Posts Tagged ‘media’

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “What is a Writer’s Platform, Why Do You Need One, How Do You Get One?”

The blog posts from Dystel & Goderich Literary Management and Fuse Literary are examples of the level of support that experts give to writers so that you can navigate this dynamic world of publishing.

So, you have a finished manuscript. Oh happy day!  Celebrate!

What next? If you want your book to be more than a personal legacy for your family and friends, there are two sets of tasks to perform on your writer’s journey.

·         Hire an editor who has experience editing your genre.

·         While your editor is busy at work, you are also busy at work taking care of the business side of being a writer. If you haven’t been building your platform, it’s time now (before pitching and sending queries to agents and acquisition editors at publishing houses).

The focus of this post is on platform-building.  What is a writer’s platform? Why do you need one? How do you get one?

The question: “What kind of platform does this author have?” (asked by agents and acquisition editors)  = “How many books can this author sell right now, on her own/his own?” At this point, your manuscript (a polished one) becomes a commodity (whether your book is fiction or nonfiction).

Of course if you are already a celebrity author or a best-selling author, the agent can pitch you to acquisition editors with ease, and in turn, acquisition editor can pitch you to the sales team and publisher with ease. The publisher will then offer you a big advance (because they know that your fans are likely to buy your book); they’ll make money, you’ll make money.

However, what if you do not have a huge fanbase? What can you do to attract the people who have the power to help you and your book go far and wide?

The answer is: Making your name stand for something—to attract target consumers— who are likely to buy what you have to sell (from page 1 of my workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days).

Let’s take a look – making your name stand for something –  that “something” is the core theme in your book. If you do not know what your core theme is, hopefully members in your critique group and the editor you have hired will know. You need to know what your book is about.

Example:  the core themes in my novel Love Made of Heart are: daughter-mother relationship; mental illness; family violence.

The core theme in a book is the bait that attracts your target consumers. The target consumers are your fans.

Fact:  Your loyal fans (people who care about you) are likely to buy what you have produced.

Fact:  Your prospective fans (people who care about what you care about / the core themes in your book) also are likely to buy what you have produced.

1.    You know who your loyal fans are. However, do you know how to articulate your themes to them so that they can broadcast for you? I say: “You can ‘train’ them.”

2.    How do you find your prospective fans? I say: “Reach out, not stress out. Help them find you.”

You can accomplish both… through the appearance of your platform statement.

I reiterate: “Make your name stand for something—to attract target consumers— who are likely to buy what you have to sell.”

Example (for my fiction and narrative nonfiction): My name is Teresa LeYung-Ryan. Through my books and monologues, I encourage adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas.

Another example: My name is Teresa LeYung-Ryan. Through my novel Love Made of Heart, I help survivors of family violence speak openly about the stigmas.

Example (for my how-to books):  I am Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan. Through my workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days, I teach writers how to attract attention from agents, editors, publishers, media, book buyers, and readers.

Where would you showcase your platform statement?

Email signature block; business card; website; blog; YouTube channel; press releases; social media; query letters; book proposals; your bio; photo file names and photo captions . . .  Where else?

Learn more.  On Sunday, August 28, 2016, 2:00-5:00pm -

Join me (Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days) and Valerie Haynes PerryWrite the Book You Want: Be Your Own Coach   and Luan Stauss--owner of and book buyer for Laurel Book Store in a three-hour workshop -


for you and your friends who identify yourselves as serious writers

at Laurel Book Store (near the 12th St. BART station in Oakland, California)

We will address the following topics:

  • Build your name, platform, and fanbase to hook attention before publication
  • Maintain clarity, self-confidence, and motivation to bring your own book into being
  • Expand your knowledge of the moving parts that comprise the publishing industry and make savvy choices

Register online: $25.00 SKU: EVENT828

I cheer for you!

Reach out, not stress out. I wish you a joyful writer’s journey!


Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Last week while my husband was at a music workshop, I started a new writing project–a guide for writers to build their names so that they’d have the competitive edge when pitching to an agent or an
acquisition editor at a publishing house  or pursuing the independent publishing route. The guide will serve my clients as well as writers who prefer to learn from written instructions.

