The Author Platform. For the longest time, I’d heard this term mentioned here and there but I never really knew what it meant. It’s always been kind of ambiguous and I still don’t fully understand what constitutes has a good, great or incredible author platform, but I’m basically going to be sharing the basics of what it is, and why it’s important.
What is an author platform??
An author platform is basically your friends, followers, and people who know about you – people who might buy your book. And obviously, the bigger the better. So, how do you get an author platform? Getting a blog, for one, is a good way to start this. You can eventually attract followers and get to know other bloggers out there. Other sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest (and there are a billion others) are other great ways to build a platform. Basically, if you’re providing good content, people will follow and the more followers you have, the more noticed you get and the more your book gets noticed.
Now, why do I need an author platform?
Basically, an agent or publisher is more likely to sign you on if you have people who know about you and are likely to buy your book. Have you ever noticed that there are a zillion books written by celebrities (and many times, they’re not all that great…)? That’s because they’re famous – they have people who know who they are and who are their fans. They’ll buy the book because they like the celebrity.
Now, I’m not saying you need to become a celebrity. You just need to have an online presence. Also, even if you sign with one of the “Big 6 publishers” they will still expect debut authors to do a lot of the marketing themselves. So if you already have a good platform to market your book from, that helps it to sell.
I learned recently that most literary agents Google search their prospective clients before offering representation. Why? They want to make sure this author is already proactive about their career, has an author platform, and will be able to market their novel.
Don’t wait until you’re published.
You don’t have to wait until your book comes out to start on your author platform. In fact, its better that you start way in advance – start now! Get a blog and a Twitter and a Facebook and just start talking about what you love – books! Talk about your writing process, your search for agents, books you love, etc.
Hopefully this helped and good luck with your platform!