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Here’s What All the Fuss Is About

If you’re an aspiring author who doesn’t know what an author platform is, you might

While industry folks may argue that platform has always mattered, today it’s more important than ever

I acquired nonfiction women’s books for Seal Press over the course of eight years during the

In 2004, when I started, author platform was barely on our radar; by the time I left in 2012,

Many aspiring authors believe that platform is all about social media

Here’s what I was looking for as an editor and what I now try to help

Some of these factors, like personality and ability to execute, are difficult to gauge

But these very factors are why authors with popular blogs and established fan bases get book deals:

If an agent and an editor have a strong working relationship, oftentimes the agent serves as someone

Investing time and effort in your personal brand is crucial to your success as an author

If you’re asking, “What’s in it for me?” you should know the most important element

Knowing how you want to differentiate yourself will save you time too, because you won’t try

Personal brand management is about collecting and presenting the pieces that tell your story

Both of these authors garnered large advances on the strength of their platforms (which were not specifically

Andrea had almost no social media presence, no previous books, and not much by way of previous

She couldn’t showcase that she had a strong existing readership, either

He had a new fan in Oprah, though (contacts!), a huge existing readership, expertise in spades and

Just listen to this podcast from bestselling fiction author, Ramy Vance

Her expertise matters a lot — as do her contacts in the medical world

Fiction authors are scrutinized for the other aspects of platform as well: contacts, previous books, previous media,

Rather than feeling lost and unsure of what to try next, you can look at what has

For example, if you keep track of podcast downloads after sharing each episode on social media, you’

Whatever system you use to plan your marketing, make it work for you

If you’re a writer who wants to publish in any capacity, author platform can be a

For writers who are just beginning, it can feel like you’re coming really late to a

Remember that what you bring to the table already — just by being you — comprises a large part

With this you at least have a foundation, and possibly, with the right project, enough to land

But most authors need to start to layer on the rest of the components in order to

Remember this sometimes hard-to-swallow fact: getting rejections is often not about how good your book is, or

Your platform is an engine working for you to meet that goal, and all you can do

(Don’t look to the outliers to make a case for not attending to your platform, though

Platform-building is a fine balance between being authentic and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone as much

Earlier in the article, I said that social media isn’t the only piece of the author

And if your social media accounts prove your ability to execute over the years and show your

That’s why it pays to take social media and platform building seriously

**Editor’s Note** We’ve teamed up with Self-Publishing School to offer this free training on How

This is an updated version of a story that was previously published