What is An Author Platform by Shennandoah Diaz

If you have written a book, or even if you haven’t, you may have heard the term “author platform.” Many authors overlook this seemingly vague and often misunderstood term. Unfortunately it is by far the most important element of your writing career, aside from the book itself. So what is an author platform? Essentially it’s the sum of all the little activities, publicity, and ways you reach out to and connect with your audience.
The author platform is essential because it is what sets you apart from every other author in your genre. Publishers and media look to author platform, sometimes even before they look to the content of the book itself. The platform is what will cut through all of the millions of advertising and media messages and carry your book to readers, and in turn drive sales. If it is not a strong, active, and growing platform, publishers and media will move on to the next author who does have one.
How do you develop a platform? There is an even bigger question that needs to be addressed before a platform can be developed. First you need to start by defining the audience. Who are you writing for? Who would be interested in what information you have to share? You need to be as specific as possible in stating your target audience. You can’t just say “anyone who reads.” Not everyone who reads is interested in every topic on the market. Instead you need to hone the target down to something like “work from home moms” or “twenty-something executives.” Once your audience is identified, you can start developing your platform.
Now that you have your audience you need to define the parameters of your platform. Using the “twenty-something executive” audience, possible platforms include “tips to break the executive ceiling,” “profiles of young achievers,” “strategies for success,” etc. Whatever the focus is, it needs to relate to both your audience and your book. If your book is about underwater basket weaving, you won’t have much luck driving sales using a platform geared toward young executives.
A platform is comprised of many elements including: the website (both for the author and the book itself), blogs, social media, speaking, teaching, appearances, organizational involvement (e.g. writer’s and trade groups, charities, local organizations), book signings, articles-just about any activity you can think of. However, in order to be considered part of the platform each of these activities needs to be cohesive and relevant to the overall topic and consistent with the author’s message. Each element also needs to work together to keep your activities manageable and linked to book sales. This mean sharing your blog posts on your social media, promoting events through all of your media channels, participating in organizations that cater to your audience, referring to your book and linking to the book website on your media, among others.
If you are still unsure about the strength of your platform and how to develop it, your publicist is the best resource to help you. You might also want to look at the following resources:
Christina Katz “Get Known Before The Book Deal”
Jane Freidman “There Are No Rules”
Writers Digest.com
Shennandoah Diaz is the Business Development Assistant at Greenleaf Book Group, a publisher and distributor catering to independent authors and small presses. Diaz is responsible for developing white papers, case studies, and other materials that educate authors on the publishing industry and the Greenleaf model.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4879365

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