Agents and publishers often ask, “What can you tell me about your platform?”
So what’s a platform? When people in the publishing world ask about your platform they want to know what kind of influence you have to market your book.
If yours is a work of non-fiction, you may be asked about your expertise in the content of your book. If you are the leading expert on coins, then a book you write about coins will have a wide reach; a built in audience.
There was a time when fiction authors were not asked much about their platform. That has changed due to the growing number of indie—independently published—authors and the magnitude of technology based social media sights.
The following are a list of questions you may hear:
What success have you had with previously published work?
This is intimidating to the new author. Be honest. Acknowledge the fact this is your debut novel.
How many followers do you have on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? And so forth…
If you are not active on social media, your publisher will likely want you to join. But here’s the deal. It is called social media for a reason. It is social. People want to interact with you. Not your book. Oh, sure, I post on Facebook tidbits about Breathing on Her Own. The book is part of me. But I have an author page to talk about writing and about the book.
Do you have a website?
There are a number of options for you to set up a website. Mine is still in the works, but it is a great place for people to learn more about you and your writing. Through it they can contact you, keep up on your latest publications, and follow your blog. Which brings us to the next question.
Do you have a blog?
A blog is a great way to introduce people to your style of writing. It is also a wonderful place to connect with writers and readers in your genre.
Are you a member of Goodreads?
Goodreads is kind of like being part of a big book club. Through it you can find out what readers like and don’t like. It is not a place to self-promote your book, although you can participate in giveaways and interact with readers of your book as a Goodreads author.
Do you have a newsletter? Hmmm…neither do I. But I know many people who send out email newsletters on a regular basis to their email list. It is a great way to connect with your readers.
It sounds like a lot to do…and it is. But you should only do those pieces you can do well. And many of the technology pieces can be linked so that you can post once and have your message show up several places.
What should you do first?
Write the best novel you can write.
The rest will come. Trust me.
Please join me next week when Hallee Bridgeman shares her writing process on A Novel Creation.