Marketing for writers: tips from Chuck Sambuchino’s new book

Chuck Sambuchino's book, Creating Your Writer Platform, is one of the best books for writer's I've read yet.

Chuck Sambuchino’s book, Creating Your Writer Platform, is one of the best books for writers I’ve read yet.

I’ve been telling myself for years that writers don’t get paid to write anymore. They get paid to market their books.

I don’t know when this idea first popped into my head, but it seems to coincide with publisher’s ideas of platform. Now, after intentionally shunning the idea that I needed a platform, I’m finally listening to myself, and I’ve started studying marketing (for writers in particular) in earnest.

Last week I read John Caple’s Tested Advertising Methods and gleaned what I thought was a veritable writer’s pantry full of information. I’ll use it someday. For now, that information is stored on my pantry shelves like so many ingredients. And I’m adding to my stores.

This week, I started reading Chuck Sambuchino’s Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to Building an Audience, Selling More Books, and Finding Success as an Author.

Remember him from his Guide to Literary Agents?

One of the first things Sambuchino says in this new book is a simple but strong definition of what a platform is:

“Platform, simply put, is your visibility as an author.”

The first section of this book is called The Principles of Platform. I read that section tonight and was too excited to share what I was learning to go to bed…so here I am, late at night, writing a post that I hope will help you as much as this book has already helped me.

I was delighted to see that Sambuchino studied John Caple’s work, too. It made me feel as though last week’s marketing experiment was COMPLETELY validated. Sambuchino wrote:

Communities are vertical now–“tribes” of like-minded people, says marketing expert Seth Godin.

One theme stressed in the first section of this book was a platform is essential–absolutely ESSENTIAL–for people who write nonfiction books. While it’s a good thing for fiction and memoir writers, it’s not quite as necessary.

That said, Sambuchino still insists that finding a niche can be nothing but helpful for any writer. Chapter Five–Platform for fiction and memoir–was especially enlightening.

In this chapter, Sambuchino lists three different types of blogs/niches that can be used to start building a fiction or memoir platform. These include:

  • The Loose Connection niche, in which a theme from one of your books becomes the theme for your blog
  • The Altogether Different niche, in which the theme for your blog has little or no connection to your books or memoirs. This may go against common sense, but Samuchino indicated that if it’s something you’re passionate about, you’ll probably write about it often enough and well enough that you’ll still gain blog followers, and this will count toward your writer’s platform.
  • The Writing Focus niche, which focuses on your writer’s journey.

All in all, I’m having a great time with this book. Once this post is published, I’ll delve into it again. I’ll share ingredients from the next section in a post sometime tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, let me share three quotes from the first section that totally resonated with me.

“A conversation is not a nuisance to me; it’s an opportunity.”

No wonder I like this book so much. I feel the same way. There’s something extremely satisfying in talking about writing with other writers.

“People innately respect those who have paid their dues.”

He says this as a means of encouragement, telling us writers to hang in there; success most likely won’t come overnight, but if we work hard enough and long enough at it, the success will come.

“No matter what you want to develop expertise and authority in, it will help a whole heck of a lot if you enjoy what you’re doing.”

Again, justly said. And really, would any of us be writing at all if we didn’t enjoy it?

Well. I feel as giddy as a five-year-old at show and tell. I can hardly wait to post on the second section. Back to the book I go!

One quick note: I’m enjoying my marketing studies so much that I’m adding a new page, Marketing for Writers, on this blog. I’ll link all the pertinent posts I write on that page. I intend to keep reviewing marketing books, and I’ll joyfully share what I learn.

9 Responses to “Marketing for writers: tips from Chuck Sambuchino’s new book”

  1. This is a very helpful post. Making a note to pick this book up.


  2. As a new full time author I really appreciate your information. Thanks for the helpful notes. πŸ™‚


    • Always!
      I’m having a great time with this and plan to do a lot more of it. Hopefully I can find lots of good information to help us all.
      Have a great day!



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