Pixels to Platform

This course is currently closed. Check back in 2017.

You’ve written a great story. Now, all you need are readers.

But there’s more to building an audience than just setting up a website and waiting for the page views and book sales to roll in. If you want to grow a meaningful online author platform, you need strategic, consistent effort, with your author identity at its heart.

Pixels to Platform is a marketing course
by writers and for writers.

You’ll learn how to develop your author brand, connect with your readers, get published, and sell books. Plus you’ll learn techniques so you can streamline your marketing and get back to what really matters: your writing.

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There are a lot of books out there. How do you reach YOUR readers?

You can write the best book in the world, but no one will find it (and buy it!) if they don’t know where to look. This is why it’s so important to develop your author platform and connect with your readers.

Many writers dread building their platform because they’re afraid it will take over their lives and leave no time for writing (or anything else). Other writers worry they won’t have anything to say and why would anyone want to read their blog or newsletter? And some writers are all-too-happy to hand off their marketing and publicity efforts to a “professional” and call it a day.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

You have the skills, now all you need is strategy.

The truth is that you are the best person to create and nurture your author identity (or brand) and you don’t have to overhaul your schedule or hire an assistant to do it. In fact, as a writer you already have the skills you need to make this happen. You just need a strategy and a step-by-step plan.

In Pixels to Platform, we’ll show you how to put your personality and storytelling skills to work so you can build a compelling author brand and a following of diehard fans. Plus you’ll learn how to do it all in a way that suits your strengths, your schedule, and your personal style.

Pixels to Platform

Let’s face it, there are a LOT of marketing courses available to writers. Some of these classes are taught by authors sharing their “secrets of success” while others are taught by marketing experts sharing their “online business strategies.”

With Pixels to Platform you get the best of both worlds. We’re writers first and foremost, and we understand what makes writers tick, but we’ve also spent years living and breathing marketing in our “day jobs.”

Our goal with this course was to bridge that gap
between writing and marketing,

between storytelling and sales.

We know from experience how ineffective it is to force yourself into being someone you’re not. That’s why this class is not about overhauling your personality to become a fast-talking schmoozer. We know that’s not who you are, plus these heavy-handed tactics just don’t work.

Instead, at DIY MFA we believe in helping you channel skills you are already good at as a writer, but use them in slightly different ways so you can build an genuine online identity that feels right and works for you.

Ready to get off the marketing hamster wheel?
Want to build your platform without the overload?

As a writer, I have been struggling with the “necessary evil” of social media and marketing for a long time. I had been through Gabriela’s DIY MFA 101 course and loved it, so when I saw she was coming out with a new course, Pixels to Platform, I signed up right away.

Gabriela and Emily break down the ambiguous world of social media into “byte” sized, manageable chunks. I especially appreciated their philosophy that “what works best is what works for you.” With Pixels to Platform, I have a website up and running that I’m happy with, and I’m building a social media network that fits my needs and lifestyle.

Kelly Hollman

Meet the Teachers

IMG_9863-wLogoHi, I’m Gabriela Pereira, instigator of DIY MFA.

I help writers get their words on the page and their stories out into the world. And I understand why writers resist marketing and building their platforms, because when I first started out in this industry I felt the same way.

Writers spend years crafting a beautiful book, only to realize that when they’re done, they’re now responsible for marketing and selling that book, too. Buzzwords like “platform,” “SEO” and “engagement funnel” fly around the internet, making all of this sound much harder than it really is. It almost seems like your best bet is to bring in a professional to handle it all for you.

But building your platform is not as difficult as it seems and as a writer you already many of the skills you need to reach and grow your readership. The key is understanding the strategy behind the marketing, so you can create a sustainable, long-term plan without losing sight of your true vocation: writing.

As with everything at DIY MFA, I believe in empowering writers to take control of their creative careers, while still honoring the other things that matter in their lives. Pixels to Platform will show you how to build meaningful connections with your readers, but without sacrificing your craft or real-life responsibilities.

