With cuts in book acquisition and marketing budgets, publishers now largely reserve book deals for authors with strong platforms they can leverage for sales. But what is a platform?
Your author platform consists of many things. It’s your web presence (website, blog, and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc), your public speaking engagements and events, your teaching credentials, any stories and articles that have been published, any awards you have won, your media contacts, professional contacts, personal contacts, your interests, hobbies, secrets – anything that can be leveraged to build or guarantee a growing readership or fan base.
To take this a step further, your author platform should be an expression of your personal brand. Most writers cringe at the word “brand” because it sounds “so corporate.” But ultimately your brand is what makes you unique. Defining your brand helps you communicate not only to others, but to yourself, what makes your work special. No two writers in this world are the same. It goes without saying then that the search for your “brand” is all about authenticity, not developing some concocted image that you want to present to the world. Through social media and the internet, the world has not only grown smaller, but more curious. People will be able to sniff out whether you are not yourself or presenting a fake image. So it’s important do some soul searching and decide what you have to bring to the world and how this contribution will keep giving and nourishing your platform on a personal and public level. That’s why building a platform is a lifelong marathon, not a sprint to the finish line.
Wildbound offers a set of various strategies to help both aspiring and established authors build and expand their author platform and attract interest from agents and publishers. Services include:
• Branding Exercise: Wildbound’s branding questionnaire will help you identify the unique themes and topics of your book or body of work by defining your “only” statement, analyze competitors, and nailing your target market to create a brand to build your platform around.
• Establish Your Website: Developing the platform begins with your most important promotional tool: your website. Based on the information gained from the branding questionnaire, Wildbound will build a customized website for you (see samples on our Website Design page). If you already own a website, we can work with you to revise it to reflect your brand – if needed.
• Establish Your Social Media Hubs: We’re not advocates of being on every social media channel that has been invented. Your branding questionnaire will help you identify the ones that will allow you to communicate with your target reader. And these are a must! As outlined on our Social Media Marketing page, Wildbound will set up your social media profiles and/or make any necessary enhancements and changes to design, setup, and organization to ensure profiles satisfy industry standard, as well as strategize a content distribution strategy, growth techniques, engagement, and reporting and monitoring.
• Your Mailing List: Wildbound will set up, manage and build your mailing list through an email marketing provider of your choice and create customized newsletters for your mailing list.
• Making Connections: Wildbound assists aspiring authors in identifying potential publishers and agents. We can also help self-published authors forge connections with editors, graphic designers, and both physical & ebook publishing & distribution services to ensure the best possible product and widest distribution.