by Heather Christie
I thought the hardest part of writing a book was going to be writing a book. During my MFA program, I remember toiling through revisions, attempting to create perfect sentences, craft fast-paced scenes, and nuanced characters. I believed my huge publishing contract was just around the corner. There were fantasies of agents fighting over my novel. My book would go to auction and I’d have to quit my job as a real estate agent because I’d have a new career as an author. Oh, how naïve I was.
As I was crafting my novel, I should have been spending equal amounts of time building my writer’s platform. Little did I know how important it would be in my search for an agent/publisher search.
My advice to budding authors is to build an audience BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE! Even if you are considering self-publishing, you would be wise to first create a rabid group of readers who can’t wait for you’re next word. If you can boast a true following, and you’ve written a wonderful book, your quest to secure an agent or a publisher, OR launch a successful self-published novel, becomes increasingly more attainable.
Here’s a list of simple, first-steps, platform-building MUST DO LIST to get started:
- Create your writer identity/pen name and claim it across cyberspace. Heather Christie wasn’t available (apparently there’s a famous model with the same name), so I chose Heather Christie Books. (HeatherChristieBooks.com)
- Set up a writer page on Facebook, not a profile, which caps your followers at 5000. You can find me on Facebook @
- Pick two other social media platforms (three is about the maximum most people can manage without becoming overwhelmed) and create writer accounts. For me it’s Twitter (@hchristiebooks) and Instagram (@heatherchristiebooks).
- Now, post regularly . . . even it’s only once a week. Pick a schedule and stick to it. Share writerly meme, poems, inspirational quotes, excerpts from your WIP, recipes, word puzzles, riddles, anything that will engage people and reflects who you are.
- Start a blog. Write about anything (parenting, your pets, your job, your favorite books, politics)—show people you can write and what you have to say is interesting. Your blog readers will be the people who will line up to BUY your book one day!
- Connect with other authors. Join Facebook groups, follow other writers on Twitter, figure out who the Bookstgrammers are in your genre and then—ENGAGE. Write reviews for other authors on Goodreads and Amazon (5 stars), comment on their posts, share, tweets, build up other writers . . . create lots of good, sincere mojo—the kind of stuff you want coming back at you when your book is published.
Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
A signed copy of What the Valley Knows, a 30″ inch sterling silver necklace, and a What the Valley Knows mini book charm
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZbVwGmysDI
Heather Christie grew up in rural Pennsylvania and, at age seventeen, took off for New York City in hopes of becoming a movie star. Flash forward several decades, a couple degrees, a bunch of cats, two kids and one husband later, she’s back in Pennsylvania writing her heart out and chasing dreams again. She loves to read, run, drink tea, and make Sunday dinner. Follow her blog at www.HeatherChristieBooks.com and say “hello” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.