Sunday, January 20, 2013

Author Platform, are you known?

I walked into the book store the other day.  Anyone who knows me, knows this isn't something new, nor something to be rushed.  I always head directly to the Fantasy shelves.  I look over the authors I know. I remember that I already have each book that catches my eye.  I step back.  So many books.  The shelves look like chaos.

I scan to see what covers look appealing, but in the end I don't pick up a new book to read.  Instead I'll head over to one of the books from those that have been interviewed on the Blog Ring of Power, or that have been suggested to me.  More often then not, it's a YA novel of speculative fiction base.  It makes me sad, even though I've picked up many great YA novels since the start of BRoP. (I admit I haven't picked up every book of every author we've interviewed.)

It's hard for me to get into a book that is completely new to me.  Either by being from an author I don't know, or just a book I haven't heard about before.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

So what makes a new book stand out above the others? What makes one author known more then another?  The answer is, word of mouth.  In all it's grand standing we sell our books by selling ourselves.  The great author platform comes to play.

Each author, or any professional for that matter, needs to build a trust on who they are and what they represent.  The platform shows the world: what the author writes, who they are and in turn, builds the relationship.  We need to gain friends and connections before we can ever hope to sell even one book.

In the information age, social networking and gaining an audience is the only way to move forward.  It's easy to interact, but it may not be as easy to know what you want to represent for your author platform.  Perhaps you are writing two different genres or have two different pen names. What would you do then?

My suggestion would be to keep them separate   Don't confuse the audience or they will find other things to distract themselves with.  It may be a lot to handle, but then if your just starting out, start slow.  One thing at a time.  Focus on the one thing you love the most, when you have the niche and are confident with it, move to the next.  Just make sure you keep up with the first one, even as you start the second.

So with going on the word of mouth theme.  Can anyone suggest a good adult fantasy-non urban, for me?  It's been a while since I've gotten into one of those.  Thanks.


  1. Wait, people write adult fantasy that isn't urban fantasy? :P

    Good post!

  2. I just realized that this is my 100th posting. I think I probably should have celebrated this in some way. But no. I just hope I can keep this going.

    Thanks to all my readers!

  3. I suggest the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson or The Legend Of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron. (I think that's her last name.) Both good series.

    And of course if you wait until spring, I could add my own book to that list. :)

    1. Thanks Michelle! I'll have to make sure to keep an eye out for your book, and I'll pick up the Mistborn series. Several of my friends have recommended that already.

  4. Hey, stranger! How have you been?
    Thanks for sharing. I have spent much time working on this very thing. Unfortunately, sometimes these things take time as well. I have been struggling a bit of late with this - not that I'm giving up or anything. I've simply spent much effort doing all of the networking these past few years and having little to show for it. I'll continue, but with my limited time, I think I may be better served simply spending that time writing more and allowing the work to do the talking. We'll see.
    *hugs* to you, my friend.


  5. I agree with James, but hey, I suppose every little bit counts? I guess it can't hurt to have your name out there, but yeah, as an unpublished author I'd spend it writing right now.I've found that the stuff I did as an unpublished author had very little impact on my career once I did get published *ducks in case of flying tomatoes* ;) I know it goes against conventional wisdom, but it's true.

    As to reading, anything by Melanie Rawn is pretty good. I'd also recommend Michael Moorcock and J.V. Jones, if you haven't read them.