Amy Luscher Smith • March 20, 2019
I have learned that there is more to publishing a book than simply writing it. At this point in the publication of my first book, I may even say that it’s easier to write a book than publish it. Launching your book into the world now requires a solid, engaging platform.
To get the attention of a traditional publisher, you need followers. Influencers. A built-in audience. A traditional publisher would call this your platform.
Depending on your reason for writing, this might be how you define platform, too. For today, my lovely writer friends, let’s consider the solid, engaging platform as your “why story.”
Take a few moments to brainstorm the answers to these questions:
- Why are you writing our book?
- Why is your message important to share with the world?
- Why will people benefit enough to trade their time for your material?
- Why is your story important to anyone else?
Why you are sharing your book–your story–with others is your “why story” or your platform. And, it needs to be front and center when you write, speak, blog, video, have a conversation with a friend, share a book out of the trunk of your car. You need to be able to tell your “why story” without even thinking, and everything you do in public needs to connect back to your “why story.”
Let me share my “why story” as an example. I am sharing how faith can grow in a time of darkness, such as breast cancer, to both encourage you and inspire others. This is one sentence about my “what”—how faith can grow in darkness—and my “why”—to encourage and inspire.
When you visit my website at amyluschersmith.com, you should immediately sense that you will find information about persevering through faith.
When you look for blog posts, you should find categories that are related to faith, cancer, and caregiving or how to write about these things.
When you see a social media post from my brand on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, it should be a message of encouragement, faith, or health.
When you hear me speak at a gathering, you will hear words of faith and encouragement.
My point is this. Nowhere in my “why story” gives me room for something else.
Nowhere on my website will I sell you essential oils. Nowhere in my blog posts will you read about what to wear to the office party. None of my books have sections on fitness or humor. No video of mine will teach you how to lengthen your lashes or boost your lip color. These are all fabulous things that I might be interested in; however, there is no room for them in my platform. My followers won’t expect them, and, worse, might be confused if I throw them in.
When people think of me, I want them to think faith, survivor, inspiration, writer. These are the things that I am an expert in being. I can share about these things with genuine authenticity that builds a solid, engaging platform.
How would you describe your “why story”?
If you already have a platform for your writing, is there anything extra thrown in there that muddies your “why”?
What can you share about with genuine authenticity?