Posts Tagged ‘what is a writer’s platform?’

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

First, what is a writer’s platform? Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan here to answer that question–”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 products—articles, columns, stories, poems, essays, speeches, scripts, books.”

“Making your name stand for something–the something being the subject matters, issues, and themes in your writings.”

“Targeted consumers? They are the readers who read the subject matters that you write about.”

My clients ask me: “Coach Teresa, How long does it take to build my writer’s platform?”

My answer: “When you stick to something for 21 days, you develop a new habit.  Do the exercises in my workbook for at least 21 days. On the 22nd day, you graduate with the tools to build your writer’s platform.”

So, how long does it take to build your writer’s platform? Only 22 days!

May 5, 2011:

Author Joan Gelfand asked me today: “Teresa, what happens after you build your platform?

My response: “After I build my platform, I fortify it, then I retrofit it.  Building my platform and then abandoning it doesn’t serve me.”

Margaret Davis, author of Straight Down the Middle, says: “Instead of the usual pep talks, Coach Teresa’s workbook consists of a series of exercises which are thought-provoking, and always fun.”

Speaking of fun, I had a fun day fortifying my own platform and helping fellow members of WNBA.

Thanks to my pal Mary E. Knippel‘s lending me her Flip camera, I produced 4 short videos today–to share my expertise about platform-building for writers. I’ll post the videos on YouTube next week.

Then, I packed the Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter (WNBA) membership roster, name badges, name tents, the thank-you gift for our chapter president (Lynn Henriksen),  and went cake-shopping for tonight’s celebration. The event was at the San Francisco Public Library-Main Branch.

What an exciting meeting!  Established members (guiding lights) showed up; talented new members showed up:

Lynn Henriksen will mentor the new incoming chapter president or co-presidents

Kate Britton wishes to stay on as Membership Chair

Christopher Payne wishes to stay on as Treasurer

Teresa LeYung-Ryan wishes to stay on as Secretary, mentor committee chairs, and continue to show members how to build their own platforms with the help of the WNBA platform.

Mary E. Knippel wishes to stay on to mentor committee chairs and help them coax their creativity.

Birgit Soyka wishes to be WNBA Liaison to BookShop West Portal

Elizabeth Pomada, former chapter president, will continue to be a guiding light for WNBA, promoting our chapter through San Francisco Writers Conference, ASJA, and other affiliations.

Michael Larsen, former chapter president, will continue to be a guiding light for WNBA, promoting our chapter through San Francisco Writers Conference, ASJA,and other affiliations.

Leon Veal will continue being our liaison at San Francisco Public Library and San Francisco Project Read

Jane Glendinning is also affiliated with California Writers Club-Berkeley Branch

Patricia Tsang, M.D. is also affiliated with California Writers Club-San Francisco Peninsula Branch (and the Asian Heritage Street Celebration this year)

Janine Kovac is also affiliated with LitQuake (San Francisco’s Literary Festival)

Apala Egan is also affiliated with California Writers Club-South Bay Branch

Claudia Boutote is also affiliated with Harper One, publisher in San Francisco

Joan Gelfand is immediate-past president on national board of WNBA; she recommends our chapter sponsoring smaller events, and more of them, so that members get to co-chair one event in their region. This distribution of duties would benefit all members.

Linda Joy Myers, founder of National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW), offered to share her expertise in teleseminars.

Linda Lee, our webmaster and cyberspace guru, offered to share her expertise in webinars and make webinars a benefit to members and a revenue tool when we sell the products to non-members.

* * * * * * * * *

We honored Lynn Henriksen; she made the past 2 years fun for us. Thank you, Lynn!

Vicki, Leigh Anne, Kaye, Barbara, Judith, Ricky, Elisa, we missed you at this meeting/party. See you soon!

Cyberspace Guru Linda Lee and I had a chance to chat after the meeting.

Cheers from Writing Coach Teresa!


Teresa LeYung-Ryan, board member, San Francisco Chapter of Women’s National Book Association

Hope to see members in or near San Francisco on Thursday June 2, 2011,  6:00-7:30pm
Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter MEET UP
Mary E. Knippel (Creativity Mentor) & Teresa LeYung-Ryan (Writing Career Coach) will be present to mentor members and conduct “round-table MEET UP”
San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch, Latino/Hispanic Community Room (you can bring food into this room) at lower level,
100 Larkin St.(or use 30 Grove Street entrance), S.F., CA 94102
RSVP by emailing:







Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW Available through   Check out the reviews!   Coach Teresa created the fun workbook to help fiction and nonfiction authors gain a competitive edge.  Whether you want to be your own publisher or sell rights to another publisher, attract readers and more readers now!   After you order Coach Teresa’s workbook, email her to receive an exclusive bonus on platform-building. Teresa’s email address is on her website

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