Blog | book marketing | marketing
Authored by Katie Davis
June 9, 2016
For many writers today, the one word certain to strike fear in their hearts
is "platform." You must have platform. Platform is the key to success.
Without platform, no one will want your work. But what is platform and how
important is it? Does it really need to take over your life? Can there be
such a thing as pain-free platform? I think so. Let's look more closely at
An author platform is simply the place from which you share your ideas online.
It basically means "name recognition" with a side order of
"credibility." Logically, your book will sell better if everyone knows your
name. Celebrity sells. If it didn't, many celebrity picture books would never
have seen the light of day. But how much celebrity do we need to be attractive
to a publisher? And is there more to platform than celebrity? It depends.
In nonfiction writing, one key element of "platform" is credibility. A
person with platform in nonfiction will be seen as a credible source for
nonfiction. That doesn't mean you have to be a nuclear physicist or a Nobel
prize winner. Instead, it means that you're building a reputation for
quality. The more you have that reputation, the more you have "platform" in
nonfiction. So the first step in any writer's platform should be "work
excellence." Never put out anything less than the best you can do. Take your
time. Take care in your research. And don't bail out early in the revision
stage. Building your reputation as a skilled writer means taking care
that your work reflects well on you.
Want to learn more about creating your author platform? Check out Create Your Author Platform HERE.
Now, let's imagine you're turning out great work, but you suspect there is
more to platform than that. After all, there's the name recognition thing.
That's right. The second step in your platform is networking. Networking
doesn't mean reaching out to lots of people you don't care about to beg them
to buy your book. Networking actually means building connections with people
based on things you both feel passionate about. So that second step is passion.
List the things you care most about. How many of them intersect topics you've
covered or intersect with the interests of people buying books like yours?
Once you know those things, pick the one that appeals to you most and begin
writing about it in blog posts, message boards and social networking sites.
Become known for being interesting, passionate, and articulate first, and
then when you have a book to promote, you won't come across as needy or
pushy when you share about your book with the same people you've been
communicating with all along.
The final step––at least for now––for a panic-free platform is balance.
In other words, don't let "platform building" turn into a grind or a
full-time job unto itself. If you pour all your creativity and energy
into platform building, you'll have none left for the primary job of the
writer: writing. It's easy to put all your eggs in one basket, namely
promoting your first book. But if you bleed all your energy into promoting
that book, you'll miss out on the absolute best way to build platform and
readers: writing another, even better book. So focus on being the best you
can be. Invest in networking based on your passion so it's less draining
and more rewarding. And keep platform in balance (and behind writing)
in your "must do" list.
Do those things, and you'll build a platform slowly, but it will be one that
will support you throughout your career.
Want to learn more about creating your author website? Check out Create Your Author Platform HERE.