Building a Strong Author Platform: It’s Not Just About the Numbers

Writer Unboxed

When writers are trying to build platform—in order to land a book deal—they often ask me questions like:

  • How many Twitter followers do I need?
  • How many Facebook likes should I have?
  • How many website or blog visits are required?
  • How many people need to be on my email newsletter list?

Every agent or publisher will throw out a different number to such questions, and usually that number is made up. What’s even more frustrating: building a platform only to land a book deal usually ends up short circuiting. (Here’s why.)

A smarter and more strategic author should evaluate their platform strength on three levels:

  • ability to reach new readers,
  • ability to engage existing readers, and
  • ability to mobilize super fans.

Over at Writer Unboxed, I explain how to take a holistic view toward building your author platform.

Posted in Business for Writers.
Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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4 Comments on "Building a Strong Author Platform: It’s Not Just About the Numbers"

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[…] https://www.janefriedman.com/building-a-strong-author-platform/ “A strategic author should evaluate their platform strength on three levels: […]

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[…] Friedman reminds us that a strong author platform is about more than numbers, Kristen Lamb dissects what platform is and why do authors need it, and Jami Gold asks if your […]

Judy Prescott Marshall

Hi Jane, thank you for your dedication and for sharing your insights. Question. How many pages make for a good marketing plan?