Position Your Platform Positively

By Aria Gmitter

communicationGround breaking news rattled the cages of conservative family advocates upon the announcement that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional. Like the parting of the red sea among religious groups even amidst faith lines there lay those who supported the declaration, and those who did not.

Today, after reading NPR’s social media’s blog, I sat in the hot sauna at my local gym sweating and wondering how this relates to opportunity. I’ve learned the hard way that to advocate against a group creates isolation no matter how well-intended my motivation. In walked a woman, about my age, and I could tell she probably didn’t know that today was a day that made American history.

“Hi,” I said. “Did you hear the news?”

She wiped her forehead, sat down. “No. What news?”

“NPR just posted on their website that the DOMA of 1996 was declared unconstitutional,” I filled her in. I never like to get into deep political conversations. For one, I don’t like how it makes most people feel. However, this was an opportunity for me to test the waters. To see how I can connect with a complete stranger in the midst of unknowing. I had no idea who she was. Nor did I know how this news would impact her life.

Building a platform with social media is a lot like a stranger-to-stranger introduction happening in a hot room. Individuals entering the room are mentally prepared to feel heat, experience some tension, but accept that it’s part of the process required to get that physical release. In social media, there are many times that individuals enter the cyber arena knowing that there is a lot of negative to the situation. Yet, we log-in. We sign up, knowing that there is a benefit to the drill of social media engagement.

For writers and business owners, social media is a necessary evil to inexpensively promote a message, a deal—that will trigger a sale. What’s not desired in the exchange by the business builder is a negative reputation, or to have something said innocently come back to haunt them later.

stackingbricks

Image courtesy of [Stoon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The atmosphere that our Tweets, Facebook and blog posts enter into may be hot and sticky creating an awareness that there is a discomfort there. However, staying in a hot sauna for 20 minutes at the highest temperatures allows the body to break a sweat that is healthy, healing, stress relieving and just plain good. When done intentionally, social media can accomplish the same mental, emotional and social breakthroughs used by the ancients for body healing to promote peace and harmony in society. The heated atmosphere, for whatever topic then becomes an ideal circumstance to promote opportunity. Then, a writer, or any person with a message of impact can connect quickly. Why? Because just like a body temperature once it’s risen is set to sweat freely, aware individuals are set to engage.

Power-Platform is all about engagement. It’s about growing a community of communication.

Let’s all agree. We writers already  know that any word streamed together that add impact and value provokes reaction. In many ways, we are taught by those who have powerful platforms that this is the way to trigger a potential audience to engage. Yet, my observations is that like all things, society is growing tired of negative impact. Yes, unfavorable reactions for some are powerful building blocks. But if you’re like me, that’s not the type of platform I want to build. Why? Because I like to grow people and passions that feels good, and that aligns with my value systems.

bricklayercement

Image courtesy of [Stoon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the end, powerful platform is about the builder.  A builder carefully analyzes what kind of community is suitable to live in. Where would the builder want to see his or her own family engage?

What type of neighbors are wanted? A strong house is much more powerful than a single brick wall. Sensational engagement triggered by controversy does definitely incite dialogue, but it’s a wall building endeavor. The community is speaking, but few actually are listening and really changing points of view. Heart rates rise, but senses of unity decreases. In the end what generates sales, what creates faithful advocates, word-of-mouth promoters, and people who will happily share your content are those that get a want met.

What is it that we all want most?

Love.

We want love. We want all the things that come attached to love. Acceptance. Assurance. Acknowledgment.

We want to believe in good. Good triumphing over evil. That if we are good, we will get some kind of reward. That if we are bad, we will get some kind of grace and still get a reward.

You might say, “I see other people with huge platforms built upon sensationalism and controversy.”

True fact. But the important part in building any kind of platform is ensuring that all dialogue points directly towards the person it promotes.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I want to be remembered most for?
  • How can my personal branding promote that message?
  • How can I fill the wants of my audience in a way that gives them a community that feels like home?

Platform-Power that has impact to create these types of realities when using social media are the kind that provide a two-fold purpose.

Purpose 1:  It encourages honest dialogue which allows you to gauge your future projects and business plans.

Purpose 2:  Makes you accessible to the end-user. To find out if you are obtaining any kind of ROI with social media, look at the level of engagement that exists. If engagement is high. Then, you know…something is working.

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Image courtesy of [stoon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When focusing on your purpose and the good in your message when using social media, you gain freedom of expression. Instead of struggling to war against the masses that may or may not agree with  you, you get the chance to encourage change with an open door.

On SeaView Radio, I interview Rick Cooper, Social Media Expert on how to create powerful impact using social media without compromising your message, or the values behind your brand. Whether you want to get political, or want to keep your content strictly business Rick Cooper and I can help you to navigate the social media changes that impact your life. —>Here are his FREEBIES to help you get started!

rick-cooperRick Cooper is an Online Marketing and Social Media Trainer. He works with small business owners who want to generate more leads and increase sales using the internet. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs leverage their expertise to attract clients online. Rick is Founder of Social Media Outcomes, based in Sacramento, California and is author of Seize your Opportunities, Marketing Magic, and Extreme Excellence. Rick is an International Speaker on Online Marketing and Social Media. He was featured in Comstocks magazine and has been interviewed by The National Networker, AllBusiness.com and the East Bay Times Business Journal.

