Platform building includes meeting people face to face instead of simply on Facebook.
So earlier this year I slithered from the confines of my office and emerged into the real world. AKA, the one I don’t create on my computer.
Along with 100 other authors, I’d signed up for the Omaha Public Library’s Author Fair.
On the way there I pictured writers bashing each other in an All Star Wrestling free-for-all to snag readers.
Instead I met fabulous people and learned from their techniques.
By “helped” I mean she reconfigured my haphazard pile of books, sign-up sheets, and related items into an attractive, cohesive display.
I learned: Eliminate my bulky book stand and work my items into a semi-circular shape to make the most of limited space.
Lee Warren spent the afternoon sharing tips he’d learned in his years as a multi-published author and editor.
I learned: Offer an incentive to invite people who are interested in my message to sign up for my blog or newsletter. Collecting a long list of address from people who’ll never open my emails is counterproductive.
I emailed her later to admit, “Oh my goodness. I just now realized you’re the one who wrote, Right Place, Wrong Time.”
I learned: Promote your book in unique ways.
Jennifer Slattery lured people to her table with snack-sized chocolate bars. People took the bait and signed up for her blog.
But Jennifer had bigger fish to fry.
She shared about Taking’ it to the Streets ministry, serving the unemployed and underemployed.
I learned: Use your platform to help others.
Clever Kim used a tall pole stand to display her book banners.
I learned: Buy poles and banners at places like Vistaprint. Check the pole’s weight, and also see if they’re collapsible for airplane travel.
Rebecca said she’s uncomfortable with public acclaim. She’d rather remain in the background than the limelight.
I learned: Push past reticence to come out of my comfort zone.
What about meeting the public? Isn’t that why I went?
- I connected with readers.
- People signed up for my blog.
- I had a great time chatting with a multitude of folks.
Is something holding you on the ropes? Are you feeling frustrated, ready to tap out?