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The platform conundrum

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Aug 2, 2017 5:35:46 AM

 

Platform is a word that you hear thrown around a lot today. One might even call it an overused word. New indie authors entering the publishing world are likely to be bewildered and maybe even intimidated by the proliferation of talk about platforms. They may be asked, "What is your author platform?" Or, they may hear, "You need a multi-platform approach in order to reach as many readers as possible." They could even be told that, "A cross-platform strategy is the most optimal solution to create buzz about your book."


That's a whole lot of "platforming" going on. Allow me to try and add some sense to the flood of platform talk in publishing:


1. "What is your author platform?" This is in reference to your mode of brand building apparatus. Do you use social media to establish your brand? Are you a blogger? Do you produce online videos to build your brand? Each segment of your online presence is a part of your platform. When someone asks you what your author platform is, they are asking you how you're getting the word out on a regular basis.


2. "You need a multi-platform approach in order to reach as many readers as possible." This statement is simply saying that the more versions of your book that are available for sale, the more readers you will reach. In today's word that means a print version, a digital version, and an audio version. If you do the math that means the same book can be available in three different "platforms."


3. "A cross-platform strategy is the most optimal solution to create buzz about your book." This statement is in reference to what marketing vehicles you are utilizing to market your books, which include your platform and the platforms of other brands. Are you contributing posts to another author's blog? Are you appearing on another online video personality's channel? Are you a part of another author's or artist's social media community? In addition, you will provide the same marketing opportunities to these same individuals that have given you a piece of their virtual space. You are sharing brand communities.


To complicate things a little bit more, the word platform is used in other contexts in other industries, so there's always going to be some confusion surrounding the word, but I hope for now, the publishing industries platform conundrum is less challenging to understand.

 

-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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536 Views Tags: self_publishing, marketing, branding, social_media, author_marketing, author_platform, author_identity, authro_brand


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