Platform, a buzz word these days… “What’s Your Author’ Platform”? THE famous question you will be asked by agents and publishers before they even consider to read your query or manuscript. As they spend almost all of their marketing dollars for bestseller authors, publishing houses nowadays expect authors to do their own book marketing. To ensure, the author brings his or her own audience and lots of potential readers and book buyers, agents and publishers want to see lots of followers and friends on Social Media sites and how an author appears on these sites. They want to see a solid number of blog subscribers/web visitors and the authors ability to present themselves to an audience.
So, What Are the Essentials of a Platform?
In short:, platform is the visibility, the authority of the author, a proven reach, as well as a far reaching audience.
- A Quality Blog / Website with a Large Readership
- Guest blogging to successful websites, blog, magazines, and other media
- Public speaking – the bigger the better, however at least at your local library
- Smart connected social media presences (Google+, Twitter, FB, LinkedIn etc.)
- Forum memberships, starting with Goodreads, Bibliophil, Wattpad …
- Media appearances/interviews online and in print, TV, radio
- and …. more than one book!
Building an Author Platform
is not something you can do overnight, or in a month. The best time to start working on your platform is long before you start writing your book. Even if your book is excellent, has received great reviews, a marvelous cover – if readers don’t know about it, you are stuck. And if you go with a major publisher and they would receive – within three months from your books’ launch – lots of unsold copies returned by the bookstores, they would never publish anything from you again. That’s why they ask, “how will you market your book” or “what’s your platform.”
You might think, this is the publishers job – and you might be right. But not even for famous authors they will do all the blogging or social media part, they only advertise celebrities way more than unknown writers and pay for exposed space in bookstores, or send these authors on book signing tours.
That’s all Publishers will Do:
- editing, transforming a good manuscript to a great one
- design the book (layout) and its cover
- organize the printing process / e-book formatting
- distribute your book in stores, speciality retailers and online
- carry out all the necessary book keeping with retailers and your royalty payments
Publishing houses laid off a huge amount of their staff within the last years. Remaining, over-worked publicists are not able to give your book’s marketing the attention it needs.
“When is it Time to Start Building your Author Platform?”
Alan Rinzler, former editor for some of the “Big Five” explains in detail the Do’s and Don’ts “What writers need to know” and gives detailed examples – a must-read for every author. He reminds authors: “A cardinal rule of the new author platform is never to actually ask people to buy your book (and my advise: never to motion people to like / follow you on FB or Twitter). Rather promulgate your work by making an enduring connection. Establish an authentic online personality, offer valuable information, analysis, opinion, and inspiring entertainment.”
Jane Friedman, e-media professor and former publisher of Writer’s Digest brought it to the point: “Getting a book published does not equate to readership. You must cultivate a readership every day – and start today. Audience development doesn’t happen overnight, or in six months or a year. It continues for as long as you want to have people read your books.” Read also Kristen Lamb’s blog article “When is it Time to Start Building your Author Platform?” Read the blog post about bestseller author Trey Ratcliff, mentioned in a former article.
Without having a clear idea of which methods of promoting yourself and your work are really worth the investment of time, you might be tempted to avoid the subject entirely. But in today’s publishing world, neglecting your platform, even before you have a book deal, can be a precarious mistake. The most successful authors are those who have created ways of finding lasting fans – and of reaching out to new ones every day.
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Or visit http://www.international-ebooks.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.
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