Posts Tagged ‘What is a platform’

Coach Teresa here.  At the San Francisco Writers Conference, Elisa Sasa Southard and I presented “GETTING TO FIRST BASE BY BUILDING YOUR FANBASE

In our interactive session, Talking-Tagline Guru Sasa asked me: “Coach Teresa…What is a platform?”

I responded: “Before I define ‘platform,’ let’s talk about fans and what fans do for you.  Fans tell their friends about you.  Fans will pay to see you; they will buy what you have produced; they listen when you speak.  Your name hooks their attention.

“So, how does one build a fanbase?  By making your platform consistent. A platform is not something you step on, it is what you stand forHelp your fans find you by articulating the themes and issues you care about/write about.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I am a fan of many fine writers, with last names starting with A to Z.  From Chinua Achebe, Luisa Adams, Martha Alderson, Jane Austen . . .  to Margie Yee Webb, E. B. White, Anzia Yezierska, and two hundred other authors, including Scott James (fellow presenter at San Francisco Writers Conference).

Scott James writes novels under the name of Kemble Scott; I heard about Kemble when his first novel SoMa was published by Kensington Publishing Corporation New York (also my publisher for my first novel). Scott James, the journalist, writes about San Francisco, including contributions to the New York Times.

I am a fan because Scott James speaks/writes eloquently. His latest article is enlightening and compelling.

Scott says:  The latest of my new columns on Medium is now up. This one is on gay marriage, and gets a bit personal.  It’s called “My Big Gay Shotgun Wedding.”

Since I am a fan, I shall tell my friends about Scott’s columns.


Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan cheering for you!


Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan cares about helping fiction and nonfiction writers build their platforms and work on their craft simultaneously with ease.  She says: “Wear the dual hats as promoter and writer and be happily published. Reach out, not stress out, to materialize your dearest dreams.”



Coach Teresa, how do I, a children’s book author, build my writer’s platform?

My answers will help writers of all genres, so, please read on.  The specifics I’m naming target buyers of children’s books.

I’ll spotlight Deborah Taylor-French.

First, what is a writer’s platform?

Definintion of a platform.  “Making your name stand for something—to attract targeted consumerswho are likely to buy what you have to sell.” (page 1 of my workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days)

Deborah writes mysteries for children 8 to 13.  How does she build her fanbase? Deborah says: “Younger readers do not yet have e-readers nor will they go looking for me on the Web.  My goal this year is to find and agent/publisher for my series.  I know schools and parent-child book groups would be good to connect to, but how to do it in an effective manner?”

Deborah Taylor-French already has a fanbase–through her associations at  California Writers Club, her circle of family and friends, and her resourceful blog Dog Leader Mysteries that has posts in these categories:

  • About Deborah Taylor-French
  • Book Reviews on Amazon
  • Books for Dog Lovers
  • Books For Kids
  • Give A Dog A Chance
    • Want a Dog? Go Local
  • Welcome

I see that Deborah has 1,229 (and counting) fans reading her blog.

Deborah is people-person.  Let’s show her off  “in person” in the community.  I want to hear her/see her  / be entertained by  her.

What if she were to create a 15-minute show for children?  An interactive talk about “Give A Dog A Chance” ?  And a 30-minute version?  Or even a longer version?

Who would Deborah pitch her fun presentation to?

Librarians!  School librarians!  Teachers!   Pet store owners!  Pet supply store’s community relations managers!   Folks at rescue organizations!   Event coordinators at community centers!

  • create a fun program
  • test it out on a group of fans
  • pitch it to people who are more likely to say “Yes!” (See the definition of platform in action? Making your name stand for something—to attract targeted consumers—who are likely to buy what you have to sell.)
  • ask rescue organizations to help publicize your events; you’re being an advocate for them
  • add a “press room” to your blog so that folks know how to invite you to deliver your interactive talk to their organizations
  • collect fans’ email addresses to inform them of your appearances

Agents and publishes want authors with big fanbases.  Fans buy books written by their favorite celebrities.

Start the exercises in my workbook.  Start now. If you don’t have my workbook yet, click on the book title here to go to Amazon and do Day 1′s exercises (for free).  Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW.  When you’re at Amazon, click on the book cover that says “Click to look inside.”  The sneak preview for the print version and the e-book are identical.   Take a look at:

  • WHAT is a platform? What you’ll need in order to fully benefit from this workbook
  • Build Your Platform, Build Your Name, Stand Out in a Crowd
  • What is the game and WHO are the players?
  • How Does this Book Work?
  • Day  1   Who Am I?  What I Have in Common with Super Famous People

You’ll have so much fun doing the 2 exercises from the pages for Day 1 that you’ll want to do the next exercise and the next.  Your platform is unique; there is only one YOU!

If you need one-on-one coaching, I’m here.  I help clients from west coast to east coast–in person, on Skype, via phone calls and emails.

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.

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

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


“Reach out, not stress out, when building your writer’s platform!”

From Deborah Taylor-French via facebook:
“Wow! Thanks Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan for terrific answers to my questions. Your ideas pop and sizzle. I’m jumping on these to focus my efforts locally as I build my writer’s platform.”



In his blog post of October 21, 2011, literary agent/consultant/author Michael Larsen says: “Every word in a nonfiction proposal has to be right. The sample chapter has to be as enjoyable to read as it is informative. The proposal has to generate as much excitement as possible in as few words as possible. But even that may be a small part of the challenge for arousing the interest of agents.”

