In today’s digital age, aspiring authors have more opportunities than ever before to share their stories with the world. However, in the vast sea of content, standing out as a writer can be challenging. That’s where the concept of an “author platform” comes into play. An author platform is like a bridge that connects you, the writer, to your audience and the literary world at large.
What exactly IS an Author Platform?
All metaphors aside, an author platform refers to your visibility and influence as a writer. It encompasses various elements, including your website, press kits, social media, newsletter, and more, but building an author platform is not solely about self-promotion; it’s about creating a genuine connection with your readers, peers, and the publishing industry.
Let’s break take a look a the top 5 reasons that having a solid author platform is important:
Build Credibility and Trust
An author platform helps establish credibility and trust with your audience. When readers see that you have an active online presence, a professional website, and a loyal following (when it comes to followers we should always focus on quality over quantity), they are more likely to view you as a serious and reliable writer. This trust can be a crucial factor in convincing agents to represent your work and ultimately (and this is particularly important for self-publishing authors) for readers to purchase your books.
Connect with Your Audience
One of the most significant advantages of an author platform is the ability to connect directly with your readers. Through social media, newsletters, and blog posts, you can engage with your readers, answer their questions, and foster a sense of community. This personal connection can turn casual readers into dedicated fans who eagerly await your next book.
Market and Promote Your Work
In the competitive world of publishing, effective marketing is essential. People can’t buy your book if they don’t know it exists. Your author platform serves as a powerful marketing tool. You can use it to promote your books, share behind-the-scenes insights, and offer exclusive content to your followers. The larger your platform, the easier it becomes to generate buzz around your work, increasing your book’s chances of success.
Attract Publishers and Agents
For writers seeking traditional publishing deals, having a robust author platform can make all the difference. Literary agents and publishers are more likely to take notice of authors who already have a dedicated readership and a strong online presence. This is particularly true for non-fiction writers. An established platform can help you stand out in the crowded submissions pile.
Personal Growth and Networking
Building an author platform also offers personal growth opportunities. It encourages you to develop your writing voice, improve your communication skills, and become more knowledgeable about your niche or genre. Additionally, as you engage with fellow writers and industry professionals, you’ll build valuable connections that can open doors to collaboration and opportunities.
Actually creating an author platform can be a daunting task. You’re going to have to navigate a lot of systems that may or may not be familiar to you: url registration, website building software, newsletter platforms, social media scheduling software… And then, once you have it all set up, how do you help people find you in the vast expanse of the Internet?
Most importantly, how do you keep all this from dominating your life? You’re a writer, and you don’t want to use up all your free time dealing with your author platform.
No matter where you’re at with your author platform (just starting out or looking to grow) I can help.
Let Me Walk You Through It
My first job out of grad school was as a website designer and social media manager. Late at night, back in my home office, I applied what I learned on the job to building my own award-winning website and over the years I grew myself an audience of over 20,000 readers before I even published my first book.
After I quit the day job to write full time, I continued to build my platform by watching hundreds of YouTube videos, bingeing podcasts, and reading everything I could get my hands on about how to build an author platform. I’ve learned A LOT and this fall I’m offering 4 exclusive, VIP Days to share what I’ve learned and help authors get their own platforms in order.
Share Your Website
Whether you work with me, or put it all together on your own, feel free to share your website/blog/social media accounts in the comments below so I (and anyone else reading here) can come read/follow/support you.