Friday, March 29, 2013

Platforms are NOT shoes!

Writers need a "platform" when their work is being presented to mainstream publishers. There are many parts to a platform, but this blog is about one simple thing we can do to enhance our attractiveness to potential publishers. KLOUT.

What IS a platform? Our platform is all the things about us and our experiences in life that will help us sell books. Education, training, special skills, achievements...all these are part of our platform. In truth, it's all about marketing.

Pro Bass boat and sponsors
For example, I was a pro bass fisherman for many years. What does catching a little green fish have to do with selling my stories? I had pro-staff positions. I represented sponsors. They required me to do public speaking, write articles, attend expos to work in the sponsor booths and carry myself in a professional manner, always being careful to maintain a good image. Mainstream publishers like to see those kinds of things. Marketing skills and sales experience in authors are highly desired, so I make sure my prior sales related training and results show up on my "bio" as part of my platform.

But this blog is not about building a platform. Rather, it is about one tool an aspiring writer can use to help sell the platform. Social media exposure.

Publishers know that a lot of books are promoted and sold through social media, but anyone can claim to be active on social media. How do publishers KNOW that a person does indeed actively participate in social media and on a regular basis?

Klout! This website tracks each member's social media activity. They use an algorithm to assign numeric values to all our activity on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Blogger and several other sites. If this value is low, they know the aspiring author is not very active in those resources and portends poorly for future sales efforts online. If the value is high (above 60), then publishers can be pretty sure the aspiring author is familiar with and active in this most important marketing tool for new authors.

The other nice thing about this Klout score is that it changes daily. Why is that nice?

Klout ratings are weighted over a 90-day period. If you are trending up, publishers will see it. If ratings have been on a downward trend...not so good. However, there is one more outstanding benefit of this service. It imposes self-discipline on members. You must maintain regular activity on several sites to keep your rating steady. This is a great habit to develop if one expects to have a successful book sales career.

So, check out Klout. If you're not on there, you might want to consider it. Here is their website:

If you decide to sign up, look up my account and feel free to add me as one of your "Influencers" if you want. Good luck with your platform!


  1. Klout is new to me. Thanks for sharing about it.

    1. Terry,

      You actually connect Klout to your other social media accounts and it immediately starts tracking your social media activity level. It allows others to give you support by identifying areas in which you display proficiency and allowing them to award you +K points that also help to lift your score. Klout also lets you establish a public display of up to 10 people who are your "Influencers" in life. This gives credit to those who you respecct.

      I think you will find Klout interesting. Once you get used to it, your effort goes into maintaining a regular and balanced presence on social media...a good practice for any author.

      Thanks for your comment...Dean.

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    1. Not sure what your company is looking for in a writing blog, but everybody's welcome. And, if any of my readers need a "lift" in their home, perhaps they will give you a call. Thanks for stopping by...Dean.

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