Also, because I want you to learn from the best, I invited Emily Wenstrom to present a few of the lessons in this course. Emily is the digital mastermind behind DIY MFA’s social media strategy, and she’s great at presenting tech-y concepts–like how to build a website, or how to use social media–in ways that make sense to creative folks like you and me.

Most important, Emily and I firmly believe that you are not only capable of building your readership, but as the CEO of your “author brand,” you are the best person qualified to do it. In this course, Emily and I will teach you strategies so you can take ownership of your author brand, connect with your ideal readers, and grow your network of loyal fans.

ew_006_lowRezHi, I’m Emily Wenstrom, DIY MFA columnist and social media strategist.

I use my background in marketing and public relations to help authors build their online author brands.

I see a lot of authors who are anxious and overwhelmed by the idea of marketing their books. As an author myself, I get it. There’s a lot of pressure to get it right, and a lot of complicated, conflicting advice. Everyone is looking for that magic bullet that will give you instant success, and there’s a number of “experts” who found what works for them and will be glad to sell you their “secret”—or even take over your online platform and run it for you.

But the real secret is there is no secret.

As an author, you already have the core skills you need to build a strong online presence. In fact, blindly handing it all off to someone else can be a bad move. After all, would you hand off your precious book and let someone else write it for you? If not, then why would you do the same with your platform?

At the same time, we all know how time-consuming the internet can be. Many writers worry that if they start building their platform, they’ll fall down a rabbit hole so deep, they’ll never get back to what really matters: Writing. That’s where this course comes in.

About the Course

Pixels to Platform Overview

In this ten-week course, we’ll release a new module every other week with video lessons and worksheets to guide you through the steps of building your platform. With over 9 hours of video lectures, the lessons are packed with strategies and tools to help you understand the principles behind platform building and put those concepts into action. Each module also includes multiple worksheets to help you apply the techniques and adapt them to your own unique style.

Breakdown of the Modules:

  1. Module 1: Your Audience
    In this module, you’ll learn how to identify and research your readers. As writers, we often think too broadly about our audience, thinking anyone and everyone might love our book. One of the biggest complaints I hear from agents is that most writers don’t understand their niche or genre. Knowing your audience is the fastest way to solve this problem.
  2. Module 2: Your Brand
    The next step to building your author platform is to develop your “brand.” This isn’t about being icky and fake, and it doesn’t mean you have to act like a product. We like to think of brand as your author identity. All you need to do is put your best foot forward and be a professional, so you present your best self not just to your readers, but also to agents, editors, and publishers.
  3. Module 3: Your Content
    It is all too easy to get caught up in what we lovingly call the “content hamster wheel of death.” As writers, it’s tempting to churn out a ton of blog posts and other pieces of writing, but not really consider how these pieces contribute to your overall platform strategy. This module teaches you to create great content that resonates with your readers, presents your best self, but also helps you grow your platform. This doesn’t mean learning a new skill; it’s about adapting those storytelling skills you already have to your author platform.
  4. Module 4: Your Conversions
    Creating great content is only the beginning. If no one finds—or reads—your work, it will not have an impact. This module shows you how to shape and mold your great content ideas into formats that engage your readers, and entice them to read your book. You’ll also learn how to create manageable, sustainable schedule, so you can keep your content going without getting overwhelmed.
  5. Module 5: Your Following
    This last module is where you learn to develop and expand your platform into a full-on following of die-hard fans. Once you have those fundamentals in place from the previous modules, it’s time to develop systems so you can keep moving forward. Many established writers complain that marketing and promotion take up precious writing time, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Your creative writing and your platform are two sides of the same amazing author, and you don’t have to choose one at the expense of the other. This module wraps up the Pixels to Platform system by showing you how to streamline your platform so it can coexist alongside your creative work.

But wait, there’s more.

