As a result of a teleseminar I gave yesterday, my calendar has been full of strategy calls with people who want to write or market a book and need questions answered or help. (If you want to book such a free call with me, click here.)
I’ve been amazed how many of the people I’ve spoken with have a well-established platform for marketing their book and other products. What’s a platform? It is a collection of ways in which you already have contact with a significant audience–frequent presentations; a newsletter; on-line or newspaper or magazine columns; and so on. If you contact a literary agent or a publisher, they are sure to ask about your platform. Do you have one? What is it?
A solid and broad platform is the key to immediate volume sales of your book. One person I spoke with has a continuous stream of corporate presentations on the very topic about which he is writing. I pointed out to him that most of his corporate clients are likely to want a copy of his book for each member of the audience; this could double his revenue from a single engagement! He agreed.
If you already have an established platform, think how you might take advantage of it to promote your book. If you don’t yet have one, consider investing time and energy into the creation of an appropriate one; it will both greatly increase the volume of your book sales, and enhance your market presence for your professional services.
Arielle Ford says in the Huffington Post:
“I don’t buy authors, I don’t buy books, I buy platforms.” – #1 Self-Help Publisher in the world
One of the biggest mistakes authors make is thinking that they have to first write a book or the book proposal and then go out and look for a publisher. In reality, the biggest thing you need to do before you approach a publisher is to build your platform.
You want to be able to say to any publisher, “I have 3,000 names in my e-mail database. I’ve have been a guest speaker on 10 radio shows. I have done 20 paid speeches, and I am scheduled for four weekend workshops. Here is my list of upcoming speeches, the interviews I have done and my press kit.”
The reason you want to be able to tell a publisher all of this is because the only question they really have for you is, “Who is going to buy your book?” If you have something important to say and you are on to something that’s really great, you still aren’t ready to be an author until you have a platform.