Just about everyone who sends me a book proposal needs to grow their platform. If they’re in a hurry to find an agent and publisher, this can seem a daunting step. Here are 3 easy things you can do today to grow your platform:
1. Join the International Association of Writers where you can list yourself as an expert in up to five categories for the media. Founder and host of the site, Fern Reiss, has many connections with the media and many journalists have begun to use this site as a resource for stories.
You can also list up to five speaking topics. Linda Gradstein says that only a few days after posting her profile she began getting inquiries from meeting planners to book her for high paying speaking gigs. Other writers have been interviewed by journalists based on their profile on the site.
There are many additional benefits including audios, special reports and articles from experts in the field, including yours truly. At $149 for the year, it’s a deal!
2. Contact the PR person in any associations you belong to. Let them know that you are available to speak to journalists on the following topics. Perhaps you can write a press release for them to send out, which quotes you on a newsworthy issue. Or you can just ask them to keep you in mind when journalists call to interview an expert. Examples can be the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, Association of Image Consultants International, or even a local or regional chamber of commerce.
3. Think bulk sales: Are you already associated with any corporations or organizations who might be interested in giving your books to their customers, employees or donors? A couple of my clients, both psychiatrists, have worked directly with pharmaceutical companies. I suggested they include these connections in their book proposals and actually ask the companies if they would be interested in bulk orders of the book. Success–one author has named two pharmaceutical companies as interested in purchasing 5,000 or so copies of his book–and he listed this prominently in the book proposal as item #1 of his promotional plan. Knowing they can probably sell a certain number of books up front takes the risk out of publishing a new book–publishers love it.