Friday, March 7, 2008

Chapter 2: No Platform? Then put the right spin on your vocation and experience.

Who wants to read a book by the minister of youth at Flat Creek Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia? Nobody. So I pitched myself as “serving on the ministerial staff of a large, metro Atlanta church.” Are both accurate and truthful? I felt they were. In a way, the “real” title is misleading, conjuring up visions of college students planning activities for teens to keep them off the streets. Yet, most of the fellow youth-ministers I hung out with had Masters degrees, with professional training in fields like Psychology and Education. I felt very comfortable describing my position in different terms.

By putting the appropriate spin on my vocation and experience, I’ve helped publishers to overcome a huge hurdle to publication.

Let’s say you’re a checkout lady at Wal-Mart and you’re writing a book on finances. How do you spin your work and experience as a platform? (How about, “I work with financial services in a Fortune 500 company.”) If you’ve trained other cashiers, you’re additionally a “trainer at a Fortune 500 company,” or “team leader.”

Let’s say you’re writing on real estate and you’re a realtor. Are you a member of some associations that you could work through? Have you taught a seminar? Put those ideas in your file and figure out creative ways to spin them.

Now think about your current writing project. What vocations and experiences do you have that can be spun in a direction that readers and publishers will respect?

Input: Give me additional ideas or ask questions by responding to this blog.

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