Monday, October 13, 2014

Authors: How to Get a Platform Like a Reality Star

Isn’t it wild how some celebs or reality stars get book deals? It drives some authors crazy, but from a publishing perspective it seems like a smart move because of the platform these celebs have. But fear not, authors! You can get yo’self a platform like that, too, or at the very least, build yours to a respectable level based on some of the things they do.

You Don’t Have a Reality Show, and That’s a Good Thing

Some of you might be saying, “But I don’t have a reality show! I won’t get the audience those people have!”

Be glad you don’t have a reality show because then you can control some of the things fans see about your life. Even if you’re the world’s coolest author, you’d get so much media attention with a reality show that you’d have an overexposure problem, something no author I know is going to be comfortable with. (We tend to be a little bit introverted and geeky.)

But here are some things you can do just like a reality show star would:

Share Pieces of Your Life

One reason reality shows have caught on is that we’re a nosey bunch. We love seeing how other people live. This is true even of the celebs we don’t get or understand. (Kardashians, we’re talking to you!) We watch their shows to find out how they interact and what they’re daily lives are like.

You can do this with your blog. Post pictures and videos that show off unique parts of your personality. You don’t have to reveal things you’re uncomfortable with, just the stuff that helps readers get to know you a little better. Do you like to bake? Watch TV? Are you a travel lover? These are all pursuits I’ve seen authors display successfully on their blog.

Use Twitter and Instagram

Reality stars love Twitter because they can tweet a jillion times a day (or once), they share opinions (or random, silly thoughts), they give shoutouts and share pictures.

What’s not to love? The best part about Twitter is that it allows fans to interact with you directly.

Instagram is another reality show fave, because they can post pictures without going into detail or taking the time to write a blog post. And we’re a visual society and we love our pictures. Besides that, photos give us a glimpse into their personalities in a completely different way.

As authors, we can post things that help show our readers what our world is like. You’d be surprised at how many notes and comments I get from the food pictures I post or doggie pictures I share.

They Promote Their Products But It’s Secondary to Everything Else

We see Kim Kardashian on a photo shoot, or one of the Real Housewives going to a book signing. But this is in the course of their everyday lives, so this level of promotion doesn’t feel as in our face as when they’re just on social media doing nothing but talking about their books and products.
I know a lot of authors that use social media to promote their stuff only. They don’t use it to be social, and as a result they fail and turn readers off. Either embrace social media fully or not at all.

Know Who You Are

The most successful reality stars know exactly who they are and don’t try to be anything but themselves. (And the ones that do try to be something other than genuine get hammered by viewers.) People are smart and can see through a front, so always be true to who you are. The right people will be attracted to you and come to your site to find out more about you.

Cherie Burbach has written for, NBC/Universal,, and more. Visit her website,

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