Sunday, January 25, 2009

Northwest Author Series

I finally attended one of the Northwest Author Series sessions at the Wilsonville Library. The series is organized by local author Christina Katz (who was today's speaker) and it is geared toward writers. Christina's topic was "A Platform Primer."

I've heard the buzz that all writers need a "platform," but the discussions generally seemed geared toward nonfiction authors. I didn't understand the application toward writers of fiction. Christina explained that it is a way to build readership BEFORE one's book is published. A platform can help persuade an agent or editor to give your book query serious consideration. She writes and teaches nonfiction, so I still had to read between the lines when it came to focusing on an area of expertise and designating a niche within that area. But I figured out that the goal is to get one's name "out there." Writing for periodicals, teaching or giving talks, media interviews as an expert in a topic, a website and/or blog -- all contribute toward building a platform.

Christina covers it all in more detail in her book, "Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform" (Writers Digest Books, 2008).

The monthly sessions are about two hours long. Christina spoke and answered questions for 1-1/2 hours, then allowed half an hour to meet and greet folks, and sell and sign her book.

See the link to the left for the NWAS. The next session is February 22. Christine Fletcher will lead the session on "Essential Skills for Every Fiction Writer." I'm looking forward to Carment T. Bernier-Grand on April 19 who will lead the session on "Writing Children's Books."


All Horse Stuff (see link at left, since I can't seem to insert the link within the text with my "antiquated" Mac) awarded me the Lemonade from Lemons award for being a "Blogger who shows Great Attitude/Gratitude."

I appreciate the plug! Especially since I learned I need to build a platform. :-)

KK at All Horse Stuff is a fellow Pac NW equestrian. I envy her ready access to miles and miles of trails on BLM lands. And I commiserate with the joys and frustrations of horse ownership. Mostly joys.

I hereby share my Gratitude/Attitude award with Shared Glory Photo Blog (link also at left). I've known her since she was a sonogram and can't believe that she managed to grow into a lovely young woman while I didn't age a bit. ;-)

I want her to share the award with roomy Michelle. Both are budding professional photographers. "When" I sell my YA fantasy novels, Shared Glory will take my "headshot" for the dustcover of my novels!

1 comment:

Shared Glory said...

YAY! Congratulations on your lemonade! You deserve it! I love when my little blog update notifier says you've posted something :) Thank you for sharing--it made the morning of my final so much happier!
I'm excited that you are getting a lot out of the conference/speaking that you go to. It seems like there are always exceptions to the "platform rule" (like JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyers). Maybe it's just an encouragement to become an expert in the field you are interested in so that your writing is thorough and correct? I'd say that in horsey things, you're already there! :)