Posts Tagged ‘Fans can interact with you through your blog’

Coach Teresa, do I really have to blog often to build my platform?

A gracious author emailed me a poignant question after today’s tele-roundtable discussions (sponsored by Linda Joy Myers and National Association of Memoir Writers http://www.namw.org ).

I will reveal her name if she wishes. For now, I’ll respond to Gracious Author’s concerns in a way that will hopefully help her and other hardworking writers to “reach out, not stress out, while building your platform.”

I’ll paraphrase  Gracious Author’s dilemma:

“Coach Teresa, you said we are experts of our experiences and to make our names synonymous with the themes/subject matters/issues we write about.  I don’t want to blog about my traumatic experiences; and, I’m writing a genre that makes me happy. What to do?”

Remember my closing statement at the tele-roundtable discussions?

“You deserve to make your dearest dreams come true. Wear your 2 hats:  polish the craft; building your platform to help your fans find you.”

If a task doesn’t give you joy, do something else.

Who was the author on the tele-roundtable discussions who said she has written a happy story (growing up in the 1950s)? This author could be blogging about other books, movies, music, art, world events from that decade. Or focusing on that city/town/neighborhood.  Be the expert. Be the resource.

You love writing screenplays or plays?

Who are the screenwriters and playwrights you respect?

What are the themes in their projects?

What are the themes in your project?

What if I blogged about these writers who inspire me and about their protagonists?

What if I blogged about the writers who inspired the writers who inspire me?

Blog about the music or the setting or the historical figures in your work and the works similar to yours.

Example:  I have many books in my library that I want to read. Bastard Out of Carolina (by Dorothy Allison) is one of them. Last year I was a presenter at San Francisco Writers Conference.   A month before the event, I found out that Dorothy Allison was going to be a keynote speaker. So, I started reading her novel. What a page-turner!

At the conference I ran into Dorothy in the hallway and I told her what page I was on. I saw her again when she was on a panel about banned books (moderated by Barbara Santos). Dorothy Allison is someone I wanted to blog about.

In my blog post What to Do Before Hiring an Editor for My Manuscript? under the section “Paying Attention to Language and Rules,” this is what I said about Dorothy.

In Bastard Out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison’s protagonist Bone is a girl.  Bone’s voice is convincing in dialogue and in internal monologue. Brilliant use of dialect.

Then, when author Vicki Hudson told me that she created “I Sent Bastard to School” Fund, I blogged to show support.

Your blog posts, book reviews, movie reviews, stage play reviews, comments on other people’s blogs . . . can be short.  Talk about how the themes hooked you or what you learned from the characters; then sign off with your full name and your mission statement (by Day 9 in my workbook, you’ll have your brilliant mission statement)

A blog is just one of the “venues” for your fans to experience you. Fans can interact with you through your blog (the way you can interact with me with this blog–by submitting a comment). A blog keeps count of number of visitors.

What other venues keep count of number of visitors/viewers?

Websites (a blog is an interactive website)

YouTube !  facebook!   Twitter!  Here’s my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/teresaleyung

Name some more venues. . .

Gracious Author who is writing screenplays–perhaps instead of blogging, you’ll invest time creating one-minute videos of your articulating the themes in the screenplays that hook you; write a description for each video. Write reviews on Amazon; publish the same reviews on your blog or YouTube channel. You become a resource center.

More examples – why you want to help your fans find you:

Two years ago I went to see Carol Sheldon’s 15-minute play at Fringe of Marin One Act Plays. I invited friends. Carol’s play was delightful. I blogged about my theatre experience. Two weeks later, I received an email from a theatre goer who couldn’t find Fringe of Marin’s website but she found information about the theatre company from my blog!  She couldn’t find their website because there wasn’t one.  I am happy to say that Fringe of Marin has a lovely website now.

A week after beloved Effie Lee Morris (retired children’s librarian/visionary/advocate/author) died, I received an email from a reporter half-way across the country who wanted to talk to a family member of Effie Lee.   He said that even though he found many websites showing Effie Lee’s biographies and interviews, he couldn’t find anyone who knew how to contact her relatives. He found some of the information he needed through my blog posts; so, he emailed me to get more.  I was a resource.  I knew Effie Lee as the founder-president of Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter. She inspired the Friends of SFPL to create the annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture–to honor a children’s book author.

So you see how blogs connect people and serve as resource centers? Make your blog whatever you want it to be.  Julie Powell cooked one Julia Child recipe each day–that in itself was already an accomplishment.  Guess what? Julie blogged about cooking a Julia recipe each day.  Publishers found her.  She received a big advance to write the memoir.

Your platform-building style is unique. Developing a new habit though, does require effort/consistency.  That is why I designed a workbook with exercises for at least  21 consecutive days. The 22nd day is celebrations.

To participate in this blog post, submit a comment by: clicking on the blue title bar of this post, scrolling down to get the boxes, filling in the boxes and click on “submit comment” button — so that thousands of my fans will see your name, URL (your website/blog address if you have one), what themes/subject matters/issues hook you, and, what themes/subject matters/issues you want to spotlight.

I wish you joy, light, and a dancing heart.

Sincerely,
Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

http://writingcoachteresa.com

Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (the fun workbook)

 

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