By Linda Donaldson
The PSB Writing Center’s Zoom webinar by Pamela Varkony “Building Your Audience and Your Platform” last Tuesday was an eye-opening rundown on what the modern-day publishing timeline looks like.
Most budding authors imagine finding an agent, having a book publisher edit their manuscript and set up publicity tours and book signings – not to mention offer a big advance. Dream on!
Maybe in the good old days, when myriad publishers competed for the next best seller, would they shepherd their authors through the process. Now hardback book publishing is dominated by only a handful of houses which still handle the uber-famous writers with a proven money-making track record.
Nowadays, if you are unknown and want to market yourself and sell your books, you need to get an early start. That’s just what Pamela Varkony, author, freelance columnist and commentator shared in her recent webinar. Warm and engaging, Pam told it “like it is” for our attendees.
The first questions agents will ask you relate to your online presence: Are you active on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram? How many followers do you have? Do you have a blog? How big is your mailing list? It is a Catch-22. You need to be known to “get known!” Agents want to know you can sell!
Building your platform takes time and effort. You need to establish a website, a blog, and a Facebook page. Pam offered tips for selling yourself, building your brand and creating a “buzz” for your upcoming book and appearances. Podcasts anyone?
Everyone who attended our Zoom webinar came away with useful advice. Pam gave attendees a clear idea of how to begin early and consider a wide range of publicity options to build your audience.
Pamela Varkony is a dynamic speaker who has inspired audiences from America to Australia to Afghanistan through her passion for improving the lives of others. Her insights on life, leadership, politics, and the human condition are read and heard across four continents.
From 2012 to 2014 she served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Pennsylvania State Commission for Women. In 2017 Pam was named a Pearl S. Buck International Woman of Influence. An author, freelance columnist and commentator, her stories cover subjects from business ethics to the status of women in the third world.
Pam has contributed stories to National Public Radio for regional and national broadcasts, and hosted her own radio program on Voice America Network. She is the co-author of a history of Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania: “Our Lost Tohickon Valley,” a portrait of the early 20th century, now in its third printing. Pam is also a contributing writer and poet to the anthology “Songs of Ourselves…America’s Interior Landscape.”
Her columns and features have appeared in major U.S. newspapers and magazines. Her poetry has been published in the New York Times. In 2008, the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association recognized her with an “Excellence in Journalism” award for her editorial writing.
Visit her at www.pamelavarkony.com