Got a free eBook code? Click HERE for instructions on how to download.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Writer's Platform Vs. Writer's Foundation

Should you be building a writer's platform or a foundation? What's the difference and why should you care? All good questions. Chances are you've heard the term writer's platform and you know that it's an important part of preparing for becoming an author. A platform is what it sounds like, the thing you'll stand upon to bring readers to you and sell your novels. For some people they find that in blogging, others find it in Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or some other social network. You must choose what works for you and go with it. But there is an important factor that is often skipped.

Before you can build a platform, a floor, you must have a solid foundation to build that floor on. Without a foundation your platform will be shaky, weak, and subject to all manner of disasters. Don't worry or cringe at the idea of yet more work, chances are you've been working on your foundation and you don't even know it. It is a solid base of friends, family, and/or supporters who will stick with you through thick and thin. You can meet them in person at conferences, writer's retreats, or workshops. You can also meet them online through the various social media sites. The difference between building a platform with this people and a foundation is commitment.

You have to give as much as you get, more if at all possible. When you 'friend' everyone on your social media sites who you think or hope might some day buy your book, you're working on a platform (and a shaky one at that). But when you commit to support and befriend people for real then you're building a foundation. You must always remember not to look forward to just dollar signs, but connections. Make connections, support others you feel passionate about, and it will all come together in the end.
 
Join me on the #WritersRoad chat on Twitter tomorrow January 19th at 6:00pm PT when we'll be discussing this! For a link click on the picture of the #WritersRoad on the sidebar.

28 comments:

  1. Great post, Heather.

    I'm glad I had the chance to stop in early today. It's true we can overlook the power of our network friends. And it's also true that you have to take the time to build these friendships.

    I am a firm believer in "you get back what you put into it" philosophy.

    I must stop by on Thursday. With edits going well, I hope to have the time.

    Thanks Heather for all you do for the community.

    Michael

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Michael, how sweet of you! I love your philosophy and am a firm believer of it myself. Hope to see you on Thursday but I understand if you're still editing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Heather, you are the platform/foundation guru! Brilliant insight, well-said. And you exemplify the principles you talked about, too. Wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like how you define the differences. Creating a foundation is more rewarding!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Golden Eagle, thanks!

    Jessica, thank you too!

    Linda, you flatter me, too much, seriously! :) But thank you for being so sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Christopher, thanks. I hope to see you there!

    Elle, that is so true. It may take a bit more work but in the end it is so worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You're so right, Heather. The heart of the writer on the blog will sell his audience that there is something to come back for time after time.

    That's why I like your blog. We never have to worry about your heart -- it is for all of your guests to find success in dreams of publication.

    May you soon find a worthy agent that recognizes your talent, Roland

    ReplyDelete
  8. You have to give as much as you get. Usually more. I'll try to make the chat. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Roland, that was so sweet you brought tears to my eyes, but in a good way. You're absolutely right, it is my sincerest desire to see all friends succeed. You all mean the world to me.

    Elana, I knew you would agree! You are the queen of paying it forward and are an inspiration to me every day.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Heather, I love this post. A solid foundation is so important. I hadn't thought about that concept before, but you're right-- there is a difference between that and a platform. The platform will crumble without the strength below. You've built one yourself through your support of others. You're solid all the way around. Thank you so much--- for everything!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a wise post, Heather, and so true!! It's easy to blog hop and follow a gazillion people, hoping they'll follow you back, but it's not so easy to build and foster relationships with those people. Commitment is certainly the key word.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Karlene, how kind of you! Thank you so much for being one of the pillars in that foundation!

    Shannon I like how you put that, it really is the key!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful post. So true.

    Great blog you've got here Heather, by the way. Think I'll stick around :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great post, Heather. I'll admit my FB is a platform . . . except I never visit. I just accept friend requests. :P

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wendy, thanks for stopping by and for following!

    Stina, I know how you feel. I'm on FB but I kind of hate it, a lot. Mostly I'm just on it to keep in touch with family members. But I do follow my writer friends there too if they send a request!

    ReplyDelete
  16. When people comment on blogs, I can tell if they really care about the post or not. It's those relationships that build over the interwebs that are wonderful. I never realized until now they were the foundation of the platform.
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  17. All your posts are insightful, Heather. You have a wealth of talent and knowledge. Thanks for sharing it with us! Christy

    ReplyDelete
  18. Lydia, that's a great point. Those relationships are so wonderful they're completely worth the time!

    Christy, thank you so much! My wealth of talent and knowledge is gleaned from the amazing people around me~yourself included~so I can't take all the credit. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a clear, thoughtful post--got me thinking, so thank you! I'll be searching the hashtag on twitter to see what you guys discussed when I get home from work!

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a great way to define platform vs. foundation! It's so important to find those people you can really support and connect with instead of just looking for the easy way to just gain thousands of followers.

    Thanks so much for helping us remember what's important!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love what you have to say about foundation. I think a lot writers forget about that "social" connection. It's not about racking up followers --- it's really about creating organic and authentic connections and giving back --- in the form of information, support, and promotion of other writers. You get what you put out there.

    I will definitely try to participate in the #writersroad chat tonight. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Heather that was so beautifully said! You are so right. You want more than a platform, you want a foundation. You want the genuine give and take of relationships not just names for a database. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Amie, I'm so sorry we'll miss you! I'll put together a transcript an hour or so after the chat and tweet the link.

    Jamie, exactly! It shouldn't just be about the end game, it should be about the journey and the people we meet on the way.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Karen, well said! You indeed get what you put into it.

    Lisa, thank you! I like that, genuine. Yes, that's exactly how we need to be!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you Heather,

    I really appreciate your post and the advice. I now understand the importance of networking with other writers, authors, illustrators and anyone in the industry. But I also am learning the importance of making that connection with the readers as well. I regret not making the chat but I am very happy that I found your blog, I am learning a lot from bloggers like you and Karen. :)

    ReplyDelete

Comments are like good friends, the more the merrier!