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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Writer Platform: What Is It and Why Do I Need One?

TSG Hall 2 Empty Stage 3
Photo by Christopher Durant
Possessing an author or writer platform is becoming increasingly important in marketing your book to agents, publishers and your future readers.

In fact, much of the responsibility of promotion is now left squarely on the shoulders of the writer, with both your ability to write and your ability to attract an audience, under scrutiny.

A successful writing career now combines art and business–with strong marketing and networking chops added to your brilliant writing skills.

Great. Like you didn't have enough on your plate.

Who has time for platform building, when you can barely eek out a few hours of writing time per week?

Good point, but here's the dilemma:

Authors with platforms sell books.

The bigger your reach, the more books your are likely to sell. The more likely your books are to sell, the more interested agents and publishers become.  If you reduce the publisher's risk (or yours, if you are self-publishing), your proposal becomes much more enticing.

It's that simple.

So what exactly is an author platform?

Your 'platform' represents who you are and how you are perceived by your audience.
“The word platform simply describes all the ways you are visible and appealing to your future, potential, or actual readership”.
                                  ~ Christina Katz, The Prosperous Writer
Your platform is how you are seen, the authority you wield, and the influence you carry on a topic or genre. Developing your platform requires time and effort, but it is just as necessary to your career as an author as honing and perfecting your writing skills.

Tools to help you build your platform may include things like setting up your author blog or website, guest posting, writing articles for magazines, effectively utilizing social media, attending networking events, speaking engagements or pitching the media. 

By conscientiously developing your author brand and clarifying your ideal readership, you can then potentially attract and engage with those people who are aligned with your ideology and your work.

When is the best time to start building your writer platform?

Yesterday.

Second best time? Right now. Start by discovering your "why" (for inspiration, check out this video on knowing your why and how leaders inspire action, with Simon Sinek).

Then envision your brand, create your author blog or 'homebase' and begin sharing.  Find your voice and let the world here what you have to say.

Have you started building your writer platform? Any tips for those just starting out? Note them in the comments.

For more platform building tips, resources and inspiration, check out YourWriterPlatform.com and sign up for free updates!

1 comment:

  1. I've got a little diagram in my blog post that illustrates the contents of an author platform home - as a template.

    ReplyDelete

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