What is an author platform?

What is an author platform? “Author platform”: two of the most confusing words in any writer’s vocabulary. Okay, maybe just in my vocabulary! Let’s start with what it’s not…

ImageGratuitous shoe shot (I love shoes, and they are platforms!).

An author platform is not about:

  • blogging
  • social media
  • self-promotion
  • selling.

I’ve been a full-time writer for the past four years, and my original marketing plan was to write as many quality books as quickly as possible. It’s a strategy that has worked – up to a point – and enabled me to make a living as a full-time writer. However, I want to take my career to the next level, and having read every author marketing book I could get my hands on, I’ve realised that building an author platform is the way forward.

Occasionally, over the past few years, I’ve dipped my toe into what I saw as the murky waters of social media. It seemed to me that Twitter and Facebook were all about having a huge number of followers or likes, and I couldn’t see how my message would possibly be heard over the noise. I felt that social media was simply a desperate attempt by authors to convince people to buy their books.

However, I’ve learned that yes, it’s about convincing people to buy our books, but it can also be about so much more than that. My new definition of social media is that it can be the driving force behind building an author platform, which is ultimately about building genuine relationships over time (and hopefully selling more books 🙂 ). It doesn’t matter if I have 10 followers or 10,000, as long as the my followers are genuine. It’s an idea that greatly appeals to me, and one which I will be pursuing as I create my author platform.

An author platform is about building genuine relationships over time.


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