As mergers and downsizing continue to cause unexpected changes in New York publishing houses and independent publishers are becoming more prevalent, an author’s platform is essential for an individual looking to be published.
A platform describes who the author is in relation to the subject-matter. Related educational degrees, certifications, speaking experience, accomplishments and involvement are all part of the platform that proves the writer is a reliable source.
This list of credentials is not only a description of what the writer stands for and represents, it must state the author’s willingness to help the publisher promote his work. There is no other person who can market a book better than its author. Those who actively publicize their titles almost always sell more than those who don’t, and for an independent publisher, that will most likely make or break the project.
Nowadays, it takes a lot more than the ability to write a good book. Too many authors mistakenly believe titles with positive reviews sell themselves. They don’t realize that although a publisher can produce a first-rate book for them, it can’t magically establish a market. If an author is not involved and visible, it is extremely difficult for a publisher to find a way for potential readers to understand why they should pick up that specific title.
Publishers are not marketing or public relation firms. They are not only more responsive to authors who understand the importance of contributing time and energy to marketing their book, they tend to be more enthusiastic in helping those writers who have the passion and capability to do what ever it takes to make the work a success.
A book written by an author with marketing savvy and a platform has a tremendous advantage over an equivalent book by an author without a platform.
Lack of credentials and experience is one of the main reasons well-written manuscripts are rejected by so many publishing houses. Given the limited marketing budgets of independent publishers, the shrinking acquisition of books, and heavy competition, writers need a lot more than a good story.