Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Building Your Platform (Part 1 of 10)

(I write this series from my perspective as a writer. After my series, Twila will add her perspective as an expert on marketing.)

"What is a platform? How do I build it?"

Aside from the literal meaning of the word, the term has come to refer to writers who have name recognition (often called visibility) by the reading public, and who have proven they can reach their targeted audience.

Thus, here is the first thing to consider. Think of the word influence. Who will buy your books? The answer is not everybody. Agents and editors insist on book proposals because they expect potential authors to know how to reach a specific segment of the population. Do you write for women ages 25-40? Science-fiction readers? Business people?

You define your audience. That's part of your unwritten job description. Once you've done that, you need to convince editors that you can reach those people.

Be careful. Some authorities provide steps-to-guaranteed-success ideas to build your platform. Sometimes they work. Because those methods worked for five other people, doesn't mean they'll work for you.

As we move through this series, I'll pose two questions each time for you to ponder.

1. Who is my target audience?

2. If I could extend my platform, at what other target would I aim?

1 comment:

  1. Over the past 8 years, I have written a book. I wrote the words as they poured into my mind. I gave no thought to platform, credentials... or anything else that publishers look for. This series is very helpful as I go back over what I wrote and answer the questions presented. Thank you.

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