As a a course in miracles author, you’ve probably seen the term author platform used a lot, but you may be wondering: what is a platform and how do I get one?
Your author platform determines your reach in the market and it’s a valuable tool in your book promotion activities. If you’re hoping to land a book deal with a traditional commercial publisher, a strong author platform is critical. When publishers evaluate book proposals, they want an idea of how well known you are and how successful you will be at promoting your book once it’s published.
The best time to start building your author platform is before you write your book or book proposal, because it takes time to build your platform. But regardless of where you are in your publishing journey, you can continue to strengthen your author platform.
I’ve seen lots of definitions for author platform, but it basically boils down to three things:
Branding helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace and makes you memorable. One of the most important parts of your brand is your author tagline – a concise and catchy description of what you do. Here are some examples of author taglines:
Use your tagline after your name in your promotional materials and signature, like a title. For example, I refer to myself as Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer.
Your author photo is another important branding tool. Be sure to get a professional looking photo and use it everywhere, to build recognition of you. Professional doesn’t necessarily mean a studio portrait – think about how the background, pose and clothing in your author photo can be a reflection of your brand and the type of books you write. Wherever your photo appears, list both your name and tagline as a caption beneath the photo.
Author branding can also include your logo, book covers, the color scheme you use, your distinctive style of writing or speaking, and your academic qualifications. All of these elements together constitute a recognizable brand that makes you makes you memorable and builds credibility as part of your author platform.