THE GOAL IS NOT TO PUBLISH A BOOK, BUT TO BE READ – TO IMPACT READERS
Too many writers publish books that do not get read. Most books don’t sell that well: they don’t get reviewed, they don’t get shelf space in bookstores or libraries, and most importantly: they don’t make their way into the hands of those readers who would most appreciate them. My friend Jane Friedman said something to me once that gave me chills:
“The most disappointed writers I know are not the unpublished writers, but those who have been published.”
What she means is that these writers were disappointed because after years of hard work, only a few dozen books were sold. That no one cared about their book. With so many more books being published each year; with publishers overwhelmed with the many titles they produce; it is increasingly up to the writer to learn how to connect their writing to readers who will appreciate their work.
Join me and a group of writers for a 6-week online course that will build the platform you need to establish an audience for your writing career.
Why Build Your Author Platform?
Are you a writer who is passionate about your work, but find it difficult to build an audience? What you need is an author platform – a strategic way to communicate your purpose to the world and establish trust with those who can help make you a success.
I have trained hundreds of writers to extend their reach in powerful ways – increasing audience size and engagement. Inherent in this is establishing a manageable process where you do more of what works, less of what doesn’t, and balance the craft of writing with platform development.
In this 6-week online course, you will walk away with so many elements that will help you grow and engage your audience:
- A clear purpose for your work that will resonate with those you hope to engage.
- An understanding of who your target audience is, what they find compelling, and where to find them.
- How to blog, leverage social media, and share content that people care about.
- Ways of measuring what is working, what isn’t, and a process to constantly optimize how you grow and connect with your audience.
- Establish powerful relationships with myself, the other writers in the class, and guest speakers. We become a team that helps you develop your author platform.
Here is what some past students have said about the course:
YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A MARKETER, BUT YOU DO NEED TO CARE ABOUT READERS
Developing an author platform is really about developing the skill of learning about your ideal readers and how to engage them in meaningful ways. It is about aligning with those who will love your book, if only they could find it.
AUTHOR PLATFORM IS NOT JUST ABOUT FOLLOWERS AND LIKES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Most people feel they are wasting time on social media or in developing their audience because they aren’t focusing on the right people, on the right milestones, and don’t understand how building an audience actually HELPS your writing progress. People feel overwhelmed by all of this because they have no plan, no strategy. An author platform is about making hard choices on where to focus your energy, and is as much about what you DON’T do, as what you do. This is a process of refinement, focused intently on your goals as a writer.
THE BEST TIME TO BUILD AN AUTHOR PLATFORM IS NOW
#1 New York Times Bestseller Rebecca Skloot shares this advice for writers:
“The biggest mistake writers make in terms of marketing and publicity for their book is starting too late.”
Build an audience NOW, not when you are panicked at publication. The worst time to build an audience is when you DESPERATELY need them to buy your book. That is when you see all of the bad examples of authors on social media and the web. They feel they have no choice but to spam people in order to get them to pay attention. But an author platform is about NOT doing that. It is about establishing genuine relationships with your community and readers.
Many authors want to wait until their book is finished, feeling they will then have time to develop an audience. But trust takes time; there is a learning curve; and the best audience is one that you develop slowly, one person at a time. There is no magic button to give you an audience when you need it. I still get phone calls from authors asking for exactly that – the one trick in Facebook or Goodreads or Twitter to drive tons of attention without the effort to really build a platform. But there isn’t any magic button, only caring about your readers.
What The Course Gives You
This online course runs from from September 5 – October 23, 2012, and provides the structure and skills you need to build the foundation for your writing career. The The full course includes the following elements:
- 6 career-shifting lessons that take you step by step through the process of how to develop your author platform.
- Personalized feedback via weekly homework assignments, where I directly address your challenges and opportunities with advice to ensure you are on the right track.
- The ability to ask questions 24/7 via our private online forum. Here, you can discuss key topics in developing your platform with myself and other students in the course.
- 6 Exclusive Insider Calls, where I get on the phone with the entire class and you can ask anything. Here you have a chance to brainstorm ideas; dig into specific challenges you are trying to move past; and build close relationships with myself and the other writers in the course. All Exclusive Insider Calls are recorded, so if you miss a call, you always have access to the recording.
