AP1: What's Author Platform
A couple years ago, I started on my quest to get rich and famous as an author. Not there yet. Last year, I took the steps to build up my author platform, because I read a book and it seemed like a good idea. I still meet other writers who haven’t gone down this road, and may not know why they need to. So, being the shareful type, as well as adding more planks to my author platform, let’s catch up.
But I’m not an Author
If you write, you’re an author. I checked the dictionary. It says so. If you don’t write, and you’re wondering what could be useful in this series, let me explain. Being an author means running a small business, not just scribbling in notebooks with dreams of getting published. The writing stuff might not apply, but all the other things are applicable to building an audience and sales.
What is Author Platform
It is a fancy way of talking about your network of contacts, skills, and everything you bring to the table to promote yourself and your business as an author. I have 2000+ twitter followers. That’s not much, but it’s more than zero. They count. I know people in the writing business who could get me on a panel or interview me or put a good word for me on their social media. They count. I have a business degree. That counts. I’m a computer genius. That counts. I have a lot of Lego bricks. Okay, we’re not sure how that could be helpful, but when we are, it counts.
But I Don’t Wanna!
I assume that if you’re here reading my article, that you want to do this. But just in case, I know a few agents on social media, and now and then, they share a horror story of queries they get. One such is the guy who snail mailed his manuscript and letter and said he is not on the internet and would never be. That little bundle from the post office made nice kindling for a fire. It is the 21st century, and being online, working to promote yourself is required. The first thing an agent or publisher is going to do is look you up. If they find nothing, they’ll choose the other letter from somebody who’s work is just as good that they could find online.
When I got to Compaq, I met a guy named Ian. Ian knew everybody, and could get anything to happen. Key lesson, be like Ian, know lots of people, and they can put in good word for you or help get something done. When I joined the local writers guild, I met Jody. She knows everybody, including Adrian from Tartanic, my favorite bagpipe band. Which means if i ever wanted to have bagpipes and drums at a book signing, I just might pull it off.
Seriously, everybody you can meet is an asset. Not in a covert ops kind of way. You never know how they might support you, but the best way to find out is talk to them. Which is also the best way to make friends. Funny how that works.
Let me sum up all I’ve built up over the last few years. You can see how much crazy stuff I claim, and I hope, you’ll visualize that you have more going for you than you realize
Fellow Guild Members (beta reading, advice, publishing leads, connections)
My Facebook page and Twitter with 2000+ followers
My reputation in online writers groups is solid
My mailing list (tiny right now)
My business degree background
My computer tech background for sci-fi & problem solving
My published works
Personal connections with specific authors who might help me
I’m funny and good at public speaking
I have a tragic backstory with a heart of gold
I know Kung Fu (actually karate, not Kung Fu specifically)
I have 10 beta readers
People like my wife and she likes me. Spousal support is precious
I have a patent in my name, which means I might be smart
I own top search results for my pen name
Take Stock and Use It
Author Platform is like your resume plus intangibles. Look at all you know and have setup and consider how it all might come in handy at some point. I want to see if my comment system works, so click the buttons below and tell me about something you can use in your Author Platform you hadn’t considered before.
For more articles in my Author Platform series, click here: