Many writers make the mistake of building their author platform at the last-minute instead of starting the process prior to the books publication date. In order for this to work, your timing and understanding of “platform” must be in tack.
Platform has less to do with self-promotion and more to do with building your audience, authority, exposure, and consistency. Many authors are concerned with recognition and popularity, but forget to focus on building long-lasting relationships with their readers and becoming an expert in their field through research and experience.
Take a look at the following questions. They should serve as a guide for you in building your own platform in the future.
1. What communities, writing groups or memberships are you apart of?
THIS SHOWS YOUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR CRAFT.
2. How many Facebook or Twitter followers do you have?
THIS SHOWS THE SUPPORT FROM YOUR COMMUNITY AND READERS.
3. Do you blog or guest blog? How many subscribers do you have?
THIS SHOWS YOUR ABILITY TO CREATE NEW CONTENT.
4. Where has your work been published or seen?
THIS SHOWS YOUR WRITING AND PUBLISHING ABILITIES.
5. What are your credentials and qualifications?
THIS SHOWS YOUR CREDIBILITY AND EXPERTISE.
6. Have you been invited to speak at a conference or convention?
THIS SHOWS YOUR AUTHORITY ON THE SUBJECT.
7. How much website traffic do you get?
THIS SHOWS YOUR ABILITY TO REACH AND KEEP NEW READERS.
Suggestions on how to build your author platform
1. Speak at conferences
2. Network with publishers
3. Join writing groups
4. Obtain a MFA in writing
5. Create a blog
6. Publish articles in magazines
7. Attend ALA and other book conferences
8. Gain blog and email newsletter subscribers
9. Take courses through UCLA Extension
Tips to remember
1. Blog weekly and tweet daily.
2. Remember that people buy books so try to connect with your readers.
3. Don’t chase money, chase the vision. The money will come.