Writing Workshops: How to Powerfully Build Your Author Platform

Why do you need an author platform?

Maybe you want to get an agent, sell a book proposal, or promote a book (either self-published or with a traditional publisher). Maybe you’d like to have a well-trafficked website that you monetize. Author platforms aren’t just for established authors. Successful writers of all kinds need a powerful author platform.

Writers are often scared or baffled by platform because it’s seen as a marketing and promotion mindset—antithetical to the artist mindset. However, there is a way to approach platform that isn’t about selling, but rather understanding human behavior (including your own!). You’ll learn how to evaluate your platform by paying attention to six key components: your writing or content, your website, your social media use, your relationships, your network of influence, and your reach.

This class will address:

1. Why and how to develop different strategies for new readers versus loyal readers

2. Five basic elements of any website, plus two questions you should always keep asking yourself about that website as your career progresses

3. The difference between strong and meaningful social-media strategy and tactics versus time-wasting activities—and how to prioritize your time

4. The importance of e-mail, RSS, and other types of subscriptions to your online presence

5. The two types of relationships to carefully cultivate throughout your career, which help grow your platform in unforeseen ways

6. Why influencers are important to you and the best ways to get friendly with influencers

7. Three key questions to ask when looking at your metrics or analytics (whether from your website, blog, or social media accounts)

For this class, success will not be measured by how many followers or friends you have. It will be about focused and consistent effort over a long period of time, which leads to finding more and more people who love what you do. You’ll learn how to make informed and meaningful decisions about how to best spend your time, as well as what advanced platform building looks like for an established writer or author.

The Total Package: 8 Parts

• Three 1-hour recorded workshop sessions

• Two 1-hour evening chat sessions with workshop leader Jane Friedman, where your questions will be answered and you’ll be guided towards best practice

• A free one-year subscription to Scratch magazine—Jane Friedman’s new journal that discusses how to make money as a writer

• A $50 gift certificate to The Willingham Enterprise (usable within 18 months, on any website or print materials project $500 or more). Check out the distinctive portfolio to see websites that rise above the rest.

• A written critique of your website, identifying three things you can improve. If you don’t have a website, you can select a specific social media account for critique


Basic Course Approach in an Online Classroom, January 6-February 1

Recorded Component: There is no set class-time, as the private teaching videos will be available at all hours for your access to view, beginning January 6.

Chat Component: You will need to be available at set times for two evening chat sessions. Several options will be available, to accommodate different schedules. If you miss the sessions, you will be able to access a record of the complete chat sessions. Please let us know your preferred dates upon purchase, by choosing your favored option from the drop-down menu.


How to Powerfully Build Your Author Platform workshop, with publishing expert Jane Friedman. Jane Friedman has spent more than 15 years in the media industry as an editor, publisher, and professor. Currently she serves as the web editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR), based at the University of Virginia, where she also teaches digital publishing and online writing. Her newest digital media initiative is Scratch magazine, a quarterly publication for writers, all about the intersection of writing and money.

Before joining VQR, Jane was the publisher of Writer’s Digest, a $10-million multimedia brand where she was responsible for the business strategy and financial performance of a team of twenty, which covered editorial, design, advertising, and online media operations. She also worked personally with many authors and oversaw the publication of hundreds of books.

Her expertise on the transformation of the publishing industry has been featured throughout many events and media, including NPR’s Morning Edition, Frankfurt Book Fair, Publishers Weekly, SXSW, Nieman Journalism Lab, and AWP. Since 2001, she has spoken at hundreds of writing and industry conferences, and has also served on panels and advisory boards for nonprofits such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund.



What Our Workshop Participants Have Said

Elizabeth W. Marshall: The Writing Life Workshop wildly exceeds my expectations. It is extremely well-thought-through with regards to content. The online classroom system provides a fabulous set up for both content, assignments and feedback. This is life changing as a writer.

Brad Grout: I am personally getting so much out of this memoir workshop…you people are AMAZING!

Lane Arnold: I struck gold. An afternoon session of writing poetry is good for the soul. Poetry Workshop is a catalyst to creativity.

Darrelyn Saloom: I signed up for the Fiction Jumpstart class at a crazy/busy time. What was I thinking? With all the chaos in my life, I am so happy I did. I would NEVER have completed a 3,000 word short story without Anthony. It was wonderful to have his guidance and feedback. And I am so pleased with the result.

Lexanne Leonard: The most important step I’ve taken is to join Tweetspeak’s Poetry Workshop 2013 with Anne Doe Overstreet. I cannot begin to thank Tweetspeak, Anne, and my fellow students for this journey.

Sandra Heska King: This was absolutely the single best whim I’ve followed.


How to Powerfully Build Your Author Platform • 8 Components, Registration now closed

Photo by Roberto Trm, Creative Commons, via Flickr.

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