Your author platform is where you communicate your expertise or interest on a regular basis. Having a successful platform means you are known for something. Being known for something means your book about your area of expertise or interest has the potential to sell well.
Building an author platform takes time. Ideally, you should build your platform 2 to 3 years before you publish your book. In reality, however, many self-published authors decide to publish a book as a way to begin to build their platform. That’s OK; just know that if you have published a book and now are starting to build a platform, sales will be slow until your platform grows.
The most common building blocks of a good author platform are:
- Your blog or website with a regular readership. See my article on SEO for Authors –Part I and SEO for Authors – Part II
- An active social media presence. See my article on Social Media for Authors
- Guest articles or contributions to successful websites, blogs, periodicals and/or podcasts
- An e-newsletter or email list with a large number of subscribers
- Personal and professional connections
- Public speaking appearances
- Media appearances and interviews—in print, on the radio, on TV, or online. See my article on How To Use Press Releases to Promote Your Book.
The particulars of the author platform will differ from author to author but your goal in building a platform is to create a large fan base of dedicated readers and develop a reputation in an area of expertise or genre.