Until fairly recently, traditional publishing houses, the major ones anyway, were the only folks in town demanding big platforms of their authors.
Without a tribe, a following of 30,000+, they weren’t interested in a writer, no matter how beautiful the work produced. Now, many partnership presses require them as well. Because without an author platform, it’s hard to create book sales; and they’re in the business of, you got it, selling books.
As this world evolves, it’s absolutely essential that you stay up-to-date with it. Falling behind is no longer an option. You fall behind, you stop having the impact you once had. You fall behind and it becomes a tough task simply to get your work out there again.
Is this something you should be thinking about? Absolutely. But worried about? With the right resources – like this article – and some effort, absolutely not.
It begins with getting your mindset right about the goal here. That’s what this article is going to address. In detail.
Cold Hard Fact #1: You’ve got to sell books to keep the lights on.
Even if you avoid these demanding people and go the self-publishing route using Create Space, LuLu, or Book Baby (or any of the other venues of that ilk) you’ll still need to promote and sell your book, or hire someone to handle the task for you.
For those of you who still believe the old Field of Dreams adage, build it and they will come, I’ve got some really, really bad news: approximately 5000 new books a day appear on Amazon alone and rare is the random buyer who will find your needle in that gargantuan haystack.
If someone ends up buying your book, it’s usually because he/she has come into contact with you somewhere else.
And that’s what building an author platform is all about—developing those multiple points of contact.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Most writers recoil at the thought of building a platform (think passel of snakes tossed in lap).
See, we want to write books, focus deeply for days on end while we swig bad coffee or sip Merlot; not fritter away our precious time and headspace on social media, or building out a stupid website with a blog, the two best methods, unfortunately, for developing an audience.
But it’s absolutely necessary. (more…)