What are you Writing?

By Aria Gmitter

nookflowersWhat are you writing? Is it a message that stems from the heart, a haunting nightmare? Is it fear? Or is it faith?

How’s that book in your head? When your thought life reads the pages, does it hear a message that is self-pleasing, or one that connects to a need or a specific need or want to a particular audience? Do you write to please yourself?  Or others? Or do you do both?

Do you write for money, or pleasure? Or a little in between? Are you a writer who speaks, or are you a speaker who writes?

Does it even matter? Absolutely.

As a person who works in publishing, I read query letters all the time. The one thing I have observed in writers is lack of focus on what they write and why. Is this detail important?  Can’t a writer write fiction, and non-fiction?  Or both?

The answer is yes. The answer is no.

Yes anyone can write anything at anytime. However, better writers focus their energy on specific writing tasks. The level of skill goes up with the amount of concentrated effort.

What sells is genre-specific, high-quality writing. If you want to be published in the mainstream market and become well-known, ask yourself when you sit to write:

Where do I want to go?
What am I writing?
Will this get me there?

These are tough questions. If you don’t know the answers to them, why not take time today amidst and make it a priority to answer them? Trust me. It will not only help you understand your purpose better. But it will definitely ignite your passion for writing, give you clarity and help your writing.

Your Platform-Power partner in publishing,

~Aria

The Global 50: The World’s Largest Book Publishers

Pearson’s commitment to publishing allowed it to widen the company’s lead as the world’s largest book publisher in 2011. While Pearson, with holdings in both the trade and educational publishing segments, was able to increase its revenue last year, its closest rivals lost ground, according to Livres Hebdo/Publishers Weekly’s annual ranking of the world’s largest publishers. Second place Reed Elsevier, for example, saw its publishing sales fall as it had created a risk management division, which has no book-related sales.

Among other top 10 companies, Hachette Livre sales dipped due to spotty softness worldwide, including a small decline in the U.S. Grupo Planeta sales were also off in 2011, and with economic conditions worsening in Spain the publisher faces a difficult 2012. Softness in the school market resulted in a decline in sales at McGraw-Hill Education in 2011, but the company remained the largest U.S.-based book publisher.

Read More (Publishers Weekly)

 

Should You Smash Your Words?

By Aria Gmitter

Writers every where are frustrated with the traditional publishing route and the ever-increasing gatekeepers to the almighty book in print. So, in desperation writers flooded e-publishing on Amazon, in hopes of having sales sky-rocket. The sad story for many indie e-published writers is that the stream of new books became a flood gate that burst open, and titles were covered by the wave faster than you can type tsunami. And few, if any are seen by buyers.

Visit SmashwordsThe news on e-publishing and indie authors is that despite a dip in the number of self-published authors posted on Amazon, authors are not giving up the dream of seeing their words in print.  The latest increase in e-publications can be seen by Smashwords.

What is Smashwords anyway? Is it legitimate? Can it help new writers get the visibility that they long for?

According to a blog post dated Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 by the original Smashwords blog  Authors are being helped all around the world on the sale and publication of their books. You can review the details of their self-conducted study here.

To make the publishing process easier for writers, Smashwords has dedicated a few useful tools to their potential clients for free. One of which comes in a The Secrets to E-book Publishing Success.

Smashwords has also put together a small video for writers to help them understand how data drives sales. If you are interested in watching this video here’s the link.

Every coin has two sides. When I first heard of Smashwords, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical but mostly due to piracy issues related to content theft. But I had also heard some stories about the layout of books published on Smashwords. Still, many authors that I respected as people in their chosen professions determined to use it as a stream of visibility in self-promoting their books. The 2012 Review of last years success for indie authors reveals that electing to use this company might not have been such a bad idea.
What are some simple steps a writer can take to help make a wise decision on whether or not Smashwords is one way get their book out?

This statement was taken from a blog posted by The Digital Reader on Smashwords, “The good of Smashwords is that it is a place where one can find true gems, true masterpieces among the slush, and find them at very reasonable prices. Some excellent, even outstanding, authors I have found at Smashwords are Richard S. Tuttle, Vicki Tyley, Shayne Parkinson, Lee Goldberg, Catherine Durkin Robinson, Saffina Desforges, and Markus Kane.  The bad of Smashwords is how difficult it can be to find these authors.”

In an blog post by The Independent Publishing Magazine Mick Rooney states that Amazon still gives the visibility that a writer needs, but Smashwords allows writers more control over format for any reader without any problem. This is an important consideration for individuals who want to maximize their downloads when selling a book. As in all sales format is important, and if you’re selling an e-book, wouldn’t e-reader friendliness be a must? We say, YES!!

Then, there is another blogger who decided to write 500 reasons to love Smashwords. She included in this list the ability to give friends and family coupons towards the purchase of her book, (who doesn’t love coupons!?!)