As a bonus, anyone who joins Pixels to Platform during our early enrollment period will be able to participate in a platform critique call. More details on this below.

Because iteration is a core value of DIY MFA, I know that we’ll be making improvements or adding new materials to this course over time. This is especially true since this is a class on platform, and as we all know social media and technology are ever-changing. When you register today, you will automatically get access to any updates or improvements we make to the course as long as the course is offered.

Enroll early and receive…

  • 5 modules of course materials so you get a step-by-step guide to the entire process of building your author platform.
  • Comprehensive video lessons, audio recordings, transcripts, and slides, so you can digest the material in the way that’s best for you.
  • Companion worksheets so you can apply what you’ve learned to your own author platform.
  • Virtual online classroom, so you can access the course materials anytime, anywhere.
  • Plus you’ll get any new materials or updates we add to the course down the road.
  • Early Enrollment Bonus #1: Receive personalized feedback from the instructors on your platform during a group critique call.
  • Early Enrollment Bonus #2: Get access to our private Facebook community, where you can ask questions, get feedback, and connect with other writers in the course.

Before taking Pixels to Platform, I wondered if I was ready for this. Platform? I haven’t even had anything published. I thought: “Maybe it’s not for me just yet. Who will really care about what I am writing?” But now, I know what direction I want to go with my platform. I know how to improve on what I have so far. I am very excited to get to work on implementing what I learned and I have a lot more confidence and direction than I had before. I have a plan.

Platform is, at first, scary. P2P makes it less scary! Pixels to Platform helps you figure out your direction and how to go about it in the correct and effective way. You can’t avoid platform, it’s a must. So learn it, because the sooner you begin the better.

Linda Burgess


This course lived up to, no, it exceeded the promise of helping me with my website. I now have a whole notebook on what to do as I achieve the various points of my writing career, rather than being lost as to how to reach readers when I finish my novel.

I encourage anyone who wants to put their writing out there to take the Pixels to Platform course, no matter where they are at this particular point. If you don’t have a website, Gabriela will give you great insights. Ready for a newsletter? Here’s how to do it right.  It is never too early to learn, and it will pay dividends from the very first day.

Elizabeth Mitchell

Early Enrollment Bonuses!

If you register by 11:59pm ET on Friday, December 16 you’ll be eligible for two bonuses: a platform critique call and access to our private Facebook group.

The platform critique is a group call where you’ll have the unique opportunity to get input on your platform from Gabriela and Emily. During this call, will be able to submit links to your website or blog, so you can get real-time feedback from the instructors.

We will announce the date and time for this call, but it will likely be in February 2017 so you have time to go through the course materials and implement what you learned. But even if you don’t have anything ready to submit in time for the call, you will still gain some great insights just from hearing the critiques about other people’s platforms and seeing how these writers implemented the concepts from the class.

We did a platform critique call when we ran the Beta version of this course,
and the writers who attended shared that this call was among the most valuable aspects of the course.

You will also get access to a private Facebook group for Pixels to Platform and if you register by this deadline you’ll get access, so you can ask us questions and connect with other students in the course. I’m not yet sure if we’ll be offering access to this group in the future, and if we do, it may be as part of a premium package. But if you join now, you join before the deadline, the group will be included with your enrollment in the course.

Refunds and Guarantee

We want you to feel confident in your purchase so we’re offering a 100% money-back guarantee for the first 30 days of the course. This means you can try out the materials released in that time and if you’re not completely satisfied we’ll refund your money. Just email the support team at support[at]DIYMFA[dot]com within that 30-day window (based on the date/time stamp on your receipt) and we’ll refund you. It’s that simple.


I’m not published yet. Is it too early for me to take this course?

No, in fact, taking this course before you’re published is very smart move. One of the biggest regrets debut authors often express is that they didn’t start building their online presence earlier. If you start now before you have a book deal (or even before you’ve queried your book) that puts you ahead of the game. The earlier you start, the bigger your following will be when you do have a book to promote.

