“I’ve always wanted to write a book.”

“I think God is calling me to write a book.”

or my favorite:

“God told me to write a book.”

Well, that’s awesome. I’ve written more than a dozen books, so I’m a fan of that endeavor. Mostly. What many writers, or would-be writers, don’t realize, is that writing is one thing. Authoring a book and getting it published is another. But if you indeed do get your book published, the real work begins after the book is done.

Today, the job description for an author includes marketing their work. And building a platform prior to the release of your book, in fact, prior to finding a publisher–or even self-publishing.

Many writers believe a myth: they will write the most amazing book ever, and somehow, it will be discovered. They won’t have to do a thing, everyone will line up at the door of their local bookstore to rush in and grab a copy.

I’m so sorry, but that simply doesn’t happen. The way to sell books is to build a platform and join the conversation on whatever it is you want to write about first, before you write your book, or at least, before it is published (whether you self-publish or find a royalty publisher).

I’ve been thinking about platform, and marketing, and whatnot, because I will speak next month at the West Coast Christian Writers conference in California. I’m leading the Platform & Public Speaking track, and I’m excited to have the chance to help aspiring writers learn more about the publishing industry.

b-speakersIf you want to know more about what I’ll be teaching, watch this YouTube video. And if you decide to attend the conference, use the code KERI10 to get a discount on your registration fee.