Hey writers! I’m so excited for you to be back at Fluff About Fantasy on this lovely Saturday. Yesterday, I had a fantastic idea about a new short blog series I want to start as the Worldbuilding one is gearing up for its end. I want to present the types of things that I have learned about building an author platform, particularly for fiction writers. Now, I’m young, and I’m new to this writing world. But as a young writer, I have picked up several valuable insights over the last few months that I would love to share with my readers. I hope that it helps new writers, young and old, to develop their readership as they write and shape their stories.
What is an author platform?
Based on what I’ve read, an author platform can be defined several different ways. The way that I’ve best come to know it is as a readership that enjoys what you’re writing and wants to hear more from you. Your platform is made of your message, your audience, and the methods you are using to reach them. Authors use this in the context of finding their target audience to sell their books. When you’re in the early stages, building an author platform can be used to find the people you read alike with, the people who read the genre you’re writing, and other writers who are working just as hard as you to tell their story.
Author platforms are primarily important for nonfiction writers as they need to establish their proficiency in what they are writing about as well as their public persona. For fiction writers, what matters most is the quality of your manuscript. First and foremost, focus on your writing. But having an audience that is regularly interested in what you’re working on and what you have to say can be a very good asset in the eyes of agents and publishers. And more importantly, it is a fantastic asset to yourself. I know that through my connections that I’ve built over the last few months, I have become a stronger writer and a better networker. I’ve made some great friends in the Writing Community that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Elements of An Author Platform
Now, the advice I’m going to give is not a one-size-fits-all package. You have to figure out what works best for you and what is most comfortable for you. However, the information I am going to give is based on what I have learned through research and through my own experience.
Message: What do you want to communicate to your audience? You could be trying to express something complex like a social justice issue or something as simple as the enjoyment of escape through fantasy stories. When I first started to think about this, I made a little list of five elements that I wanted to be associated with. They were as follows:
- Strong Worldbuilding
- Emotional and Honest Characters
- Strong Advice for Young and New Authors
I’m working on all of these. 😀
Target Audience: Who are the people you want to reach? Again, I made another list of my top five groups that I especially wanted to touch to narrow my focus a bit.
- Young Adults Who Enjoy Reading Fantasy
- Young Adults and Middle Grade Age Kids Who Enjoy Writing Fantasy
- Adults with a Childlike Fascination with Fantasy
- Fantasy Authors with a Desire to Help New Authors
- Aspiring Fantasy Writers
Tagline: Sometimes it can really help to narrow down your focus to one sentence. Note that I say sometimes; not everyone is good at narrowing it down. Personally, I’m not usually very good at this. I have a hard time summing up my vision in one sentence. However, for the blog which focuses on helping young fantasy writers with their work, I was able to create the tagline: Strengthen your work; revitalize your imagination. I think this sums up a lot of what I am trying to capture through this work. You can let me know how I’m doing in the comments below! (It would be appreciated!)
The Methods of Communication: This is how you communicate with your audience. These options are not exhaustive nor mandatory. But it can give you a good framework of where to start. Anything in italics will be addressed in its own separate article in this series!
- Facebook Page
- Email newsletter
All of these elements will help you build a strong author platform that not only will you grow from, but also you will be able to reach out and connect with the greatest of writers and the best of readers.
I’m very excited to share this series with you, and I hope you will all enjoy!