Friday, October 21, 2011

Devotions for Writers #1 Building a Platform

Hey all, there are devotions for moms, devotions for kids, devotions for dads, pastors, etc., etc.

How about some devotions for writers?

Nowadays one thing writers of all levels hear is how we must build platforms in able for our books to be successful. While the "religious" response might be that we don't want to be successful, the truth is that sales numbers matter to publishers when they go to consider a newish author.

Why build a platform?

I think the better question is why not. If you are targeting a traditional publisher, know that if they sign you as an unknown, unpublished, unproven author, they are taking a great financial risk. It's a great extension of unproven trust that publishers take on debut authors. So I think it's an extension of honor to do everything we can to build our platforms.

Building a platform equates to building a readership. If no one is reading your books, I hate to say this, but publishers won't be likely to offer a second contract.

How do we build a platform? Ask God. He'll give you creative ideas. He'll tell you how much time and dime to put into marketing, etc. Then don't spend one less second or one more cent than what He tells you. Ask God to draw people to your books. I promise, if you have honored Him with your work, He will.

In building a platform, don't be fake. Don't reach out to readers simply to get books sales. Nothing is more annoying than an agenda-driven blog post or someone on Facebook constantly talking about themselves. I know this because I've made the mistake in my not understanding how to go about things. We are told to market yet not shown really how.

In asking God about marketing, wanna know what He told me? He told me, "Don't market, Cheryl. Just love your readers. Love them like I love them."

Wow. Will that sell books? Who cares. It's not about selling books. It's about loving people. Books should encourage people, make them laugh and hopefully draw them to God. That encouragement is an extension of love.

The best way to market is to write darn good books. Aim for excellence with virtue. In marketing, let your motivation be to care about people. To really get to know them and know what you have to offer them, not seek friendship dependant on what they can do for you.

Matthew 7 teaches us how to treat each other. Verse 24 (NIV) says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock..."

Platform=foundation. Build it on Him. He is love.

Happy writing!
Cheryl Wyatt


Dianna Shuford said...

Awesome advice! That's a much better perspective to have. It's about people as much as it is about business. If you love on people, their loyalty will support you.

Thanks for this food for thought, Cheryl!

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Thanks for stopping by, Dianna and for your kind words.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

I agree, we need to show God's love in the situations He puts us in, including in our writing. He speaks to each of us individually, just like you said. Some people get in a writing closet and don't ever come out to find someone to share His love with. Or they think they shouldn't have to, because their writing is so good (oh my, and where did that gift come from?) Blessings!