Thursday, August 12, 2010

Platform and Promotion

Scary words. Platform and promotion. And Branding. (I don't mean with a hot piece of shaped metal -- that might be easier for me than this kind of branding. This kind of bigger than life be more of what you really are than you could ever really be, branding.)

As a writer... (I'm going to try claiming that word instead of calling myself a wannabe -- I'm not up for claiming 'author' yet, even though Goodreads and Amazon give me that title, tee hee). I write, I am a writer. I can do this.

But, as a writer, those big scary words are everywhere. If my blog or twitter feed had several hundred friends or followers I would have a good marketing platform to begin the publication process. It would be obvious people wanted to read me, so I'd have an easier time getting published. (You know finishing a book and getting it ready to be submitted would probably help too.) But I'm focusing on platform. Which helps with promotion. And branding, which helps with platform.

But I'm pretty boring. I'm a middle of the road white girl of average size, average weight, average house, with two point five children, a husband that works to support us all, and a mostly happy home. (I can count the two small dogs as my 'point five', right?)

I'm a home-mommy who doesn't have any interest in writing about or for children. (I love my two, but only have interest in other people's children to the extent that they impact my day or my children -- if they are annoyingly loud, model bad behaviors, or are available and interested in playdates.)

I have a BA in English (how average can I get?) and a MS in Library and Information Sciences. I have worked as a maid, in a plastic extruding factory, in tech support and as a programmer. I was held up at gunpoint when I was a pharmacy cashier and I spent a few years (during and after high school) in the Army, barely missing getting sent overseas for the first Gulf War, but never long enough that I can really consider myself ex-military. And I only get rabidly political when others talk about taking civil rights from others or letting sick people die to save themselves $50 a year in taxes. (or as Hubby says, jokingly of course: Got mine, bi---es, f--k you!)

I am so middle of the road I wouldn't be surprised to find yellow stripes painted down my spine. (You know, if I could see them there. I am also not particularly limber.)

The Rejectionist has her skull pictures and her leggings as pants and her "We Reads It" gollum speech and talking about herself in the third person. IT WORKS and excellently. I love her.

Janet Reid has her query shark and snarky frustration and "Thank you for being our chum". IT WORKS and I totally love her too.

Jennifer Crusie has the Popcorn Dialogues and her studious examination of romantic comedy and the "No Meeping." WORKS! Again.

Even my friend Princess Froglips who has no interest in a personal brand or authorial platform has the princess and the frog and the lips and the "I will cut you." Or perhaps the "I will shoot you,  but from over here so I can still make you dead but keep all the blood off my pretty clothes."

If I look away from the personal writer me, there is my stories but the only thing they have in common so far is that I think it can be broadly described as Urban Fantasy. Or Contemporary Fantasy. Though my recent writing strays more into Paranormal Romance.

So I have the middle. The average. The friendly and concerned, but not rabid. The enjoys being amused, but is not personally amusing. I have no brand! Not only that, I have nothing with which to make a brand. Or a platform. I am middle and middle excites no one!

I shall spend today being sad. Or at least the next few minutes while I go collect for myself another cup of tea to soothe the ache. The rest of you, do you have platform? Do you have an online persona that's different enough you have to click into that mindset before you write an email? Do you have a thing that makes a character interesting -- whether it's the person you sell yourself as to get a new job, to get something accomplished or in some other way.

What's your platform?


  1. I think that if you try and construct a persona from nothing, you'll be at a loss. You started a blog for a reason. You had something to say. Your husband married you for a reason (probably a few). Ditto your friends. Search for these qualities within yourself and use them. Visit lots and lots and lots of blogs and comment. That's one of the tried and true ways to drive traffic to your own blog. Then, play to your strengths. You have two degrees = smart. You have a military background = tough. Motherhood + pet ownership = hug capacity to love. Tough and smart and loving will take you a long long way.

  2. Husband thinks I'm hot. I haven't worked very hard to correct that misconception. :)

    Thanks for the nice words. I've been 'attending'? WriteOnCon online and they bring up questions I don't have answers for. Like platform. Which I feel weak very weak on. Though I suppose that even if I do find a nifty enough persona inside me, I won't ever feel as cute as the people I find outside me that I like. That makes sense though. Most people like others more than themselves, right? :)

    K, think my sleepytime medicine may be finally kicking in. I think I shall go to bed and see.

  3. I just looked at my comment and realized I said you had hug capacity. I'm not an expert on that. I have no idea what your hug capacity is, or if you're the kinda gal who can never have too many.

  4. Hug capacity. Has an interesting ring to it.