Attention all those of you writing a book…

In this age of the social author, those writing for broader audiences need to see themselves as disseminators of spreadable messages and sticky ideas. But how do we best position ourselves as substantive public spokespeople? What do editors really mean when they say “platform,” and how can serious writers, often more focused on content than sell, tell (and sell) the story of our expertise? How does one craft an authentic public identity by connecting connect story, self, and idea?

These are some of the questions we’ll be tackling in a 3-week webinar series I’m leading at She Writes, Thought Leadership for Writers! on Oct 1, 8, 15 @4pmPT/7pmET. Special guests Susan Cain (bestselling author of Quiet) and Christina Baker Kline (bestselling author of myriad works of nonfiction and fiction) will join me, and She Writes Press publisher Brooke Warner will be hosting. Here’s a taste, from the free sample I offered last week. The full-fledged description is below. I hope some GWP and TSP readers will join me. And thanks, too, for passing it along.


Storytelling is the writer’s superpower. But often, we feel far less adept when it comes to broadcasting the public story of our self and our idea.  Whether we call it presence, platform, or public thought leadership, the need is the same: behind every successful author is a compelling idea to share—and the compulsion to be heard.

Join us for this 3-week online seminar with Deborah Siegel, one of the co-founders of She Writes. Siegel is an author, blogger, journalist, TEDx speaker, and coach who has tested the waters of platform-building firsthand. She  will change the way you think about platform by showing how thought leadership can organically unfold.

Join Deborah and two guest speakers (more details below) to harness your ideas and strategize an action plan that works. REGISTER HERE.


•    Ten things genuine (as in sincere!) thought leaders do
•    The power of authenticity, generosity, and “test balloons” when building your path to presence
•    How to decide which social media platforms work best for you
•    How to work on multiple planks simultaneously, without losing sleep
•    What your first, or next, step toward your Public Thought Leadership Action Plan might be
•    Why platform is a marathon, not a sprint
•    How to break through your sense of social media overwhelm
•    Best practices from leading fiction and nonfiction writers who publicly and successfully interweave self, book, and idea

CLASS 1 (Oct 1). Behind Every Successful Platform Is an Idea Worth Spreading

Special Guest: Susan Cain, bestselling author of Quiet and renowned TED speaker
• “Thought leadership,” a term historically applied to innovators in business and now cavalierly applied to anyone with a Twitter account, has become an essential element of authorial platform building. But what does “thought leadership” mean, and what does it have to do with writing, and selling, a book?  How can writers create authentic platforms that distill and spread the essence of their best self and their best ideas? We’ll start the session by learning from a master: Susan Cain.

Optional assignment: Why Me (a 1-pager describing your platform)

CLASS 2 (Oct 8). What’s My Platform? A Builder’s Guide, Board-by-Board

• The dictionary defines “platform” as follows: 1. Stage for performers or speakers 2. Flat raised structure 3. Particular policy of party seeking election 4. Opportunity for doing something. In Class 2, we’ll break it down, board-by-board, and discuss strategies for beginning or continuing our build.

Optional assignment: Thought Leadership Action Plan

CLASS 3 (Oct 15). Do’s and Don’ts: Thought Leaders Made and Born

Special Guest: Christina Baker Kline, bestselling author of Orphan Train and myriad other books
• In Class 3, we’ll take a tour through some of the most exciting current examples of author platforms and why they work. We’ll look at those who use a book to build their brand/business, and those who use a brand/business to build their book. We’ll end with targeted tips from another master, one who traverses fiction and nonfiction: Christina Baker Kline.