So, what’s the bottom line? Smashwords is the most e-friendly in format, but the most difficult in navigating to find those writers you love. If you’re a writer that hasn’t felt the love from your would be readers, this is a problem. But it’s a good problem to have because it is one that can be solved. How? By building a platform that gives you the visibility that gets you out there.

Platform-Power Step 1: Remember it’s important to work your social media daily! Don’t have social media. Get some.

Platform-Power Step 2: Hire a marketing pro to help you build your social media strategy.

Platform-Power Step 3: Build a brand that reflects you and connects to your audience.

 

Should you Smash Your Words?

By Aria Dunham

Writers every where are frustrated with the traditional publishing route and the ever-increasing gatekeepers to the almighty book in print. So, in desperation writers flooded e-publishing on Amazon, in hopes of having sales sky-rocket. The sad story for many indie e-published writers is that the stream of new books became a flood gate that burst open, and titles were covered by the wave faster than you can type tsunami.

Visit SmashwordsThe news on e-publishing and indie authors is that despite a dip in the number of self-published authors posted on Amazon, authors are not giving up the dream of seeing their words in print.  The latest increase in e-publications can be seen by Smashwords.

What is Smashwords anyway? Is it legitimate? Can it help new writers get the visibility that they long for?

According to a blog post dated Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 by the original Smashwords blog  Authors are being helped all around the world on the sale and publication of their books. You can review the details of their self-conducted study here.

To make the publishing process easier for writers, Smashwords has dedicated a few useful tools to their potential clients for free. One of which comes in a The Secrets to E-book Publishing Success.

Smashwords has also put together a small video for writers to help them understand how data drives sales. If you are interested in watching this video here’s the link.

Every coin has two sides. When I first heard of Smashwords, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical but mostly due to piracy issues related to content theft. But I had also heard some stories about the layout of books published on Smashwords.

Still…

Read More (Platform-Power.com)

 

How to Turn the Publishing Industry Upside Down

The video below is taken from an interview that Motley Fool analyst Brendan Byrnes recently had with Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception. Godin is also a talented public speaker, marketing guru, blogger, entrepreneur, and respected thought leader.

Seth’s forward-thinking and contrarian views are critical considerations for finding success in life, business, and investing.

Click Below to See the Video (The Motley Fool)

Platform-Power Take

Building a platform, then creating your information products, is the better process for making a profit in the publishing industry.  Platform-Power has the knowledge and experience to build your platform for you. Click to find out more!

Book Publishing Runs on Small Margins

Production manager Al Hinz puts ink on an original Heidelberg offset and letterset press at Crescent Publishing and Sanders Printing in Garretson. / Jay Pickthorn / Argus Leader

Andy Traub put out his first book at a cost of about $250.

Within eight days, “Early to Rise” had earned Traub $1,500, and the audio content producer was using high-tech methods to make contacts he’ll use to promote his second book. Self-publishing and e-books made it possible for Traub to try something he had always wanted and even make a profit.

“Even if a publishing company would come to me today and offer me a $10,000 advance to write another book, I’m not sure I would take it,” Traub said. “Things in this industry are changing.”

Read More (Sioux Falls Business Journal)

Platform-Power Take

Platform-Power believes this a sweet-spot for writers that want to get published. Contact us for how we can help you. Platform-Power.com

 

Is new technology effecting the publishing industry?

Fox15 Video StoryIn a struggle between new technology versus tradition, the publishing industry could be in real trouble.  Three years ago Amazon reported selling 180 e-books for every 100 hard cover books, and it has been rapidly accelerating.

“The revolution in the medium, in the book, magazine, and newspaper industry is just amazing to me.  It’s going so fast,” says Trent Angers, Editor and Publisher of Acadian House Publishing.

More Text & Video (KADN Fox15)

Platform-Power Take

Platform-Power believes the trend in e-publishing will continue however there is still currently plenty of opportunity for traditional book publishing. Check our author services to find out more: Platform-Power Author Services

How the People Saved Book Publishing

The following is a highly edited and altered excerpt from an introduction to my new ebook, Finding the Future of Digital Book Publishing.

Whatever happened to newspapers? They used to be an area of growth and a cash machine. Today, the industry is written about as a patient on life support. Magazines are in the neighboring hospital bed to newspapers. Television is suffering from the twin ailments of piracy and new competition from its streaming partners (Hulu, Netflix, etc.). The music industry? What music industry. It’s half of what it was a decade ago.

All victims of digital disruption.

Read More (Forbes)

 

Good news: Unlike West, publishing industry growing in India

New Delhi: The printed book is still sought after by readers in India. The publishing industry, valued at nearly $2 billion, is witnessing a healthy growth despite the slump in the international market and threats from digital mediums.

Experts say the millennia-old tradition of written texts, conservative Indian mindsets, vigorous event-based promotions of the reading culture, the sudden spurt in national and state-level literature festivals and competitive pricing are keeping the industry on the move, drawing new segments of readers.

Indian publishing industry was registering a growth rate of 15 percent annually and is estimated at nearly $2 billion. Reuters
This was evident at the World Book Fair 2013, which clocked heavy footfalls and transacted several international deals.

Read More (FirstPost.Life)