The best definition of an author platform I’ve seen comes from Writer’s Digest:
“Platform, simply put, is your visibility as an author.
“The definition of platform, broken down, is your personal ability to sell books through:
- Who you are
- The personal and professional connections you have
- Any media outlets (including blogs and social networks) that you can utilize to sell books.”
(You can read more about the building blocks of a platform on Writer’s Digest here.)
Alan Rinzler on Forbes.com describes it well:
It’s still about visibility, but today’s approach has changed. The New Author Platform requires a focus on developing an unobstructed back and forth between authors and their readers, with the authors — not the publishers — controlling the flow. Now it’s the author, not a publicist, who inspires readers to buy the book. The New Author Platform allows not only well-established authors, but unknown, first-time beginners to do an end run around the conservative gate-keepers and reach readers directly.
You’ll find that their platforms include a variety of social media and digital products — web sites, of course, and blogs; social media, especially Facebook author pages, Twitter and Instagram; videos; and radio appearances and shows, speaking engagements; teaching (classes or conference sessions) and webinars; and enewsletters.
No author has to do all the things — but to connect with your readers, it helps to do some of the things. Only you can settle on the mix you’re comfortable with updating on a regular basis.
More recommended reading about author platforms:
- What is a writer’s platform? from The Balance.
- The ‘New Author Platform” – What writers need to know from Forbes.
- Build your author platform: 7 manageable ways to start from scratch from The Write Life
Have questions about your author platform, or ideas to share? Let us know. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.