Today's tip of the day comes from How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir.
A Blogged Book Gives You Exposure & Builds Platform
Many writers enjoy spending time alone in their “lonely garret” with only the company of a hot cup of coffee or tea, a computer (or a pad of paper and a pencil), and a pet of some sort curled up at their feet. In fact, that’s what most writers like best. To become a published author, however, you must come out of the garret and socialize. You must talk with people and engage them in your work. You must get involved and interact with others. If you don’t do this, you won’t develop an audience for your work. You won’t build a base of readers—an author platform—for yourself and for your books.
If platform represents new terminology to you, it’s time to become familiar with this word … very familiar, very fast. A strong and sturdy author’s platform can consist of a combination of many elements, such as:
- expert status
- numerous appearances on radio and Internet talk shows and television talk and news shows
- frequent guest posts on other people’s blogs
- a well-known presence in online forums and social networks
- large numbers of followers on social networking sites
- popular videos, podcasts, or blogs
- frequent interviews on other people’s podcasts, videos, or blogs
- your own Internet, radio, or television show
- many published articles or books in print and Internet publications
- an extremely large mailing list
- frequent talks and presentations given to small, medium, and large groups
You don’t need all of these platform elements to actually have an author’s platform. One of these elements, if large enough, can comprise a platform. The more elements you use to build your platform, though, the stronger and larger it becomes.
Most of the items on this list have little to do with writing. That’s what makes blogging such a great platform-building option; it involves writing and lots of it.
Traditionally the best way to build a platform involved going out and speaking to audiences, but today you can speak to your audience online via a blog. In fact, you can speak to a lot more people every day through a popular blog than you ever could via public speaking. (If you want, you can even speak using videos and recordings uploaded easily to your blog as well.)
Imagine one thousand or more people reading your blog every day (a pretty awesome thought). That adds up to a lot of readers per month … enough to impress an agent or a publisher. If even two percent of those readers purchased a book you authored, that would amount to twenty books per day. That’s 140 books per week, or over 7,000 books in one year. A publisher would be happy with those sales numbers.
According to Nielsen BookScan, a data provider for the book-publishing industry that compiles point-of-sale data for book sales, the average U.S. book now sells less than 250 copies per year and less than 3,000 copies over its lifetime. That’s a pretty unimpressive number.
The other platform elements listed above have their place and remain important if you want to become a traditionally published author or sell a lot of self-published books. Remember, however, I said one platform element, if large enough, could produce a sound author’s platform? In fact, a successful blog can do just that. If you write a great blog and manage to draw enough readers, this alone can prove impressive enough as a platform element in a book proposal to land you a literary agent or a publisher—with or without other elements.