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Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to Building an Audience, Selling More Books, and Finding Success as an Author Paperback – November 23, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fascinating book...terrific; it's informative and fun to read." - Forbes.com

About the Author

Chuck Sambuchino is an editor for Writer's Digest Books and edits the Guide to Literary Agents. He is the author of books such as Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript, 3rd Edition, and How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 11.11.2012 edition (November 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599635755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599635750
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Koltko-Rivera on November 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The reality is, writers today must be not only creative and credentialed, they must be their own one-person publicity and marketing departments, as well. I doubt that tuition covers this in many MFA programs, and I can testify that it never came up in my doctoral program in psychology, either. However, Sambuchino's book tells the writer of fiction or nonfiction how to fulfill these roles in the e-everything age, through building the writer's platform.

Sambuchino's style is clear and oriented to the practical. He deals comprehensively with the components of an author's platform; I had cause to rethink what the planks of my platform were/should be. I was particularly interested in the many mini-interviews with agents that pepper the book, speaking to platform issues. The author punctures illusions without apology but without an attitude of superiority, either. (Although he is so well-informed that his insight is, indeed, superior to that of most of us.) I found especially useful Sambuchino's guidelines for "how much platform is enough" (e.g., how much web traffic on a blog). I will certainly be using his advice to maximize the sales of my forthcoming books.

Have been waiting for months for this to come out, and I have not been disappointed. On the one hand, I am a trifle embarrassed, as I see from Sambuchino's book that my own platform-building efforts can use improvement. On the other hand, I now feel that I have a much better handle on how to go about improving my platform. Get this, use it, and you'll be pretty good at building your writer's platform.

One often reads of platform-building in terms of books yet to be published (indeed, often enough, yet to be _written_). However, authors of already-published books also will find much practical advice here.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a sad commentary on the state of the publishing industry in the 21st century that it is no longer enough to write a good book. Now it is also essential to build a "platform"--a series of personal connections numbering in the thousands on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media outlets. A book author needs to blog on a regular basis and make as many public speaking appearances as possible. All of this is designed to subtly promote and sell a writer's books. And woe be to the author who tries to survive without a substantial platform.

This is the essential message of Chuck Sambuchino's book. And he makes a very persuasive case. Sambuchino contends that platform is not about blatant self-promotion but rather is all about building relationships one plank at a time. He argues that only by becoming a major electronic extrovert and putting yourself "out there" can an author hope to have any success irregardless of the quality of the book she has written. Apparently a website, a blog with a large readership, an e-newsletter and a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, etc. are the minimum requirements for the modern writer.

I found the last section of the book, which includes a series of in-depth interviews with writers of various genres who have succeeded in building huge platforms to be be extremely helpful. Almost all of the interviewees, however, warn of the dangers of a writer spending too much time platform building and not enough time actually. . . writing. Sambuchino also argues that this trend is not going away anytime soon and points out that even prospective agents and editors now routinely google writers to check the size of their platform. Love it or hate it, this is the way of the world and Sambuchino's book offers a wealth of excellent advice as to how a writer can not only survive in this brave new world but actually thrive by platform building and social media smoozing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like Chuck Sambuchino. I've listened to many of his lectures for Writer's Digest as he introduces a webinar. I've found them inspirational as well as full of information that a writer needs to find an agent and get published. But I'm disappointed with this latest book, Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to building an Audience. I agree that he tells you all about how New York has laid off all the publicists except for bestselling writers and how it's vital to promote your own book if you expect copies to sell. I agree he tells you all about blogging and social media. His style is clear and lucid. So what more did I expect when I bought the book on Kindle? I hoped he would explain how any of this is relevant to the novelist. Novels don't have target markets except as they fall into a genre such as mysteries, romances, science fiction, etc. You might be able to sell a gardening book in a garden center. You might be able to sign copies of your book on cruising in the book shop on deck 8 of the Queen Mary 2. But what can you do for a novel except sell it in a traditional brick and mortar store or online on Amazon.com? I'm still asking this question and Chuck Sambuchino hasn't answered it. What do you think?
by Linda Cargill, author of Key to Lawrence
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Format: Paperback
It's one of the biggest buzz words in publishing today: Platform. Nearly every agent, editor and publisher says having a platform established prior to pitching your novel dramatically increases your chances of success. So how do you get one, especially if you are unsure of what defines a writer's platform?

Chuck Sambuchino's latest book; Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to Building an Audience, Selling More Books, and Finding Success as an Author demystifies "platform" and is a great place to start building your own. Using his experience as an established author and editor of Guide to Literary Agents as well as Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, Mr. Sambuchino's book lays out the "why for's" and the "how to's" in an easy to understand fashion.

Covering both Nonfiction, (where platform seems mandatory) and fiction/memoir genres, this book explains what a platform is, identifies 12 fundamental principles of an author's platform, detailing each in plain, common sense English. Following this section are chapters on author websites, social media, finding your niche, blogs, public speaking and more, which all build a writer's platform.

The book concludes with 12 case studies in which authors from all genres detail their take on the need for platform, how they have built and maintain their own platforms and considerations of what future authors might consider in developing their own.

Create Your Writer Platform is a must have for any writer/author who desires to move forward with their publishing efforts, and career, in 2013 and beyond.

As for myself...I've got lots to do, and this book will certainly ease my journey.
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