As an emerging author and those who are already proud authors, your primary goal with your author platform is to reach as many readers as possible and hopefully earn a few pennies while your at it. Thing is, there’s a gap between having written your book and making sales. That gap is the place where you have a book, but your unknown, so you need to build and cultivate awareness and promotion for your book products so they can be found, bought and read.
This is where the term ‘platform’ comes into play as it acts as the marketing machine that shares you as an author and your books with the world by a variety of tools and strategies. As the publishing industry continues to rapidly shift by the day, it’s opening up more opportunities and handing more control over to self-published and independent authors. There’s never been a more important time than today to have an author platform working for you, helping you be discovered and it’s fast becoming the new way to be recognised for a big house publishing deal.
So where do you begin?
The first and most important part of building your author platform before creating a Facebook page or organising a book signing is often the most overlooked aspect of platform building. That is, to know who your target audience is and where you can reach them.
Sounds simple right? Well, so many emerging authors get this wrong. Not understanding and defining this for yourself is the single biggest mistake writers and emerging authors make and it leaves them wondering why their not selling books!
So determine who your audience is first, because it will determine what your platform will entail and where your energy is spent. You can easily do this with my kick-start guide ‘The Big 3’ to building your platform, that includes a simple one page checklist. Drop your email in on the right and grab it. Do this for yourself!
Once you’re clear on this, then it’s time to map out what your platform is going to include. If your a young adult fiction author you might include talking on fiction blogs, school visits and competitions as part of your platform. For a non-fiction author with a business book on management, you’ll reach out to business and news websites and work with small and medium sized businesses helping them improve their processes.
So how effective your author platform will be, depends on how well your targeting your audience and what tools and strategies you incorporate as part of your book marketing plan. For more detailed advice on what tools and strategies to use check out my popular post ‘How to Get The Most From Your Writer or Author Platform’. It includes a detailed visual mindmap of what your platform can entail.
Here’s to leaving the platform full steam ahead!