When you think of a platform, you think of something you can stand on, right? Either to get a better look or to boost you up, support you. It's the same when referring to an author platform; only for authors, this also entails reach, or how loud your voice is in the social sphere.
Your platform is that which you may climb upon and scream a message to the masses that gets heard. Obscure sites don't really count when you're calculating reach--unless those obscure sites have rabid book fans that belong to you and you alone.
Social media sites, personal websites, blogs, and newsletters all add up to author platform, but a couple have more impact for you personally. Here's an example:
- Twitter--4k followers
- IG--13k followers
- Blog--2k subscribers
- Website--200 visitors per day
- Newsletter--20k subscribers
- Quora--2k followers
- Facebook Page (public)--4k likes
- Facebook Page (personal)--3k friends
- LinkedIN--300 connections
- Google Plus--2k connections
- YouTube Channel--150 subscribers
- Twitter--5 to 10
- Facebook Page (public)--2-5
- Facebook Page (personal)--20-30
- Google Plus--2-5
- YouTube Channel--50-70
Your bottom line number is your true platform. For every comment, click through to buy, share, plus one, like, or question asked, that's an engagement, but not a sale. You can't simply count opens of a newsletter--it needs to produce clicks. That's where the value of your platform lies.
As you can see, you need a HUGE platform to get enough sales to make a difference. This is why cross-author promotion is so helpful--but it only helps if your base platform and theirs are interested in the same genre. Imagine doubling or quadrupling those numbers above.
I know, right?
Anyway, I hope this helps to clear some of the fog off that vague "platform" term. When an agent asks about your platform, they wanna know how loud your voice is--they're looking for that second set of numbers.
What number would you say your platform is at?
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!