By Wendy Hinote Lanier
Being part of the publishing world is a lot of fun. But it’s also a bit confusing at times. And frustrating. And overwhelming. And ever changing. Did I mention confusing?
When I first started writing for publication, things were simpler. There was no such thing as platform. The internet was a handy tool for research but not much else. Publishing houses had publicity departments that had actual budgets for each book. And each book was judged (at least in part) on its own merits—and not always on how well your last book had done.
And then things changed. A lot. Suddenly writers were expected to develop something called “platform” and be active in promoting their own books. We had to learn how to use Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Pinterest and other social media tools to get the word out about new titles. We learned to make videos and create mailing lists. And for the first time we became concerned about something called “followers.”
Some of us gave up. Some of us are still treading water just trying to get a handle on things we don’t understand. (That would be me.) Some of us learned how to use at least one of these tools really well. And some of us figured out pretty quickly we couldn’t do it all and just hired a teenager. Some of us wish we COULD hire a teenager. And we ALL learned that just because you can write doesn’t necessarily mean you can navigate this platform thing—at least not alone.
We’ve talked about the value of a critique group before. Today we’re talking about the value of tribe. Your tribe is larger than your critique group. Your tribe includes your fellow authors. There’s power in tribe.
Even though the publishing industry demands it, we can’t possibly know all the tricks for promoting books and developing platform. In many ways, developing platform is completely contrary to the typical writer personality. But what we CAN do is learn to pool our resources and help out our fellow writers. Here are a few ideas on how we can do that.
We are nonfiction authors who support readers and writers through our writing, author visits, and workshops.
Disclaimer: The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of writers with diverse ideas . The views expressed in each post are those of the author and may differ from others in the group.