Publishing Writing

Under Construction: Rethinking the Process of Building an Author Platform

There is a mentality that I see consistently with authors that always puzzles me. Maybe they’ve just finished a book. Or maybe they’ve signed with a literary agent. Or maybe they’ve just sold their novel to a publisher and they’re excited to get started on those edits. But the response is almost always the same when I ask them this question:

 

What’s your platform?

There’s usually a long pause, followed by the intention to begin building some form of author platform when they reach the next step in the process. If they’ve just finished the novel, they’ll say they need to find an agent before they start marketing. If they’ve found an agent, they’ll say they want their publishers help. Isn’t that the publishers area of expertise? And if they’ve got their contract and advance, they’ll say once they finish their recent round of edits, or once they get their book cover in, they’ll cross over to that dark-side known as marketing. It’s like, we have this idea of what it means to market a book, how to sell a lot of books, and most of our ideas are based on a fallacy—and a lot of negative connotations. Learning about modern marketing has almost become its own kind of marketing. It has its own language and terminology. And for most writers, that language comes with some cringe-worthy baggage. Read More

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