- 4 Guest Expert Calls from leading publishing professionals. These experts get on the phone with the class, and allow you to ask them any question you want. They provide personalized insight that helps you build your author platform. All Guest Expert Calls are recorded, so if you miss a call, you always have access to the recording.
You are provided access to a private online classroom where you will find all course material, and engage with the other students. The only thing you need to participate in the course is a web connection and telephone.
Guest Expert Calls
The full course provides access to incredible guest experts who not only share their wisdom, but address your particular issues live on a conference call. There will be 4 Guest Expert Calls, including access to the following people:
Jane Friedman is a former publishing & media exec who is now the web editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review, and blogs about publishing at JaneFriedman.com.
Jeff Goins is a writer who blogs about how to become a successful writer at GoinsWriter.com.
Joanna Penn is a author, blogger, speaker and entrepreneur who helps writers publish and sell their books via her blog at TheCreativePenn.com.
Joel Friedlander has an extensive background in printing, graphic design, typography and book publishing and blogs about how to build better books at TheBookDesigner.com.
The course begins on September 5 and ends on October 23. Every Wednesday, you are given access to a new lesson in text/image/video formats. Throughout the course, you go through 6 powerful lessons taking you through each step of developing your author platform. (more on these below.) At the midway point in the course, we take a week off. This is done to give you a chance to do some research, give more critical thought to what you are building or catch up if you have fallen behind at all.
Each lesson ends with a homework assignment which is due the following Monday. I provide in-depth feedback within 48 hours.
Every Monday at 3pm ET, we have our Exclusive Insider Calls, where the class speaks via conference call. This is an hour-long conversation where you can ask me anything, and get feedback from other members of the class as well. Everything is recorded; if you miss a call, you have access to an MP3 recording of it to listen to anytime. You can also send in questions ahead of time for me to address on the call.
Guest Expert Calls will be scheduled on Thursdays at 3pm ET. This too is an hour-long conference call where you speak with the guest expert, myself, and the rest of the class. In the full course, four guest speakers will be scheduled. These calls are recorded as well, so you can always access them if you can’t make the live call.
More feedback from past students:
Pricing & Registration
The full course includes the 6 lessons, plus 6 Exclusive Insider Calls with me, 4 Guest Expert Calls, detailed feedback on your homework, and access to the forum. This costs $799. This is an incredible investment in your writing career, providing not just the skills, but the relationships you need to succeed.
Limited space is available in this course – we keep class sizes small to ensure each student gets individualized attention. Once the course fills up, we will close registration.
I offer flexible payment plans. To register, you leave a $50 deposit, and then the rest of the balance is billed in 4 payments throughout the course. There is also a 100% money back guarantee, which I describe below. There is literally no risk on your part.
A Walkthrough Of Each Lesson
The 6 lessons provide a step by step process to develop your author platform, and the full course ensures you have feedback to ensure we work through challenges and roadblocks that you may be facing. Each week provides another building block that addresses a critical aspect of growing and connecting with your audience.
I am passionate about ensuring students make an investment in their writing careers that connects them with their goals. If you sign up for the course, and after the first week, are not satisfied for ANY reason, just send me an email, and I will provide a full refund.
This means you have 7 full days to try out the course, go through the first lesson, chat with other students, experience the first call, and be a part of everything else it offers. At day 7, if you realize this isn’t for you, I will gladly refund your money. It literally costs you nothing.
I assume all risk here because I want you to feel you have made a choice that will put you on the fast track to developing your author platform. I have worked with hundreds of writers, and firmly believe that my role is to HELP you reach your goals, and ensure that you make the most of your resources. Have any questions at anytime? This is my cell phone number: 973-981-8882. Just call me and ask. (but please call at a reasonable hour, I have a 2 year old at home!) I don’t see many other instructors giving out their personal cell phone number before, during or after a course. That is how much I believe in helping you.
If you want to build an audience for your writing and develop your author platform, please consider joining me, the course starts soon.
About The Instructor
My name is Dan Blank, and I help writers build their platforms, and work with publishers to grow their online communities. I have worked with hundreds of writers to help them develop the skills they need to build and engage their audiences. I have taught courses for Writer’s Digest and Mediabistro, and spoken at many of the major publishing and writing conferences. For my full background, please check out my bio and LinkedIn profile.
Brands I have worked with:
Events I have spoken at: