the first thing I'd do is find a couple of jobs with local theater and film companies.

Why?

Local work offers not only good experience, but it also gives an artist the opportunity to make connections with colleagues and potential fans. 

As a writer builds their platform, they can make good use of opportunities offered in their local community by applying any (or all) of the four suggestions below:

1.     Find a cause that is close to your heart and has a platform in your local community. Use a couple of posts on your blog to promote this cause. Be sure to contact the local organization that deals with this cause and let them know about your blog. Offer to post a link to their website on yours and ask if they will also post a link to your blog.

2.     Write a few articles about an interesting local current event and submit these articles to several local magazines.  

3.     Most communities have a local television show whose producers are often interested in booking locals with  interesting topics to discuss. Prepare notes on your plans to self-publish your upcoming book. Request an interview. You just might find yourself on television!

4.     Teach a free "writing workshop". While it's true that you may consider yourself a "writing newbie", every writer has a unique point of view and your perspective may be just what another writer is lacking and needs to hear.  Or, your community may have a few locals who've always wanted to write but have no idea where to start. So, look into free Community Classes sponsored by your local town/state department and offer to teach a couple of writing classes for a few weeks. Your students will be potential fans and colleagues! 

Those are four suggestions on how to use your local community to build your platform.

Are there other ways in which you've been successful in growing your fan base via local avenues?

I'd love to hear from you!
 
 
Decisions...decisions. Lately I've come to the realization that I know where I want to be in my writing career but I'm not quite sure how to get there. The basic WBEA path is simple: Write your book, Build your platform, Edit your manuscript, and then Advertise your book. Clean, easy, and doable.
However, it's the "sneaky" little decisions in between the big steps that leave me staring into space wishing I had some sort of a Life Coach or a Literary Agent...or just a giant piece of cheesecake on which to nibble whilst I attempt to make a decision.

For example, what I want to do right now is create a website specifically for YA readers, a website that will appeal to girls and young women who will want to read my books. I'm a fairly creative person, I mean I daydream constantly and come up with fantastic knock-knock jokes that make three year olds laugh...so that's plenty creative in my opinion. (Yeah, I know...) So, creating a website that would attract the attention of someone like me should be a cinch, right? Nope. It is not. I need to think of a site that will attract the attention of potential readers and will be easy for me to maintain.

The idea of Your Verve, a site that's chalk full of stories (both YA and regular Chick Lit) as well as a few short films and maybe even a series is fun and I really like it- but lately I've had trouble posting one to two stories weekly. And as far as the films, film takes so much time to create/edit and perfect.

Hmmm, wait a sec...in writing this, I realize that my issue boils down to Time Management. In order to successfully accomplish Step 2: Build a Platform, what I personally need to work on is my Time Management. I do know what kind of website I want- I want this one. But, I need to figure out a schedule that will allow me more time to work on using it to it's potential. Wow, that was a nice epiphany! Building A Platform/Fan-Base requires patience and good Time Management. As soon as I'm done with this post, I'm going to work on a Writing Schedule to help me post stories/short films more frequently! But enough about me, what have you found helpful in managing to successfully build your platform?