Why does this week feel scary?

It’s going to be a bit busy. I’ve got Echo work to do, an interview with an Australian radio station tomorrow morning, and I’ve got a public-speaking type event which always fills me with dread (and then I get past it). Actually, I think that’s it, that’s what’s scaring me. It’s going to throw off my whole week. I wish I could just not do things that throw off my whole week.

But lately all I hear about it platform, platform, platform. All writers are expected to have a platform. I had to google what that even means. As far as I can tell it means:

– having a big email list of fans.
– and a lot of speaking engagements.
– conducting workshops.
– having lots of media contacts.
– having a blog.
– maybe even a regular column somewhere that keeps your name out in front of the reading public.
– guest blogging on other people’s blogs.

I have to get to work on my platform. (For the love of god.) The 2nd and 3rd items are dread-inducing items. The 3rd a little less. I’ve taught before and it’s public speaking and does involve some dread, but it goes away more quickly because you’re sharing that dread with your students who also have to be on stage with you through-out. Ha. I sound like a horrible teacher.

I’m sure I can think of other things I could do to enhance my “platform.” Maybe I will have regular posts about “Building My Platform.” I’ve already started working on my email list. I had several going and I’ve been consolidating them into one.

Meanwhile, I took this picture a couple of weeks ago. I swear it feels like every week I’m walking through one movie set or another.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

6 thoughts on “Why does this week feel scary?

  1. If speaking engagements really worked, then the publishers would try to line up more of them themselves, but they don’t do it .. and I don’t think they really work. Each small audience is a drop in the bucket. That is, unless you’re doing willing to do one or two every week so that those “drops” increase. Plus, in order to do a LOT of engagements, you’d have to be willing to travel to other locations. But, really, who has that much time and/or money to do that ?? !

    The publishers make a mistake by signing up too many books that they can’t possibly promote in hopes that a few of them will “stick.”

  2. In the end, a lot of that is just BS from the publisher to make you feel like YOU didn’t do your job if the book doesn’t sell. When really, it should be THEIR job to promote a book — to have media contacts, email lists, and etc.

  3. The thing is, it sucks to have to do this, but sometimes it really helps to do this so I think one has to give it a go. The trick is picking places where it’s really going to be useful. But how to tell? So much depends on who is there and how word of mouth spreads.

  4. I was wondering tonight why you aren’t on Twitter, but it turns out you are – but woefully underfollowed considering the interesting subject matter of your books. Someone like Jon Ronson uses it a lot, both to plug his books and appearances (and current movie adaptation) but also just to goof off about TV shows etc. It seems like a painless way to get some buzz going and I always feel that your various projects could really connect on there with a bit of a push.

  5. Greig, you convinced me. I just added “follow me on Twitter” links all over the place!

    I read Jon Ronson’s book, VERY funny, the movie looks hysterical.

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