The catalyst for my coaching came from their reports:

  • “I landed a big acquisition editor. He helped me with the book proposal over months. Everything looked promising until he pitched my book to the sales people at the publishing house and they asked him: ‘What kind of platform does this author have?’ Just like that I was rejected. I hope they won’t take my idea and let a big-name author write it before I build my fame.”
  • “I’m tired of getting rejection letters from agents. They tell me I’m a fine writer, but, they also tell me that fiction is very competitive . . .”
  • “I’m an expert in my field, and, still I can’t get a publisher to take my book. They asked me: ‘How big is your readership?’ Isn’t that their job, to find the readers?”
  • “I was a ghost writer for a celebrity. He got the big advance from the publisher. I got paid one time, a small sum, and, I’m supposed to keep my mouth shut that I did the work.”
Writing-Career-Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan

Writing-Career-Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan

Here’s a tip from my upcoming guide:  Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, identify the themes in your work.  In my all-time -favorite story, Charlotte’s Web, the themes included: cycle of life; friendship;
self-esteem; courage; loyalty. In Love Made of Heart, the themes included: daughter wanting mother’s approval; woman carrying guilt; traumas from domestic-violence and effects on children; stigmas with mental illness; struggles and courage of immigrants.

When you’re describing your book to anyone, focus on the themes. When  you’re calling in a talk show, make your comment or question relevant to the themes of the program as well as to your book. Be sure to say your full name.

What is fame, really?  Fame is when people hear or see your name, again and again.

Are you writing letters to newspaper editors? Read the paper and see what your community is most concerned with; then write the letter and offer a solution. Pure complaints usually don’t help; succinct proposals offering resources often do help (and get published).

I hope to see writers and readers in the next few months, at these events:

Sunday, August 23, 2009 1:00-3:00pm

Three Stories, Three Writers, Three Paths.

Teresa LeYung Ryan, Martha Alderson, Luisa Adams at San Mateo County Fair/Peninsula Festival

Teresa LeYung Ryan, Martha Alderson, Luisa Adams at San Mateo County Fair/Peninsula Festival

with Luisa Adams, author of Woven of Water; Martha Alderson, author of Blockbuster Plots—Pure & Simple; Teresa LeYung Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart; Moderator: Tory Hartmann, author of The Ghost of Harvey Milk and president of California Writers Club-SF Peninsula Branch
Expo Hall–Creative Arts Stage (west of #13 on festival map)—-at San Mateo County Fair/Peninsula Festival
They met through the Jack London Writers Conference and the California Writers Club over 10 years ago.
How are they inspiring the reading and writing community today?

Thank you, CWC SF Peninsula Branch President Tory Hartmann, Bardi Rosman Koodrin and Alexandra King,  for orchestrating this fun gig for us!  Other CWC members at the festival will include:  Tory Hartmann, Christopher Wachlin, Laurel Anne Hill, Joyce Robins, Geri Spieler, Inés Villafañe-León, Jo Carpignano, Lucy Murray, and Linda Okerlund.

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Thursday, Sept. 3rd, 2009  6:00-8:00pm
Library Advocates MEET!
Oakland Main Library – West Auditorium
125 14th Street, Oakland, CA

Teresa LeYung Ryan and fellow library advocates show up at Save-the-Libraries meetings

Teresa LeYung Ryan and fellow library advocates show up at Save-the-Libraries meetings

Find out how we can help the folks who have lost Book Mobile.

Find out how we can help the learners and tutors at Second Start-the adult literary program in Oakland.

Find out how our might voices can influence city council members.

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Saturday,  September 19, 2009,  10:00am–4:00pm in Santa Rosa

Sonoma County Book Festival,  Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA


Teresa LeYung Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart

Mary Lunning, aka “Shyne” the poet, author of My Human Heart

Kate Farrell, author of Girl in the Mirror

Marcia E. Canton, Ph.D., co-author of Mentoring in Higher Education: Best Practices

Stop by and say hello to these 4 authors and members of Women’s National Book Association.

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Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 2009

Jack London Writers Conference
Saturday October 10, 2009  11:00-11:45am


Map Out Your Career NOW:
3 Easy Steps for Fiction and Nonfiction Writers

with Author and Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan

Learn how to:
• identify advocates, endorsers and fans.
• gain recognition through your words and your community.
• build your platform by reaching out, not stressing out.

How do writers thrive in the fiercely competitive industry?  Find out for yourself in this fun

interactive session.

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