You might be wondering, “who is the person writing this blog and why do I care what they have to say?” That’s a great question. In fact, as a writer trying to get your work out there it’s a question that publishers and agents will be asking about you.
Before I tell you a little more about who I am, I’d like to talk about “author platforms.” As a writer you’ve probably heard this term thrown around by now, but if you haven’t, it essentially means who you are and how you promote yourself. Before they take a chance on your work, publishers want to know how well known you are—what kind of media attention you’ve already gotten, what kind of connections you have, the readership for your blog or column (if you have one), how many hits your website gets (if you have one of those)… things of that nature. Basically they’re wondering if you are already perceived as a voice among the audience you are trying to reach. If you are, there’s a better chance of being published because you’re a safer bet. At the end of the day, publishers are trying to sell books and they’re looking for authors who are making themselves known—not just someone who locks themselves in a room and churns out page after page.
If you’re serious about getting published and building your career as a writer, you need to start thinking about your platform. Good ways to get started are to start a blog, join online communities that are interested in the kinds of things you are writing about, and submit your writing to every place you can think of. Many writers “save” their writing for the right publication, but to get your name known it’s important to try to get published as many places as you can, including local publications.
Remember: an author platform is more than a bio stating the things you’ve already done. Think of it more as a plan for the way you are promoting your writing career—it’s the steps you are taking to establish your voice as one of expertise in your subject of interest.
And now, for those who are curious, here’s a little bit of information about myself.
Scott Francis is the author of Monster Spotter’s Guide to North America and co-author of The Writer’s Book of Matches. He is also a founding editor for Fresh Boiled Peanuts, A Literary Journal. He currently works as Marketing Manager for F+W Publications (parent company for Writer’s Digest Books and other fine book imprints). In addition to creating the Living with the M-Word blog, he also blogs at: