I have come to believe that an author platform is its own cool thing. It isn’t something you can just slap on top of your novel – a coat of promotion, a sprinkle of marketing – but a living, growing entity in its own right.
It needs to reach into many different places. You can’t just sit on your blog like a spider in its web and wait for the pretty flies to come. You need to find your readers across the different platforms – and you need to re-imagine and re-purpose your content to fit those platforms.
This requires work and time. An editor at a webinar advised her listeners to take half of your writing time and dedicate it to platform. Gone are the days when marketing your novel was something that happened after the fact. Now it has to be baked into the process.
Now it requires big meaning.
And by this I mean a big idea, a theme, an obsession, a vision, a mission statement, a full-fledged manifesto/a. Call it what you will. I like the phrase ‘big meaning’ because meaning is what we seek and make out of our lives, fleshed out through our creative work.
A sense of meaning is intrinsic to happiness. We need to love and work in meaningful ways. When we’re depressed, we say our lives have no meaning.
If an author platform is to be truly powerful, it has to mean something to you and to others.