Updated: Feb 22, 2019
According to Jane Friedman, a columnist for Publisher's Weekly says a platform is a concept that first arose in connection with nonfiction authors. Sometime during the 1990s, agents and publishers began rejecting nonfiction book proposals and nonfiction manuscripts when the author lacked a “platform.” At the time—before the advent of the Internet or social media—publishers wanted the author to be in the public eye in some way (usually through mainstream media appearances) with the ability to spread the word easily to sell books. In other words, they weren’t interested in the average Joe sitting at home who wanted to sell a nonfiction book but who had no particular professional network or public presence. Then, as now, publishers and agents seek writers with credentials and authority, who are visible to their target audience as an expert, thought leader, or professional.
Well hell... that's not good.
Fiction Writers: platform grows out of your body of work—or from producing great work.
Where do you or your work regularly appear?
How many people see it?
How does it spread?
Where does it spread?
What communities are you a part of?
Who do you influence?
It’s typically not enough to say you have visibility.
You have to show how and where you make an impact and give proof of engagement:
This could be quantitative evidence (e.g., size of your e-mail newsletter list, website traffic, blog comments), or,
This could be qualitative evidence (high-profile reviews, testimonials from A-listers in your genre).
Target audience means: You should be visible to the most receptive or appropriate audience for the work you’re trying to sell. For instance: If you have visibility, authority, and proven reach to orthodontists, that probably won’t be helpful if you’re writing a book meant to target Fortune 500 companies.
So... What is an Author Platform?
For some personalities, getting out there in the public to push and promote your work is really hard to do. However, it is essential to your success as an author in today’s writing world to have one. These platforms are used to connect with readers, followers, other authors, fans… etc., and are used to showcase your talent. Getting your books and writing out there in various mediums gets your name and skill, your style of writing in front of as many people that you can to give validation to your work.
One of the first questions a publisher asks is, "Do you have a platform?" In other words, do you have a captive audience of potential buyers? Publishers never want to start at ground zero. They want you to have your own audience of fans, before they say yes to your book idea or manuscript. Even if you self-publish, you still need an audience of eager book-lovers who are already fans of your writing. And the best way to build that audience is with your own website.
So... Author Platform
Author platform is one of the most difficult concepts to explain, partly because everyone defines it a little differently. But by far the easiest explanation is: an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach. Platform is a concept that first arose in connection with nonfiction authors.
Join Nick Usborne -- who has created several large audiences from scratch by building content-rich, topic-specific websites. In this FREE webinar you'll learn how to move way beyond a regular "author website", and build a site that is rich with information on your topic, niche or genre, attracts tens of thousands of devoted, ready-to-buy fans, and even makes you a steady stream of passive income on the side! Give it a listen and see what you think. Oh, and it's an hour long, so grab a coffee, pen and paper... make notes!
More About The Author's Platform:
Here is a fantastic article written by a talented writer regarding author platforms. Check it out and give credit on her site if you liked Brooke’s writing. This is very helpful!
Written by Brooke Warner, May, 2014
Here Are A Few More Articles That May Help:
Give credit by liking and sharing their articles
If there's a place, leave a comment about your thoughts
join their newsletter or subscription page, it supports the author.
Learn Why Publishers Want Authors With Platforms
By Valerie Peterson Updated August 27, 2018
A platform—also referred to as an author platform or a media platform—is an established media forum through which an author connects to his or her audience. Like a physical platform can be "a stage for public speaking," a media platform gives an author a kind of pulpit from which to address—and promote books to—a ready-made potential readership. Like a diving platform, it can springboard a book into the marketplace and create sales momentum at publication.
Book Publishers Like Big Platforms
Whether the author brings viewers through a TV show or readers through a popular blog, authors with a large platform of one kind or another are appealing to publishers. An author with an established audience assures that booksellers will take notice of the book, that the book will likely get media attention (audience feeds more audience), and that there are likely fans who will immediately buy the book—all good for the publishing business. Read the full article here
Author Platforms: What They Are And How You Can You Build
by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Who Need Readers
In this post I’m going to explain author platforms so that you can decide whether you want to invest time in building one. Essentially, author platforms are soapboxes. Authors stand on their platforms to gain the attention of a crowd.
Politicians have platforms, as do political parties. It’s helpful to think of the political analogy because, as an author, you, too, have something to say–an idea or story you want to share with the world.
Like the platforms of political parties, author platforms allow you to stand above the crowd and broadcast your message. Author platforms help you develop relationships with your readers. Just as in politics, readers expect you to deliver on your promises. In exchange for a reader’s loyalty, you will provide the same kind of information or entertainment you provided before. Read the full article here
These articles were chosen based on how much I found them helpful. Of course, this is just my opinion and I understand you may feel differently.
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Some writers hate the idea of making connections to sell their books. Some authors wait too long to build a platform. Don't let that be you. Start today. We'll show you how. https://thebookdoctors.com/ SUBSCRIBE: https://goo.gl/9VaE9C
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