A major buzzword floating around the publishing world these days is "platform." There's a lot of question about what it means and whether or not authors really need to have one. Writer's Digest publisher Phil Sexton says the importance of having a platform ultimately depends on your goals for your book.
If you're a writer who strives for commercial success and a wide audience of readers, then, yes, platform most certainly matters. It makes no difference whether your ultimate goal is indie or traditional publishing; if you want your book to be competitive in the marketplace, you must consider how you can reach out and generate excitement among readers. Having a platform will help you do just that.
Essentially, your author platform is the means through which you are able to spread your message. It's based on your connections and influence. Therefore, building your platform involves fostering relationships, establishing your expertise, and building an effective means of communicating with your target audience.
There are many ways to go about this. And the path you take should depend on your own set of skills, the message you want to share and the specific audience you want to reach. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Build a Website and Blog: Carve out a space online that’s all your own. Use your author website and blog as a place to post articles that establish your expertise in your field. Share news about your book, speaking schedule, upcoming interviews, etc.
- Be Active on Social Media: Developing a social media network is critical to establishing an ongoing method for communicating with your target audience. Whether you choose to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or all of the above and more, just be sure you’re taking full advantage of at least one of these incredible online relationship-building tools.
- Network at Industry Events: Try hosting a book signing or putting your title on display at book fairs and other events. By giving yourself the opportunity to get your book circulating and to interact directly with new readers, you can start to gather a network of fans.
Need Assistance? Speak to an Abbott Press publishing consultant at (866) 697-5310 for a better understanding of how our wide range of services can help you on your path to building an author platform that plays to your unique goals and skills.