No, a Writer’s Platform is not the kind of platform that you stand upon, at least, not literally. Let’s take the image of a platform, stage, podium, dais, or display raised area and think about it more metaphorically. The Writer’s Platform is basically all the things you are doing to market yourself. These days, you call it your brand. Everything you do should be to build your brand.
I know, I know, I’m talking about you as the brand. How can you sell yourself as a writer, isn’t it enough that you wrote a book? Unfortunately, no! You’ve got to not only sell the book but the writer, as well! Other ways to think about your Writer’s Platform is your visibility or your ability to sell books. These are the things that are supporting you in your marketing of you, as an author.
Even if you are going the traditional route of publishing through a publishing house, such as Simon and Schuster, Scholastic, or Random House, you need to develop a Writer’s Platform. In some cases, having a developed platform will help sell your manuscript to the Agent and/or Publisher.
Building your Writer’s Platform doesn’t have to be difficult. Set your intentions as a writer. Whether you have begun to write your book or not, this is a good place to start. Naturally, writing your book is part of your intention. However, there are many more similarities to beginning your own business. Build a Website and/or Blog with as large of a readership as you can create. A newsletter with, hopefully, a large readership could also be part of your platform. Article writing for major publications in your area of expertise and guest blog or Website contributions to successful blogs and Websites are definitely a plus. Other parts of your platform could include Public Speaking Engagements -the larger the audiences are best; a large presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Social Media; membership in organizations that celebrate successes; recurring media appearances and interviews; a track record of strong book sales; and individuals of influence – media, celebrities, and anyone who can aid you in marketing without additional costs.
Other avenues to building your Platform can include teaching on the topic of your book(s); self-publishing your book or creating e-books; establish an online community to explore your topic; offer coaching, consulting, or editing; create a subscription publication on your topic; offer tips, and share your content with similar or compatible businesses.