Platform or Soapbox?

15 Jun

Every writer needs a platform. Trust me. You can’t spend 10 minutes at a gathering of people from the writing world without hearing that. And hearing that. And hearing that. Ad nauseam.

Who’s saying it? Agents. Editors. Publishers. The people who make contracts happen.

But it’s not just traditionally published authors who need a solid platform. It’s also every self-published author who wants to sell at least one book to someone they don’t share DNA with.

Tweet This: So what on earth is a “platform?”

In the old days – hey, I’ve been around the sun a few times – we called it a soapbox. Before there was the Internet, before there was TV, before there was radio, people with something to say had to seek out people willing to listen. They took a soapbox to a street corner, jumped on top, and started talking to draw a crowd.

Today, in our technical age of social media, people with something to say pick up a device and tap fingers against a smooth screen to send their thoughts to the world. No hike to a street corner. No hauling a heavy wooden box. No shouting to be heard over a gathering crowd. Able to reach people around the globe. Easy, right?


Back in the day, someone shouting from atop a soapbox drew attention. After all, it wasn’t like there were dozens on each street. Most people were too busy eking out a living.

Fast forward to today. Everybody under the age of 80 – and plenty over it – are plugged into social media. How on earth is a writer supposed to stand out?

How are you doing it? I’d love to hear from writers who are working it and seeing results … however humble they may be.

Stop back for Platform or Soapbox? Part Two on June 29, 2015.

~ Pegg Thomas


Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Pegg Thomas, Writing


Tags: , , , , , ,

10 responses to “Platform or Soapbox?

  1. jerichakingston

    June 15, 2015 at 7:13 am

    How am I doing it? Diligently. I blog and spend an incredible amount of time on social media. And I promote others. I highly recommend bringing others along on the road to success!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pegg Thomas

      June 15, 2015 at 7:48 am

      Yes! Promoting other writers is a great way to connect with readers. They may love what you write (and they should!) but they are also looking for other great reads.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda W. Yezak

    June 15, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Finding that balance between writing and promoting/marketing/networking can be quite a challenge. I’m convinced that, regardless of brand name, all social media was created by Hoover.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Candice Sue Patterson

    June 15, 2015 at 8:18 am

    The balance is hard to find. I can’t say I’ve found a formula to building a platform, but I do try to post at least one thing on my social media sites everyday. And I always strive to be positive with my posts, staying away from political or controversial discussions (which sometimes is hard because I do have my opinions about such matters). Little by little my platform is growing. But it’s slow….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pegg Thomas

      June 15, 2015 at 8:32 am

      You’ve hit on one very important part of it, and that’s consistency. You can’t build a platform in a hit-or-miss fashion. It has to be intentional.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Robin Patchen

    June 15, 2015 at 9:47 am

    I love this blog post, Pegg, because it brings us back to the point. The guy with the soapbox? He didn’t grab the soapbox, stand up, and then try to figure out what to say to get people to stop and look at him. He stood on the soapbox because he had something to say, and he thought the world needed to hear it. I don’t have an answer, but it seems to me the first job is to figure out what you have to say to the world. If it’s the same thing everyone else is saying, then why do we need one more person adding to the noise? What is the unique message God has given you to speak to the world? What is God trying to reveal through your life and your experiences? Maybe before we grab the soapbox, we ought to answer those questions.

    Not that I’ve done that. I’ve added to the noise. I just want to find a better way. Looking forward to part 2 of your series.


    • Pegg Thomas

      June 15, 2015 at 11:14 am

      You mean … you can’t just hawk your book? 😉


  5. anemulligan

    June 15, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I started a blog 10 years ago with my critique partners. Back then, it was called Novel Journey, but when we took it to a dot com, we had to change the name. It’s now called Novel Rocket. We started blogging author interviews back before anyone did it. We promoted everyone but ourselves for years, and years, and years. Ad nauseam. LOL

    However, that gave us a platform when our turn came to publish. But it wasn’t enough. I’ve found Twitter and Google+ give me the largest return on my time investment. And anything I see that sounds affordable and useful (and legal), I’ll try. 🙂


    • Pegg Thomas

      June 15, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Wow, Ane! Imagine you coming over for a visit. 😉

      I’ve found Twitter to be the most useful tool in my bucket. I’m intrigued that you’ve had success with Google+ because I can’t seem to find any traction there. Of course … I don’t spend much time there … that could have something to do with it



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