Author Marketing
Digital Publishing Opinions

Author Platform

The New York Observer recently ran this article on the subject of author platform. I’ve written about author platform before, including one of my first posts entitled What Makes a Bestseller? Use the Google search button on the left panel to see the many other posts and comments related to author platform. It’s an important concept and probably the #1 reason for book proposal rejections.

I just read through three other points of view on author platform. The first is from Renee Wilmeth of Literary Architects. She knows all about author platform from her many years as an acquisitions editor. Next up is Kathy Holmes, who posted about author platform on her blog Women’s Fiction with Attitude. Last but not least, we have this angle on author platform on The Art of the Grand Gesture blog.

There are plenty of other blog posts about author platform. See for yourself on this Google Blog Search results page. A lot of the posts seem to get hung up on author credentials. While that’s certainly an important part of the equation, I still consider “reach” to be the most important component of author platform. The fact nobody wants to be too candid about is that a following of several hundred thousand people (and access to their e-mail addresses!) is often preferred over just about any set of credentials you can think of.

Comments

Morris Rosenthal

Joe,

After spending a week at the Cape Cod Writer's Conference this summer and getting bomabarded with questions about building a devoloping blogs and websites as author platforms, I set out to write a book on the subject. Unfortunately, in the course of writing the rough draft, I did some internet research and determined that it's not a subject most authors even think about until it's too late.

Draft is online here if you're curious, but I don't have any plans to continue with developing it into a book. I can tell from my own web stats that new authors aren't searching on the subject, and established authors have far different requirements. It's too bad, since the written word is ideal for the purpose and the technical skills involved are minimal, but most authors are stuck on the notion that success is about being "discovered" without the need for self promotion.

Morris

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