Sunday, September 25, 2011

Be Like Rick Steves…Go Where the Action Is

By Kimberly Johnson

For those who don’t have the Travel Channel, but watch a healthy dose of PBS-- Rick Steves is the King of Backpack Trekking. And I am his servant—in a gotta-watch-it-because-one-day-I’m-gonna- go-there type of way. I’ve logged a lot of frequent flyer miles with Rick. I trekked through the ancient streets in Seville; marveled at the Byzantine wonders of Istanbul and enjoyed a sleigh ride during Christmas in the Swiss Alps. What’s my takeaway from these television escapades? You gotta go where the action is--if you want to learn.

The same can be said about going to conferences. Finding the action in Myrtle Beach on October 21 – 23 is definitely is an opportunity to learn. The writing faithful will converge on the Grand Strand for the SCWW annual conference. Unfortunately, I will not be one of them. So, I took my misfortune to the SCWW website ( and navigated through what I could have learned.

What I could have learned is from Matthew Fredrick’s The Four Ps of Non Fiction: Platform, Proposal, Prose and Purpose. Destination: Platform. So, I jumped on the Orient Express (the Internet, of course) and made the following stops along the way…

Destination 1: Cultivate an identity before selling your book to an agent. Organize a personalize media kit that includes: a press release, a fact sheet about your book, and a DVD of your media clips.

Destination 2: Develop a relationship with an audience – public readings, social media, writing groups. Increased attention or buzz about your work sell an agent on your marketability.

Destination 3: Provide information on your ups and downs. Blog about how you were rejected. Tweet about your acceptance to a local or national publication.

Destination 4: Generate an email tagline or signature that is memorable.

Destination 5: Go old school—create business cards and pass them out.

Destination 6: Make audios and videos. Take advantage of YouTube and the like. Sell yourself on podcasts and videos.


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