Author Marketing & Platform
*It’s All About the Numbers*
When we (agents) submit proposals to publishers, we pay special attention to the part of the proposal that explains who the author is and what makes up their platform. And what publishers want to see is your platform expressed in numbers. So from the beginning, you as an author should be thinking this way:
- You don’t have a “popular blog.” You’ve had a blog for X number of months/years, with X monthly page views and X monthly unique visitors.
- You don’t “speak frequently to large groups.” Instead, your proposal lists every speaking engagement for the last year, and every speaking engagement already booked for the future, including the date, the event, and the NUMBER of people you spoke to.
- We want to know your Klout score, your number of Twitter followers, number of LinkedIn contacts, number of Facebook friends or fans on your profile page. We want to know how many visitors view your YouTube channel each month. If you use Facebook ads, Google Ad Words, or Wiki Book Summaries, we want the number of monthly impressions.
- If you’re regularly on radio, what’s your audience size according to Arbitron? If you write for a regular newsletter or journal, what’s the circulation? And yes, if you’ve previously published books, how many did you sell?
All publisher marketing is metric-driven these days. That’s one of the beauties of Internet marketing—everything is quantifiable.
If you don’t yet have anything impressive to share, don’t worry, everyone’s got to start somewhere. And if you’re just beginning, the important thing is not the hard numbers but rather a strong pattern of growth. Every platform takes time to build, and you should be tracking your numbers from the start so that you can see what spurs your growth and learn how to keep your platform growing. You’re going to need this information whether you’re seeking traditional publication or indie/self-pub.
When you’re putting together a proposal or pitch, don’t make up numbers or try to fake it! But if possible, try to find anything that expresses—in numbers—your salability as an author.
Are you keeping stats that give you an idea of your own potential in the marketplace? If you haven’t started yet, what’s holding you back? If you’re already doing this, what are you learning from it?