What Is An Author’s Platform – How to Build An Author’s Platform

Charlie Chaplin was born in1899, and most people are aware that he became an icon of the Silent Movie era of Hollywood’s film industry. Charlie Chaplin played the part of the Tramp, who was a tragic clown, and one might deduce that Chaplin himself may have been a bit clownish. The fact is that Charlie Chaplin was a brilliant writer, as well as a star. Among other things, Chaplin wrote and made movies about the impact of industrialization.

 

Image result for modern times

Released during the Depression Era, Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times illustrated that at that time and because of industrialization, mankind had become little more than a cog in the system.

That movie was made almost a century ago, and mechanization has blazed through society like wildfire since then, and more and more, mankind has been forced to perform certain rituals or to play types of games, merely to survive financially.

In one of his movies, Chaplin is hoisted to the highest spot possible atop a platform. In this scene, he is demonstrating the importance of taking certain necessary measures to be recognized–to stand out from among the mob.

People with Messages Have Been Taking the Stage or a Platform for Hundreds of Years

Social Media is the Way that People’s Message Are Made Public in the 21st Century

Social Media is the Way that 21st Century Writers Build a Platform

Simply said, a social media platform is the stage from which people, businesses, and ideas today can be discovered on the Internet. Like every other business,  a platform is necessary for success in writing.  We writers might like to believe that we are artists and therefore, that we are more elite and are above the devices of business, but we must get over that. In today’s publishing industry, writers are expected not only to create their books but that they are also expected to market them, too.

Traditional publishers are leaving more and more of the responsibility for marketing books to the authors themselves.

A platform in social media is crucial for marketing books. In fact, a platform in social media is usually necessary to even be noticed among the throngs of people who want their books to be published. The better publishing houses won’t even accept unsolicited queries or manuscripts from the little guys now. Getting an agent helps, but being picked up by a qualified agent is no small feat either. A social media platform might be necessary to be published at all.

It is important for writers to build a platform, but how does a person do that?

I have learned that having a Twitter account and a Facebook account are vital elements of a writer’s platform, but merely having either of those accounts is not enough. To establish a platform, a writer must find ways to use those accounts to his advantage.

The publishing industry seems to be especially fond of Twitter. Each year, there are several Twitter pitch events, and I heartily encourage writers to participate in them. #PitMad sponsors 4 Twitter pitch events per year. #PBpitch is another important event. #PBParty is still another Twitter event that can help writers become noticed. Even if the writer’s manuscript is not selected during one of these events, the exposure on Twitter during them is valuable. Please read my article:

Twitter Ptch Events: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: Are Twitter Pitch Events Important for Picture Book Writers?

Establishing and maintaining a blog is also a good way to build a platform, but again, it is not enough to simply write in a blog, you must market your posts, too.

I’ll talk about writing in blogs later, but in the meantime, I suggest that bloggers use WordPress, which is a dynamic blogging interface.

Whether you are posting on Facebook, Twitter, or writing in a blog, I also suggest that using images in your posts is vital.  Remember that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Read my post about the importance of using images in social media:

Why Is It Important to Use Images with Twitter and Other Social Media Posts?

As well as any other writer, I understand that writing itself is time-consuming and the thought of taking on the task of marketing one’s writing may seem like a daunting task, but I suspect that almost every writer wants other people to read his writing. Unfortunately, unless we find ways to build our own writers’ platforms, we will not likely find a huge amount of success in today’s publishing industry.