This post was written in response to Linda Hill’s weekly stream of consciousness Saturday prompt
The Friday prompt for this Saturday is: A word that starts with “P.” Find a word that begins with the letter “p,” and make it the theme of your post. Bonus points for starting and ending your post with a “p” word. Enjoy!
Platforms are important places for travellers and authors.
We look for them, rush to them, we wait at them, we pace up and down physically, or perhaps we’re quite still, and it’s just our mind working overtime thinking about where we’re going, whether we’ll arrive on time, who we’ll have to travel with, who we might meet on our journey, why the train is taking so long…
The reason I’ve started this interior monologue with platform is because this morning I just happen to read an article by Jane Friedman about author platforms. In her informative article, she says that, an author platform is ‘an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.’ Writers are constantly being reminded of how important author platforms are and how writers should build them up even before they start writing.
This means we all need to have a blog, a twitter account, Facebook author page, Goodreads and Amazon author pages, Pinterest boards, Instagram photos, etc. Fortunately, I love social media. I’d been using Facebook and twitter for fun and for sharing information with friends and family long before I started my writing career, so for me it was a case of learning to use it more efficiently for my author purpose. I also need to work more on my platform, including an author newsletter, which I haven’t started yet.
I can imagine how daunting, or even unpleasant, it is for writers who dislike this type of interaction. Perhaps they can survive/be successful without an online author platform, but I seriously doubt it.
Platforms are stages on our journey.
When we’re travelling by train, our destination is a specific place, and once we arrive and leave the platform behind, we can forget about it, until we need to travel again.
Unfortunately, it’s not the same if it’s an author platform, although our platform will hopefully be taking us on our journey to publishing, connecting with readers, selling books, etc. We can’t stop using them once we arrive. Author platforms have to be present in our lives constantly, and we need to update them and interact with others constantly.
This interaction takes up valuable writing time, and while some writers consider it’s a waste of time, it would be wiser to consider it as an investment, a permanent and ongoing investment, which will accompany us throughout our journey or writing career.
Author platforms are not only important for independent authors. Successful, traditionally published authors like Stephen King, Ken Follett or J. K. Rowling are regular users of their author platforms, too.
So I suggest you spend/invest part of your ‘writing’ time on promoting your author platform, right now!
That was stream of consciousness, but I’m adding a few links, including one to the article which sparked me off, in case you’d like more information about author platforms.
Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch, the home of Rough Writers, has also written a series of articles on building an author platform.