Have you ever heard the term “author platform?” The simplest definition: your audience of potential readers.
These days, most agents and publishers require you to have an author platform. That’s because they no longer do all the legwork for you, in terms of getting your book out into the world.
Whether you choose to self-publish or submit your work to a traditional publisher, you’re going to need an author platform.
In fact, whether or not you’ve even written one word of your book yet, I recommend beginning to slowly cultivate your author platform immediately.
This might sound out of character, as I usually reassure authors-to-be to relax and not think about the final steps of sharing their works at the very beginning. But this particular aspect of writing a book is something that can support you all the way through the process of creation.
Why is this important? Here are 5 ways having an author platform NOW – regardless of where you are in the writing process – can help you tremendously.
- It brings accountability. If you make a point of telling people you’re writing a book, which is how you begin to cultivate an audience, then you’re less likely to give up. You’ve got people interested in what you’re creating! Yes, even if your entire audience currently consists of your Mom, your best friend, and a couple of co-workers.
- You’ll receive the power of collaboration. When you share your thoughts and ideas, you’ll find others who are intrigued by them. Co-creating with other people is an amazing gift. Their ideas will inspire you. Their questions will spark new topics to write about. Their interest will keep you motivated.
- Starting now will save you time and effort later. Imagine how excited you’ll be when your manuscript is written, edited, and ready to go! If you’ve already been crafting an audience for it, you won’t have to wait as long for the satisfaction of having delighted readers.
- Finding beta readers will be easy. Your first few fans and followers are ideal candidates to read your first draft and give you feedback. They already like you and your work. You’ll be able to tap into their enthusiasm and use it to hone your writing.
- Each person who follows you and your work has connections. They might have a family member who makes book covers, an acquaintance who’s married to an agent, or perhaps they run a successful podcast looking for guest speakers. As you build your author platform, you’ll discover links to helpful people with skills you didn’t yet know you needed. Your fans will be delighted to help you along your way to being a successful published author!
Crafting your author platform as you go doesn’t have to be an overwhelming amount of work. You might already have a platform underway – for example, if you’re an entrepreneur or healer, your existing clients and prospects (and their friends!) are your target readers.
If not, begin with the seemingly simple act of telling your friends that you’re writing a book. Then seek out a community of writers online, or look for groups that are interested in your book’s topic.
The rewards of cultivating your community early in the process are many. How can you get started this week?
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