When it the best time to build an author platform?

There seems to be differing opinions about when or even if authors need a platform.

I cannot stress enough that with today’s digital world, the state of publishing, and the number of books written per year, the time to build a platform is before you begin writing your book.

Disagree if you wish, but publishers ask authors about their following, promotion, and willingness in helping market their book.

How do authors accomplish this? By the use of platforms, such as blogs, websites, social and network marketing, book signings, and the author finding bookstore shelf space on their own.

Publishing is no longer, as it was in the past. It is up to the author to be a publicist, marketer, and promoter for their book; or hire someone for all of this. Hiring someone is the easy way out for authors, but also expensive. Most authors cannot afford the cost of an agent, publicist, salesperson, and marketer, which would run thousands of dollars.

This leaves the author to do it all. Build a blog about your book project keeping the potential reader up to date with how the book is advancing. Build an authors page, use social media, make regular updates, and make a trailer for your book.

I may repeat this information, but it is only to stress that in today’s publishing environment, more is up to the author than ever before in publishing.

Many authors are opting to self-publish for more control over price and format. The author’s ability to create digital books for readers, and having their book edited by publishers in ways that go against ways the author intended the book. There have been title changes in publishing houses, changes from book to movie, and more.

Authors should have their book published the way they wrote it.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Reviewer/Marketer

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Karen Cioffi said...

Bob, you're absolutely right, an author platform needs to be created from the get-go. As you mentioned, publishers now ask for the author's marketing base and skills.

Just another part of being an author . . .

Donna McDine said...

Dear Bob,

Sound advice. I know for one getting my name out there before my first book being published opened up other doors in the freelance writing world.

All the best,

Shirley Corder said...

Absolutely right, Bob. I live in South Africa, but through a series of miracles, have had my book accepted by a large publisher in the USA. (Strength Renewed, Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer - Revell/Baker Publishers.) I truly believe they checked out my platform before they accepted the book. I have been working for years to create my website (now two) and build up a standing on Twitter and FaceBook - plus a lesser one on LinkedIn.

I'm finding the whole marketing scene incredible. WHAT a lot of work! And yet, it's interesting. Just different. All I thought I had to do was write a book! (And have a platform!)

Magdalena Ball said...

Of course you're right Robert, and this applys for both traditional and self-published authors. There's a lot of noise out there and getting books into readers hands takes visibility.

Heidiwriter said...

Good advice. The more "community" you develop and the more expertise about your subject, the better.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great advice Robert no matter which route you publish.

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