Jeffrey Trachtenberg wrote an interesting article on author platforms in today’s Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately, the article is only available to online WSJ subscribers. That’s OK though because much of what is said in the WSJ was covered in an earlier post here entitled “What Makes a Bestseller?”
The article cites a couple of good recent examples of how authors use their own connections, e-mail address databases, etc., to maximize sales. He goes on to say that “the focus on platforms is a byproduct of strained publicity budgets.” I’m not sure that’s totally true. After all, wouldn’t an author want to leverage their platform even if the publisher is spending a lot of money on other PR efforts?