Class #3: Preparing Your Platform for Launch

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Have a question? Ask it in the chat form below and I’ll try to answer it during the call.



  • Mirelba

    I’m still not sure what is the draw to our site when we’re just starting out… No books to advertise, no bright “best-selling author blurbs” or anything…

  • http://twitter.com/Jffelkins Jeff Elkins

    How big should my body of work be before I pursue connections with established authors?

  • http://www.facebook.com/devinberglund Devin Berglund

    I just was wondering… this may not be on this topic exactly. But, how do you balance your platform building and your fiction writing time?

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      With Cartel building, I do both all the time. If you have the opportunity to connect with a writer, do it on your lunch break. It doesn’t take very long and it will motivate you to focus on your writing. I try not to have more than one call a day and average about two or three a week, but I try to just make this a habit, just like my writing process.

  • http://writebygrace.com/ Sarah Soon

    What format did you receive the most reception when desiring to reach out to an author, especially one who is not a reference, but someone whose work you admire? i.e. phone, email, social media? Their website?

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Sorry I missed this Sarah. Email first, and then over the phone (when you feel like it would be appropriate). Usually you can get their email address from their website, but if not, you can sometimes get it through twitter, perhaps through a direct message.

      If you can’t find their email, one trick is to subscribe to their blog via email. Sometimes, you can reply to them by replying to their posts, and if you do, they’ll know you’re familiar with their work. This is how I connected with and interviewed Seth Godin.

      • http://writebygrace.com/ Sarah Soon

        Thanks Joe. Agree that better to get acquainted with their work first. Followed your exercise to contact experienced author, and actually heard from the wife who said they are traveling, but gave my questions to her husband. I wouldn’t have thought of reaching out to him before despite having a great influence in my view of fiction writing :)

      • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

        Wow. That’s awesome. Who’s the author?

      • http://writebygrace.com/ Sarah Soon

        Michael Philips. He writes Christian fiction, and big fan of the Scottish writer George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis. I read Michael’s books as a teenager, and first time I realized you can weave a powerful message in fiction.

      • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

        Very cool, Sarah! Let us know how the chat went afterward, okay!

  • Mirelba

    What about people who write regular columns in magazines/newspapers?

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      You should definitely interview people like that. You will usually learn more from them than you will from authors. Journalists tend to be more professional. So go for it, and let us know how it goes.

      • Mirelba

        Hmmm, don’t know if I would actually call this friend a journalist, but she does have thoughtful/humorous pieces printed in certain magazines.

  • melissa

    Do you think we should try the traditional publishing route first? then try self-publishing?

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Hi Melissa. Sorry I missed this question. Yes, I think you should. What’s the harm, right? The thing is that this can take a really long time. You often have to wait three months (or more) to hear back and usually it’s a rejection. One question is, is your book ready? Is it as good as it possibly could be (and we’ll talk more about this in the next unit)? If it is and you’re still getting rejected, then why not?

      Now, there are also benefits to self-publishing it as soon as possible, which we talked about on the call, but I think as a general guideline, I’d say shoot for traditional publishing first.

      • Mirelba

        Is this for short stories as well, or just for books?

  • Margherita Crystal Lotus

    Thanks Joe, this was very helpful content in this class!

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Oh good. :)

  • Jay Warner

    Joe, how many authors or connections are in the average cartel and how many is too few or too many? Is there an optimal number we should shoot for?

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Great question, Jay. It really depends. Probably 2 to 10. But like all relationships, there are various levels of closeness with the people in your Cartel. You might need to create 50 or 100 relationships just to find those 3 people who influence you the most.

  • themagicviolinist

    I always miss these classes! Darn! Though I am a little confused on how these work. Do you need to have Google+ to do it? :/

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Hi MV. You don’t need Google+. Just click up to the link when it’s announced in your email. The replay is above though, so you didn’t really miss anything.

      • themagicviolinist

        OK, thanks! :D