—Karlyn Hixson, St. Martin’s Press
Platform—as in Author Platform—was the buzz word that rolled off the publishing lips of every industry professional and successful author at the two-day Publish15 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
The question, from many in the audience who came to learn about how to get their books published, was, say what? As in, what is an Author Platform?
Turns out you need one before you publish your book. Before you even finish writing your book. And especially before you start shopping your book around to agents or publishers.
And most of all, you need one when you start marketing your book, whether you are self-published or traditionally published by a big house.
So What is an Author Platform?
Here it is in a nutshell, concisely provided by Karlyn Hixon, a marketing manager for St. Martin’s Press:
Your Author Platform Consists of:
- Author’s Website
- Author’s Blog or Newsletter
- Author’s Social Media Presence
- Author’s Profiles
Author’s Social Media Presence on Twitter, Google+ and elsewhere:
- Where you can share your website and blog content
- Where you can interact with those who care about your content
Your author platform is the launching stage for all the good things to come from trying to interest a literary agent in repping you, or when angling for a book deal with a sweet advance from a traditional publishing house, or when your self-published book hits the ebook sites with a ready buying audience.
For a noted industry expert’s sweet explanation of why it matters, what your author platform is, and isn’t, and how to build it, read Jane Friedman’s take.
It’s what you’ll want to have staked out well in advance: a community of like-minded supporters who care about what you care about, and what your book is about. These are the folks who stand ready to seed your nascent publishing dream, and to keep reseeding it.
—Christopher Klim, The US Review of Books
Seeding? Reseeding? Yep, those are marketing buzz words from author, editor and publishing pro Christopher Klim of The US Review of Books at Publish15, who wants you to control your message and “always be focused on your one-three talking points.” You do understand your book’s dominant message, and that you’ll need to be active about marketing your book, right? ♣
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