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Developing Your Author Platform

Updated on February 20, 2016
RGraf profile image

Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

Every author needs to have an author platform. It is what will help them sell their books and get their name known. It is their foundation for success. But what is the author platform and how do you develop it? What is all the talk about when it comes to the author platform?

Most authors don't know. Well, let's find out.

Defining the Author Platform

The author platform is the foundation of getting your brand out there. It is where everything springs from.

What is the brand? It is your name and the names of your books. It is you in the form of online recognition.

Your author platform is the tools to get the public to learn of your name. It is your launch pad. You use it to find success.

Where to Start

Knowing you have to get your name out there is one thing. Knowing how to do it is another. So where do you start?

  • Start a blog – One of the easiest and most fun ways to get your author platform developed is to start a blog. You don’t have to do anything fancy or even get a domain name at first. That helps as there are many places you can get a blog for free. Start by writing posts about your writing and research and even about the books you are reading. Get people interested in you and your work. Let them join in your new writing adventure.

  • Join Groups/Forums – This is another way to get people to get to know you. You don’t have to, and shouldn’t, promote your work nonstop. Talk about other things such as writing process and marketing. Get to know other authors. They’ll get to know you in return. If nothing else, talk about the weather and how it affects your reading and writing. It’s casual talk that helps others get to know the real you which is the whole goal here.

Continual Development

The starting point needs to be developed before you begin truly marketing your book. It needs to be developed before you get to where you are ready to publish your book. Get yourself known in the writing community and start attracting potential readers. Give them excerpts of the manuscripts you are working on. Ask them opinions. From there you can then strengthen your author’s platform.

  • Continue blogging – your continual presence on your blog will ensure more attention to you and your books. As you get along in your writing, your posts can become more involved in that process and the publication successes and obstacles.

  • Guest posts/Interviews – Contact blogs to write guest posts for them and/or do interviews with. They have followers who will be exposed to your books through your guest posts. Be creative and don’t just write how you come up with the book. Write about a topic that will bring readers in to read about an unknown author. Even before you have a published book, you can get out there and make these connections.

  • Write for other sites – Don’t limit yourself while also not over stretching yourself. Write for other online ezines and blogs. Share your experiences and your expertise. You’d be surprised how many people will read your profile and explore your books because they like what you write about whether it is crocheting or wrestling.

  • Be interactive – Don’t just post articles or comments and links in forums. When someone comments, respond. Comment on their own posts. Be interactive on forums and on other people’s blogs. Let them know you are not just out there to sell books. You’re out there to create relationships.

Continual Development

Don't limit yourself. Once you have an author platform established, continue to develop it. Research. Listen to other authors and get tips. You should never start learning and trying to grow. It's continual, and success can only be found if you push forward and look for further development.

The author platform is what you use to push your book forward without being all about your book. It is you. Create your online presence before you publish if you can. If not, start working on people seeing you as someone interesting.


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    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 23 months ago from Wisconsin

      Amen to that. I would rather write and have someone else do all the other work. :)

      Thank you for stopping by.

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 23 months ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      All good ideas, Rebecca - but it's a time-consuming process. Sometimes it feels like being a writer is about everything except actually writing books! Nice Hub.