7 Second Test (Part VI): The Market Summary

PlatformWhat the heck is an author “platform” and why is it important?

Good question. Being able to identify and articulate your ability to reach the intended audience of this book is an important part of your proposal, and is part of the market summary. (For more on market summaries, you might check out this article here.)

I found this helpful graphic about author platforms here at The Write Life.” For non-fiction authors, your platform consists of traits that are both internal (your credentials and work habits) and external (who you know and what you are doing to connect with potential readers). Where you are writing or blogging or speaking or teaching or doing whatever it is you do that would make someone want to read your book. That’s what is summarized in the market summary.

If you don’t like public speaking or blogging or other related activities, you may want to reconsider whether you should write a book because frankly the only thing that is harder than writing a bestseller is launching it. So you need to hit the ground running, since you have only about a 4-6 month window for that book to sink or sail!

What are some of the most important ways to start building a platform?

1. Create a blog or website and start generating traffic to it. Whole books have been written about this. Try Michael Hyatt’s Platform. Be sure to include speaker information and high-quality content at regular intervals.

2. Start building one or more talks around your book!  Speaker pages, YouTube demos, and Toastmaster classes are all good starts. Start speaking at local parishes and other events, and build up to a regional and then a national audience. Similarly, make the most of any radio or television or print media opportunities that come your way. Every little bit helps.

3. Network, network, network! Comment on other people’s blogs who reach a similar audience. Be ready and willing to review books, guest post, help organize events and conferences. One of the best ways to build an audience … is to help others. Be generous with your time and talents, and it will not go unrewarded.

What are some other ways you can think of?

 

 

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