Building Your Author’s Platform, a step by step, multi-prong approach
You have written your book. You have edited, proofed, and formatted it. It is published, but you find yourself asking: Hello! Hello? Is anybody out there? Where are you, Readers?
Four million books have entered the publishing market since 2010. Then add the millions of works that have been published since the Gutenberg press was invented in 1440.
How will your book be found in these galaxies of titles?
Who will read it besides your local writers’ group and your immediate friends & family?
How will your book get discovered? By readers? By agents? By publishers?
How will it bubble up to the top of the Amazon charts? Or, be placed on those coveted “face-outs” at brick and mortar booksellers? Or, miracle of miracles, go viral?
Yes, miracles do occur. Once in a great while, the Stephanie Myers or the J. K. Rowling stars of the authors’ universe will streak across the sky, catching our attention without ever having to tweet, to be Liked, or having to blog. As for the rest of us, we must do our due diligence to be discovered.
Unless you are in the five percent of authors who are signed by a major publishing house this year, you will need to build a successful author’s platform to find readers.
But here is the inevitable conundrum: For a major publishing house to sign you, you must already have a wildly successful author’s platform.
Until today’s new era of unbounded publishing, the major publishing houses sought out authors who already had the public’s attention with high visibility with appearances on TV and radio broadcasts. These authors who were acquired already had professional promotional platforms. Their books were practically “pre-sold,” which is why advances could be paid. For most authors, to be signed on was like trying to gain membership into an exclusive club or secret society. You had to know someone to get in; hence, the role of literary agents and literary scouts.
However, times are changing. Today’s digital publishing world is rapidly changing the definition of what an author’s platform is. And where there is change, there is opportunity.
This change is brought about by the very center of the publishing universe—the Readers. Their habits are changing and there will be no going back. What is changing is how they are discovering their favorite authors and books.
Before the digital age of e-readers, they were guided by the latest talk show guests, New York Times Bestseller lists, or the paparazzi’s buzz. However, now it is becoming within authors’ control to connect with readers without the initial thrust of a major publishing house behind them. Don’t get me wrong, visibility is more important than ever.
However, today’s wild, wild west of digital publishing allows far more opportunity for visibility than was ever possible before without a full-time crew of book publicists, press relations grunts, or maintaining department with a huge advertising budget. In today’s new era of unbounded publishing, it is possible for an author to generate buzz that will make her book discoverable.
Discoverability is all about connecting Readers with Writers and Writers with Readers.
And an author’s platform is how you go about generating discoverability.
You have been reading an installment of: Building Your Author’s Platform, a step by step, multi-prong approach, from Compass Rose Guides.
Next Blog Post:
Author’s Platform: Let’s take this nebulous buzz word and give it form and functionality.
A step by step, multi-prong approach to building your author’s platform from Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media.