Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why Authors Need a Platform

Like it or not, let’s start with the fact that writing is a business for better or worse. Authors are entrepreneurs with a product. Whether self-published or traditionally published a book is a product or commodity in search of customers. That is what business is about, finding customers.

Authors need readers and they need a platform for readers to find them and their books.

Does building a platform take time away from writing?

Anything that authors do other than writing is time away from creating the story. Unfortunately, platform building comes with the territory of the author. Either the author builds the platform or they must outsource the platform building to someone else.

When building an author’s platform it would be nice if one platform were enough, but never rely on just one to work for you. Authors just like businesses need more than one platform to inform potential customers what you have to offer by online platforms.

What are the platforms?

Platforms come in many varieties. One is a Web site; others are social media (Facebook, Blog, Twitter…), newsletters, video trailers (YouTube or posted on a blog...), any way for readers to find out about an author’s book.

Platforms are a way for authors to promote and advertise their books as well as a way to sell books. A blog is a good way for others to build interest in their book as they blog about the creation of the book by writing about the book on their blog and keeping potential readers up to date on how the book is advancing.

Platforms are free advertising for authors; and create interest in potential readers making them customers.  

Platforms like blogs and Web sites are a great place to post chapter excerpts and receive feedback from the people who visit our blog or wherever you post an excerpt from your book building interest and creating a list of potential purchasers and readers waiting for publishing of author’s book.

Finally, there is no question that authors need more than one platform; the question is whom is the one building it. Either the author must take on the job or outsource it.

Robert Medak
Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, reviewer, marketer