buildyourauthorplatform_frontcover_3d-white-1024x1024I am about to enter new territory as an author, on several levels. Not only am I going to New York City for the first time since the mid-1970s, I’m going to Book Expo America (BEA) for the first time too.

If you’re not familiar with BEA, this is the biggest annual trade show for booksellers in the US. The show used to be billed as the American Booksellers Association conference (which it still is, despite the rebranding), and my brother-in-law, the textbook manager at the local public university, was a regular participant. After hearing dozens of stories over the years, I knew I wanted to go someday, but couldn’t figure out a way to justify the cost.

This changed with the Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules project. When Carole Jelen proposed that I write the book with her, of one thing she was certain: We would launch this book at BEA. So that’s what we’re doing!

English: Looking north up Eleventh Avenue (Man...
English: Looking north up Eleventh Avenue (Manhattan) at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on a sunny late morning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carole and I will be signing copies of Build Your Author Platform at the Jacob Javits Convention Center for a half hour on Thursday, May 29 starting at 11:00 AM Eastern time. If you’re at BEA, please come see us! We may also be hanging around the BenBella Books table for different chunks of the day too.

Unfortunately, I can’t stay for the free reader-oriented BookCon happening on Saturday, but I urge you to go if you can. Then maybe we can swap stories next year.

Want to follow all the happenings at BEA? Twitter hashtag is #bea14. I suspect WorkingWriter  will be posting a lot here and on Twitter with whatever strikes me in the Big Apple. Desperately need to find me in New York? Email Let’s see what we can set up!

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With enormous pride (and a little relief), I can finally say that Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules should be sitting on a shelf at a bookstore near you any day now.  This guide to finding and growing an audience for your writing was more than a year in the making, and Carole Jelen and I are thrilled to offer it to you. Our friends at BenBella Books have been exceptionally helpful in bringing the book to fruition as well.

Cover: Build Your Author Platform
Cover: Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules

So what is Build Your Author Platform? In this book, we share a 14-step program for connecting with your present and future fans.  My literary agent, Carole Jelen, shares her experience marketing books and authors. I help you get comfortable with creating websites, accessing and participating in the Big Four social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+).

Not Just Social

While you already know that the Internet has changed book marketing forever, we don’t just talk about the online world. We’ll help you create audio and video clips, or just connect with traditional radio and TV. Nervous about speaking in public? We’ll help you get practice just speaking into your webcam and reviewing the results.

We help with writing and circulating articles for both online and offline markets, teaching mini-courses, and other wonderful ways to connect.

Expanding Your Comfort Zone

The 14 step program will make sure that you will cast the widest net possible in search of your audience. I will guarantee you, however, that at least one step in the book will make you a little queasy about getting into this writing business in the first place. For me it’s public speaking, for you it might be making a website, or figuring out Twitter.

Now the advantage of having so many steps is that you can pick your spots. Doing only the obviously fun parts of the program may well get you the audience you want, but here’s my challenge: After you read the book, try the one thing that scares you.

When you expand that zone even a little, the worst that can happen is you might embarrass yourself a little bit (and if that really scares you, do the thing with friends, or by yourself). At best, your confidence will expand with every inch of that comfort zone.

Speaking of Fun Things…

If you happen to be in New York for Book Expo America, Carole and I will be signing books on Thursday, May 29 at 11 AM.

Also, BenBella is giving away two copies of Build Your Author Platform at Goodreads. Enter here.

I’ll have more about the book and building your platform in the coming days. Let me know if you’ve got specific interests or questions.

While you’re waiting…

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Cover: Build Your Author PlatformIf you’ve ever wanted to make a career as a book author, or simply want to improve your social-media savvy, mark the date: May 13, 2014. This is when BenBella Books releases Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules, by my marvelous agent and collaborator, Carole Jelen and yours truly.

What is Build Your Author Platform, you ask? A 14-step guide to finding an audience for your writing, nurturing that audience, and selling your books to them when the time comes. Among other things, we’ll tell you how to make Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn work for you.

Welcome to

Friday, the book’s website went live! On the site, you can:

Can’t wait to see the trailer? Oh, alright, here it is:

Carole and I firmly believe this book will help any writer — published or not, Interested in traditional publishing or the indie/self-publishing route — establish authority, build an audience, and ideally sell a lot of books (paper or electrons) in the process.

Counting Down to May 13

Perhaps you noticed the countdown ticker over on the right side of the page. As time keeps flowing, you’ll see more stuff happening around here. I’ll be adding more information about the book over on the Books page in the coming days. Watch this site and for events, giveaways and other fun stuff.

Please visit the site, and share widely! Thanks!

If you have questions about the book, getting started with your author platform or social media in general, feel free to comment here, or drop me a line.