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I have talked to several authors and it seems that they interpret author platforms differently.

What is your perception of an author platform?

How do you create it?

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Just a thought - my author platform seems to be defined by the book that I am speaking about or promoting at any one time. For example, I promote and talk about my book about mining history in Colorado, The Orphan Boy, A Love Affair with Mining, much differently than I do my eBook entitled Tired of Making Your Utility Company Rich?, Discover How to Prepare for the Coming Energy Crisis.

It might also change based on the group or individual I am talking to. However, my mission is to Promote awareness through the written word, which is the reason I write and publish the topics and kind of books that I do. As I said, just a thought.

H. Court Young
Geologist, author & publisher
Promoting awareness through the written word
*Subscribe to my ILLUME newsletter – get a
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Prepare for the Coming Energy Crisis*
Hello and thank you for responding.

I just happened to be online when your response came through.

So what is a sample platform for you? I guess what I am getting confused about is what is in a platform. Or is it just another name for something else and I am missing the boat here?

Thanks again for your response!
Platform is tied to the author's message, but also to the audience. When you hear that agents and publishers want nonfiction authors with a platform, "platform" really refers to audience. How many people are on your mailing list? Do you speak to audiences regularly? Who will listen to you? And, most important, who will buy your book? I have just written a special report, "10 Ways to Build a Platform & Attract an Audience, Agent or Publisher," intending to offer it to my newsletter subscribers. I'm attaching here, too.
Thank you for the info and the file! It helps me understand more clearly what everyone is saying.

Blessings and many thanks!
Hello to you Susie,

I am a Romance Short Story writer. Like you, I just started out in December of '07. Shelly's points are dead on. Below are the things that have been very successful for my "stepping out onto the launch pad".

1 - Know what your genre is and focus on it. This is a must. It will help you focus all of your writing energy on it. No matter where you publish or list your book, ebook, POD, this is the number one question.

2 - Nick Name and Writing Tag Line - This is away to create buzz about you and your writing style. Mine is "Word Artist", Tag Line: The Romance Short Story Writer. Any and everything I post I make sure I include this two things. It's you calling card, your logo statement if you will.

3 - Articles and Newsletters. There are two ways to post these. Develope a mailing list or post on free websites that relate to your subject or specialty (I'll list these shortly). This is where you can notify people on a large scale of your up coming book, post "feeder lines" from your story to draw readers to your website (a must).

4 - Internet Identity. Without doubt, before you do anything else, get your domain first and foremost! Here is one of the best and fastest places to get one. I use this for my clients (I am a website designer and consultant). You can get your domain name for $8 per year. Your domain name is registered instantly. You don't have to have a website right now but you want to lock down your domain name aka website name.

4.1 - MySpace Identity. Like it or not this is a must. You don't have to get into all the drama areas of MySpace, but you want to get a MySpace page. This is where I got my start and my legion of readers. Here is my link to view it: Notice that I used my "Nick Name" and my genre specialty in my link address.

4.2 - Authors Den. Bar none the absolute place for the beginner writer. Sign up (its free), but definetly upgrade to Gold Membership ( I joined this (free) authors site January 1st this year. I have had more readers in one month than any other source (2,963 to be exact). This is the best launching and monitoring platform you can be on to get started. I am listed on the main landing page under Featured Authors This a big deal and really drives readers to your Authors Den page. Link:

4.3 - Get your own Ning site like this one! Yes, you can get your own (free) Ning site like the one you are on now and reading this post from. Here is mine: Again, notice how I use my genre and specialty in the link name. It's easy to set this up and post your own work, articles, etc. just like you see here. Here is the main link to create one or use the link located to the bottom left of this site.

5 - Don't have a novel, start out by writing short stories! Short stories are potent page turners that get your writing style out there and test the reading audiance before you step neck deep into a novel that may not be what your reading followers want to read. Remember, you're writing to an audiance not to yourself. I think this is where a lot of disappointment comes from for start up authors/beginners.

6 - Submit your work to Writing Contest. This a real good place to test your writing skills and get a feel for what people think of your work. Here is one where I submitted my short story "Red Diamonds". Link:
Thank you, Jonathon, for all the good suggestions. I have printed it out and will work on it.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share with me.


Great advice and good information links. I will check out the sites you listed.

Luree Vanderpool
Basically "platform" is a word agents and publishers use instead of saying "guarantee of some sales".

At some level they realize that the success or a book is unpredictable and are looking for "automatic sales". (Some books, like textbooks, are all "platformed")

So if you can show them your radio show or lecture circuit and seven thousand first cousins, it aids their security in publishing.

It's a simple as that.

Some make the mistake of confusing this term with "credentials". Nope. My guess is if you went in with ten thousand signed, prepaid pledges to buy your book on rocket science they wouldn't care if you were a garbage collecter in the Ukraine.

One question I would have...would 74,546 "friends" on myspace and other social network sites count as a platform?

How about a website getting 500 hits a day? Should, huh?

Okay, here's my two cents, an author platform is the foundation an author creates to sell his/her books. For example, their website, Facebook Page, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, email list, newsletter, along with the various Facebook groups and other writing oriented organizations that they belong to. The message varies from book to book but the "foundation" remains the same. You can use your foundation to promote any of your books if you do it properly.

Cheryl Callighan, PAA, MVA

The Author's Assistants

Hello to you Susie,

My author participation also seems to be defined by the book that I am speaking about.
For example, I usually talk about European Mindfulness (i.e. philosophy) and Ancient Mediterranean history when promoting my 3 historical fiction books:
A-Ma Alchemy of Love,
Tree of Life: a Journey into the Field of Dreams or
Metaphysics of Sound: In Search of the Name of God
Knowing what my genre is I focus on it, either through exploring dreamy side of the soul or the rational history of the world, much differently than I do with my Personal Development Non-fiction Books entitled:
Mindful Being Course &
Conscious Parenting Course and
There, I wish to present the audience with practical personal development tips, or the alternate history time-line,
for the Ancient World's Exploration books - 
Conscious Creativity: Ancient Europe's Mindfulness Meditations and
Spiritual Symbols with Their Meanings
so for me, the author platform would ideally also be an interactive platform that involves the audience in real-time. However, this might be difficult to implement...

Hope this helps,

N. Pantovic
MSc Economics, author since 1991, Management Consultant & Adoptive Parent
AoL Consciousness Research
*Subscribe to my FB page 


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