If you’ve spent any time around people in the publishing industry, or attended a conference about getting your nonfiction or how-to book published, you’ve probably heard the term platform. An author’s platform refers to your fan base, and the media vehicles you already use to reach people with your message.
Your internet platform includes your blog, online articles you publish, your presence on facebook(pages, profile, friends, groups), your twitter presence, blogcasts, an internet radio show, videos on youtube and other sites, your website and the amount of traffic it gets. When people visit your website they should have the opportunity to become part of your community or fan-base. Perhaps they subscribe to your blog or newsletter. Maybe you offer a free tip list or mini-course in exchange for their e-mail address and first name. Here’s an example of how to enroll people in a free course.
Your platform also includes everyone on your mailing list. You want to build that list through your website, speaking engagements, courses, and however else you can. Ideally, you aren’t just collecting names. You communicate with your mailing list and offer value to them.
Another area of platform is your traditional media base–articles in magazines and newspapers that have featured or quoted you, TV or radio interviews, as well as any articles you’ve written and published, or radio or TV shows you host.
The term actually comes from the speaker’s podium, or platform, and public speaking, teaching workshops or seminars and other public appearances also compose your platform, as do any memberships you have in local, regional and national organizations.
If you don’t have an extensive platform and you want to get published or promote your self-published book successfully, it’s time to develop it now.