I bantered with a publishing house editor as I waited for an appointment with another industry professional at a conference. His crazy personality reminded me of my brother’s, and for a fraction of a second I lost control of my senses. “You’re such a dork,” I said. Yes, I called an editor of a publishing house a dork! That surely left a lasting impression—and it gave me a creative connecting point for the query letter I later sent him—BUT I don’t recommend this method for building a platform.
When building our platforms we want to be memorable. We also need to keep in mind that there are good ways and bad ways to make an impact on our readers and on the industry professionals who give us opportunities.
If we want people to remember us as an obnoxious fool, we will force our books on them.
If we want people to remember us as stupid and insecure, we will put down other authors’ books because they’re not as good as ours.
If we want people to remember us as a pompous twit, we will insist we’ve written a book that everybody needs.
If we want industry professionals to remember us as rude and disrespectful, and if we want to make a bad name for ourselves in the industry, we will throw hissy fits and say horrible things to those who’ve given us opportunities.
If we want people to remember us as a diva, we should work in Hollywood.
BUT if we want people to remember us as a writer worth reading, we will maintain control of our senses. We will use wisdom and discernment. We will show kindness and grace. And we will act with professionalism.
We can learn a lot of things about building our platforms from other people’s mistakes, or even from our own. What bad examples have you seen?
* * * * *
Twila Belk, aka The Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, is a writer and speaker who loves braggin’ on God. She works full time with best-selling author Cecil Murphey and enjoys teaching at writers conferences across the nation. Twila has written or co-written five books and contributed to several others. For more info, visit www.gottatellsomebody.com.