In my spring Seattle writing class, we’ll discuss how you create an author platform. Many authors cringe at the mention of this concept, preferring to spend their time writing rather than marketing or creating a network. But the task doesn’t need to be overwhelming to create a platform that will help you sell your book, whether you’re pitching to a traditional publisher or planning to self-publish your book. The important thing is to work smart. Figure out the best way for you to create a strong platform while continuing to write.
The author platform has taken on an important role when it comes to whether or not a writer will get a traditional publishing contract — and it’s equally important to self-published authors who are serious about their writing careers.
The rise of the author platform as an industry obsession is a relatively new phenomenon. While industry folks may argue that platform has always mattered, today it’s more important than ever before. A huge shift has transpired in the past decade when it comes to what agents and editors weigh when deciding what projects to represent or publish — and in some cases an author’s star quality matters more than his or her actual book.
Author platform is more than just social media. Many aspiring authors believe that platform is all about social media, but in fact Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are only small pieces of the author platform pie.
The platform is a strategy and means of selling a book. Because the book world has changed so dramatically, publishers don’t have as many predictable sales channels, and they increasingly want a sure thing when it comes to selling. They may love a book, but if they’re not sure how to sell it, they won’t buy it unless the author has a platform in place to for it. For more, sign up for my spring writing class, The Nature of Narrative.