Michael quotes Jack Canfield and fellow agent Rita Rosenkranz:

Chicken Souperman Jack Canfield says: “A book is like an iceberg: Writing is 10%; marketing is 90%.”

Rita Rosenkranz says: “… publishers aren’t buying promise, they’re buying proof.”

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here to say: “The same demands from publishers on authors of nonfiction also apply to authors of fiction. Why? Publishing is a business. Why wouldn’t publishers prefer to invest in best-selling authors and celebrity-authors?  These authors have fanbases. Fans buy books. You too have fans–in your circle of loved ones and friends. The secret is to build your fanbase and fortify it with a platform.  WHAT is a platform? Making your name stand for something—to attract targeted consumers who are likely to buy what you have to sell. What are you selling?  Your literary work.”

You can sneak preview the 2 exercises for Day 1 from my workbook, Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days, by clicking on this link:



Coach Teresa

Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Writing Career Coach/Manuscript Consultant

Author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (print edition & eBook edition)
Author of the novel Love Made of Heart (inspires adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families)

Coach Teresa, did you write an article about plotting a writer’s platform for Plot Teacher Martha Alderson?

Martha Alderson, plot teacher, published my article especially written for her:

Here’s Martha’s introduction:

Teresa LeYung Ryan

I met Teresa more than twelve years ago, before either of us were published. When Teresa’s book, Love Made of Heart, a story about a daughter’s journey to self-forgiveness, was published by Kensington Publishing NY, she gave me credit for teaching her about the difference between front-story and back-story. As she promoted her book, she generously continued to give me credit and, in so doing, helped launch my plot teaching career. I’ve been grateful for her help ever since.

Now, Teresa has crafted a book for writers interested in building a platform for themselves. Early in our careers, the need for a fiction writer to have a “platform” was not great. Today, it’s imperative for all writers to establish a platform for themselves. In her new book, Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase in 22 Days Teresa gives easy to follow steps. I asked her to share some of her thoughts and ideas on building a writer’s platform.

Know Where Your Protagonist Is Going, Plot Your Story; Know Where Your Career is Heading, Plot Your Platform

From Plot Master Martha Alderson you have learned how to plot your story. Now, you might be asking “What is a platform?” and “Why do I need to plot one?”

On page 1 of my workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days, the definition of platform: “Making your name stand for something—to attract targeted consumers who are likely to buy what you have to sell.”

Celebrity authors and best-selling authors have platforms. Authors who want to attract agents and publishers need platforms; authors who want to be their own publishers need them too.

Martha says: “Plot is what happens to the protagonist because of the dramatic action . . . . when the dramatic action changes him/her at depth over time, the story becomes thematically significant.”

The operative words are “at depth” and “over time.”

Just as your protagonist is transformed, so can your platform.

Years ago, when my publisher (who had found me through my agent) offered me a contract, I had 18 months to “think about my platform” (it would take 18 months for my book to go through the channels– from the day I sign the contract to the day when my book would be in bookstores—18 luxurious months to make my name stand for something).

Today, most authors will never experience that luxury. Why? Because even when an author lands an agent, the author’s manuscript or book proposal is often rejected by publishers if the author cannot show that he/she has a fanbase/platform.

You might be saying “I don’t need publishers. I’m going to self-publish.”

I say “Wonderful! Whether you want to sell rights to a publisher or be your own publisher, “invest” in yourself. Grow your fanbase now. Plot your platform. Know where your career is heading the way you know where your protagonist is going. And please… reach out, not stress out.

3 Tips to Get Started–Make Your Name Audible, Visible, Memorable:

1) When you introduce yourself at parties, meetings, conferences . . . enunciate your full name; the person you’re chatting with could be a future fan
Show your full name on name badges and sign-in sheets. If you have a pen name, and you want people to remember you by that name, use your pseudonym. Your phone’s outgoing message—announce your full name.
2) What does your name look like in your email address? Is it something obscure like “cba94111” ? You’re professional, make your email address professional. Here are mine: “Teresa LeYung Ryan” (as a writing career coach); “Teresa LeYung Ryan” (as author of the novel Love Made of Heart)
3) What does your signature block look like? Show your full name. Also, if you like adding quotes in your signature block . . . instead of quoting other people, quote yourself. Show email recipients (even family members and friend) something memorable.

Teresa LeYung Ryan, author/writing career coach
“I use my workbook to help writers gain a competitive edge. A platform is not something you stand on. It’s something you stand for!”

Teresa LeYung Ryan,
“I use my novel Love Made of Heart to inspire adult-children of mentally-ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and to gain resources for their families.”

Thank you, Writing Coach Teresa!

This is a sample of the ideas Teresa has to share with you in her new book, on her blog, and on her website. She, along with Elisa Southard — author of Break Through the Noise, has presented every year at the San Francisco Writers Conference to prepare writers for their pitch sessions with agents and publishers. She has helpful information for writers serious about their writing careers.

Thank you so much, Plot Teacher Martha!

If you’d like to read Martha’s interview of me as a novelist, go here:

Did you know that you can pre-order Martha’s new book via Amazon? (will be shipped October 2011 or sooner) The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master


Cheers to fiction and nonfiction writers!

Happy platform & fanbase building!

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Click on book cover to go to Amazon

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