More than ten years ago, if my super-agent Stacey Glick hadn’t landed a big publisher–Kensington in New York (insightful editor John Scognamiglio; good-energy publisher Laurie Perkin; Debbie Tobias was Sales Director; Lou Malcangi was art director, by the way . . . booksellers do judge a book by its cover; Libba Bray, who is now a New York Times bestselling author of young adult books, for book jacket copy; Jacquie Edwards for copy editing; and everyone at Kensington and their associates), I would not have had the opportunity to experience the publishing industry from that perspective . . . which then gave me the credentials to talk about “who” really is the most qualified person to build the author’s platform and fanbase.
Also, ten years ago . . . if not for independent sales reps (especially Nancy Suib and Anne Shulenberger), mentors at Kensington Publishing Corp. (especially Mary B. Morrison and Mary Monroe), booksellers (especially Anny Clevens at Borders, Luan Stauss of Laurel Books, Kate at Books, Inc., Mike and Tricia at Barnes & Noble), my husband, family and friends (from my personal circles, California Writers Club/Jack London Writers Conference, Women’s National Book Association, East Bay Regional Park District, Kim McMillon network, teachers, librarians, readers from far and near, and advocates who cheered for me — whether they revealed themselves, or not, to me) . . . my mother-daughter love story Love Made of Heart would not have “seen” so many birthdays. I am eternally grateful.
Happy Birthday, protagonist Ruby Lin!
Happy Birthday, Vivien Lin (Ruby’s mom)
Happy Birthday, Mrs. Nussbaum (Ruby’s neighbor / mentor)!
Happy Birthday, Dr. Gloria Thatcher (Ruby’s confidant)!
Happy Birthday, Emily, Vincent, and all supporting characters!
In other words . . . Happy 10th Anniversary of Love Made of Heart (my first novel)!
I didn’t know it at the time; my platform was in the closing statement to the audience every time I read a passage from my book Love Made of Heart (even before publication). A year after the hardcover edition was released, my editor at Kensington told me that they were going to release the trade-paperback edition. So, I wrote “Author’s Note to Reader” and Kensington added that page to the book. I thank the dear readers who had read the hardcover edition and asked me what/who was my muse and why I wrote about tabooed subject matter.
“Author’s Note to Reader”
Thank you for letting me share Ruby Lin’s story with you. Many readers have asked me what the characters in the novel have done for me. My answer is this: I’ve learned that behind every face is a compelling story.
Please remember me as a writer who says YES! to compassion for mental illness, and, NO! to domestic violence and child abuse.
Who is Mrs. Nussbaum? She lives in all our hearts. Just as we have the “child within,” we also have the “wise elder within.” May you always embrace your compelling story and allow your Mrs. Nussbaum to embrace you.
Teresa LeYung Ryan
Video on Coach Teresa’s YouTube channel: Platform & Fanbase-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan at Sonoma County Book Festival 2012
I was blessed with loyal supporters during the ten years writing the book. And, I am blessed with loyal supporters (so many big hearts) who continue to cheer for me, even now, ten years after publication. I encourage every writer to “not give up” and “stay true to the self.”
Video on Bay Sunday’s Youtube channel: Teresa LeYung-Ryan, author: Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase in 22 Days
As I said to Bay Sunday Host Frank Mallicoat on CBS Channel 5 and to the writers at Kim McMillon’s “Writers On Writing” workshop . . . “What I care about will turn into themes I write about. And, the themes I write about will attract my fans.”
So, the foundation of one’s platform-statement begins with three simple-yet-powerful words: “I care about . . . ”
You (the author) are the most qualified person to build your platform and fanbase.
Example: (as a writer of fiction, narrative nonfiction, including memoirs )
I am Teresa LeYung-Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart. I care about helping adult-children (of mentally-ill parents) speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their loved ones.
Example: (as a writer of prescriptive nonfiction a.k.a. “how to” )
I am Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan, author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days. I care about helping writers thrive in today’s publishing arena.
If Love Made of Heart didn’t get published (giving me a forum to learn about “staying alive and well” in the industry), I wouldn’t have developed the expertise to help other writers survive and thrive (through coaching and my workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW
To my dear friends, colleagues, mentors who inspire me and rally for me, please let me know how I can pay it forward.
I cheer for everyone who has a dream!
Coach Teresa’s definition of Writer’s Platform: “Making your name stand for something—to attract targeted consumers—who are likely to buy what you have to sell.”