Not sure you’re ready to take this class? Several students who took the class were in the same boat. Here’ what one writer had to say about her experience:

At first, I hesitated to sign up for Pixels to Platform because I didn’t think I was ready, and that maybe this wasn’t necessary for me yet, since I am fairly new to writing. But even if I am at the beginning of creating my author platform online, this course has made me much more confident about the process!

I would recommend this course to other writers, especially if you have a body of work (like a blog) or are trying to create one. Even if we’re not professionals yet, having a good website and blog helps bring us to the professional level.

Linda Z.

I am/intend to self-publish Will this approach work for me?

Yes, the Pixels to Platform approach is relevant whether you plan to self-publish or go the traditional route. If you plan to self-publish, you’ll want to build an audience so your book doesn’t get lost in the white noise of all the other indie books available online.

I am/intend to be traditionally published. Won’t my publisher handle this kind of stuff?

These days it is common for publishers to expect authors to do a lot of their own outreach. But even if you are fortunate enough to get plenty of support from your publisher, do you really want to hand off all control of your personal author brand?

If you develop an audience of readers and fans, you can take that with you whether you decide to switch publishers, or even decide to self-publish at some point. Plus, a robust platform can help you get a traditional book deal in the first place, especially if you’re writing nonfiction. With so much more responsibility on writers to help market and promote their books, having an established platform of readers can make you more attractive to a traditional publisher.

You said I already have the “basic skills,” so why do I need a course?

You are a writer, which means you probably know a thing or two about writing a great story. You know how to communicate ideas, how to turn random squiggles of ink on a page into a book that captivates your readers. These are the very same skills you’ll need to craft your author brand and build a following of loyal readers and fans. This course will show you how to translate those writing skills into marketing skills.

This sounds super high-tech and complicated. Can a newbie keep up?

Absolutely. Before we do a deep dive into various strategies, we’ll take time to establish a foundation so you can understand the concepts behind the techniques and apply them to your unique goals. This means, no matter what level you’re at when you start, you’ll quickly get up to speed.

This course is structured so the modules release every other week, giving you time to absorb the lessons and start implementing what you learned before moving forward. Plus you’ll have continued access to the materials, even after all of the modules roll out. This means you can review the lessons and watch them again and again, long after you have officially “finished” the course.

When does this class start?

As soon as you sign up! Seriously, I’m not kidding. The first module unlocks for you automatically as soon as you complete your registration. After that, subsequent modules are released every 14 days based on when you joined the course. Once all five modules are unlocked, you’ll continue to have access to the material for as long as the course exists.

However, the two bonuses expire this week. This is to preserve my sanity (so I don’t have an overload of people wanting platform critiques) and to keep the Facebook group an close-knit and manageable size.

I’m super-busy… how much time will this take?

Don’t worry, you’re in good company. Most DIY MFA-ers are busy, and we created Pixels to Platform with this in mind.

This course consists of five modules that will be released every other week with between 2-3 video lessons per module. Each video will be around 30 minutes long (though a few are a little bit longer), but you should be able to do the work in 2-3 hours per week.

The worksheets are more modular, and depending on where you are in your platform’s progress, you may fill out some sheets multiple times, or you may skip some of them altogether. We’ve built the course so that it is completely modular and you can complete the materials in a way that serves you and doesn’t feel like busywork.

Most important, Pixels to Platform will give you the knowledge and tools to manage your platform in a way that is efficient and effective. Does this mean you’ll have to invest some extra time up front to learn the skills? Of course, but in the long run you will have a strategy in place so you can scale your efforts and save time later on. Put in a little extra time early on to master these techniques, and it will pay dividends later. The techniques you learn in this course will help you to build a platform that is not only realistic and manageable for your busy life, but also one that makes an impact.

Ready to build your author platform?

Enroll today!