Category Archives: Kindness

My Online Platform

Writer’s Digest is a magazine I inhale. About a year and a half ago I was reading this article where the writer in her following credits listed her twitter name. The article was on online platform and how one can use it to further one’s works. That one little name got me started on establishing my presence.

A lot of people have told me well I don’t have a book out we should wait. That is the opposite of what you should do. No matter what magazine you read that is on writing or webinar you have seen the topic of online platform is bound to be talked about.

This is a tool that indie writers use to promote their works. But it is not just for indie writers, traditional houses are now following suit.

When you are a new author you need all the help you can get in promoting your works. This is done in a variety of ways from Twitter, FB, Goodreads and other forms of publicity.

In March of 2011 I made the move to getting my name out there. What I had to my credit was a number of complete books, short stories and my soon to be 2011 NaNo book but nothing in print. But that was okay. You want to start ahead before you release a book. You want people to know who you are and what you are about.

Doing it when you have a book out and then shouting, “ Hey hey look at me! I wrote a book come check it out” will get you some looks but not as much if you had planned ahead and started working on your platform.

By doing this in advance I have gotten a lot of positive feed back. One major woohoo was a small indie publishing company wanting to include two of my short stories in their anthology e-book. Something I am still pretty proud of for now I can say I been published. From that I met my current editor who is a dream and worth her weight in gold. It continues to meeting a publisher who helped me with my query letter that got my MS to being read by a few publishing houses. This all done before I had one single book out in print or in e-book format.

Pretty cool right? By doing all this people are starting to know me and what kind of stuff I write about. When I have up and down days they are there to help me with encouragement, suggestions and tips to help me along the way. I have a circle of publishers, editors, authors and bloggers to turn to in time of need. To say they are incredible is a gross understatement. These are people who are well established but take the time to help me out. Why? Because they know me from the various mediums we belong too. People who are making it in the business that I am attempting to break into. They are there for me because they have come to known me. I am no longer the new kid on the block. That is something that I can not put a price on.

Because of the people I have met my book is getting a second look at by a publisher. Something I can not say would have happened if I had done this alone. It would be a lonely walk if I had waited until my first book came out whether it was self publish or in print.  If the publisher decides to publish my book it would partly due to the people I have met through my online platform. And that would be freaken amazing.  Over the next few weeks I will dedicate one post a week to the various social medias I use in hopes of passing along to others what I have learned over the last year and a half.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Hi Sharon,” greeted Lori as I entered her used and new book store. Returning the sentiment I went to the back. It felt good to be recognized by the store owner. Growing up in a small town where the town population fluctuated between 800-1000 residents it was an adjustment moving to a larger area.  Granted this was just one of many cities I had live in since leaving the comforts of Northern Maine so many years ago. Over the years we have moved numerous times to cities of various sizes. Where I was no exception, my area had over 200K in number.

Having a place like Lori’s that made one feel cozy was nice. Lori always called when James Patterson or Stephen King had a book out. She knew I was their number one fan well in my heart and soul. I would be asked if I wanted a particular book or not, if I did she would hold it for me. There has been times she has called and the money was just not there for me to purchase the book. I would tell her to just put it on the shelf for I was not getting paid for another two weeks. Not a problem would always be her reply as she would place it in the back to wait for me. In the beginning I would tell her that if someone else wanted it to please sell the novel. She is running a business after all. This was something to this day she has never done. If I wanted it , the book would be there waiting for me. I don’t know about you but I am not familiar with any book store holding something for a customer that long. She is a gem for lack of a better word.

The kindness is continued by other shops locally. Being in a military town there is no lack of pawn shops. The one we visit has a layaway plan for 90 days. One of the rules is you must not lose your original ticket. A recent trip found me unable to find this little sheet of paper. Expressing my concern to the lady at the front counter I was informed not to worry. We know you and that you’re a good customer, this will not be an issue. They knew me by face and name and that was sufficient for them.

This kindness continues. The church we attend is not very big as far as membership but it still manages to have three masses during the weekend. Sitting in the same pew for a few years people get accustom to us as they nod and say hello inside and outside the church ground. Learning our names as we celebrate together.

All of the people who interact with me from the examples above will nod and say hello when they see me out in the community. It does a body good. While it is not easy adjusting to change these little experiences help. Adapting and overcoming is the key especially when our family is not near us. It is times like this that make our place in this city a home. I will probably never meet a good portion of the people who filter through the roads and businesses that lace our area. But that’s okay. For the ones I’m coming across are making our surroundings special and giving us lasting memories.