Writers Unleashed Festival – Author Platform

After my first book was published, I thought I might run a ‘how-to-write’ course. Until I discovered I didn’t know anything about how to write. For me, writing just happened. Words somehow connected in the right way, characters found their voices and stories came to life. I’ve always suspected I learned to write osmotically, soaking up all the necessary elements as a result my rabid reading habit.

I eventually learned the terminology to match what I did – narrative arc, Hero’s Journey, viewpoint, orientation and so on. But as far as imparting knowledge to other writers, fourteen books and a CBCA shortlisting later, I was still clueless. So I never did teach that course.

Instead I discovered there was something else, useful and author related, that I could contribute. As a former software developer, systems analyst and project manager, the digital world of platform building and social media was my language comfort zone.

On Saturday August 18th at the Writer’s Unleashed Festival in Sutherland, I’ll be sharing how to build an author profile and platform but even more importantly, how to maintain it without wasting valuable writing time. I call it Connections – because worthwhile platform building is about connecting with people in a meaningful way.

I’ll be talking shortcuts, time-saving, optimising, prioritising, maximising and mobilising special weapons. Dismantling the buzz words to show realistically what works and what doesn’t. Showing how to put heart into social media so you can actually enjoy it.

I’ll be laying some ground rules. About building something solid. You don’t want a platform that’s like a tent, blowing over at the first hint of trouble. It’s got to stand firm while you’re away for a week or more doing family or writerly stuff. I’ll be providing advice about the best tools to make it quicker and easier. About finding your personal sweet spot. About putting together a schedule but not letting it rule your world world. About small windows of time that lead to big picture views.

The hardest part about author platform is maintaining momentum. At the end of my session, you’ll have a personalised schedule to help you keep it going. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve in half an hour a day. Half an hour can sometimes be three ten-minute blocks waiting for an appointment or sitting at the bus stop.

It works for me. I have distance ed schooling to supervise, two part-time businesses to run (an IT consultancy and The Story Crowd), three days a fortnight managing the office at the South Coast Writers Centre, books to write and school visits. If I want to fit in maintaining an author platform, it has easy and time-limited. And it has to be worth the effort.

Come along and find out how and why. It’ll be fun. Or sign up for my newsletter below. Lots of tips there, too (but none about how to write).

The Writers Unleashed Festival Program is packed full of all sorts of literary goodness. Take a look. Buy a ticket now. Sales close 12th August.


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