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Three Ways To Build a Strong Author Platform

An impressive author platform is crucial for your writing career. It allows you to reach readers because of your name, reputation, or connections. As a self-publishing author, it helps you access readers with ease. And if you want a traditional book deal, it makes the journey smoother, especially if you're a nonfiction writer. This article shows you three things you should do right now to grow your platform.

1. Build your reputation through your publications. As a first-time author, you can't boast of publishing bestsellers or other achievements to convince publishers that you're the real deal. But books aren’t the only publications that matter in boosting your reputation. For fiction and nonfiction, writing guest articles for newspapers or literary magazines is a perfect way to put your name out into the world. You can write book reviews, opinion pieces, personal essays, literary discussion pieces, book lists, etc. Magazines can be an excellent launchpad. If you're a poet, short story writer, or novelist who can write short fiction, you can publish pieces of your work in magazines. These publications can readily grow your author's resume. Literary magazines are a popular hub for literary agents looking for new talent. So, a well-received, well-written story could lead you to a book deal. Ensure the author bio you provide links to your website and social media accounts so that people know where to find you if they like what you write.

2. Consider booking some speaking engagements. Authority significantly affects how well your book will sell, especially if you're a nonfiction writer. People only trust your opinion if they appreciate your level of expertise and experience. Speaking engagements are a significant marker of social validation to include in your book proposal. After psychologist Brené Brown’s TED Talk went viral in 2010, she became a sought-after speaker and NYT-bestselling author. When you decide to book some speaking engagements, be prepared to speak for free to build your testimonials and reputation. You can contact local companies and organizations and offer a specific workshop or talk that will deliver immense benefits to their audience. Use your speaking engagements to establish relationships and spread the word about your book, ideas, and story. You can even consider building revenue as a speaker in the future. But for now, it’s a smart move to focus on building your platform, even if it means speaking for free. 

3. Enter your work in literary prizes and competitions. Receiving an award or getting shortlisted for a prestigious literary award has a huge impact on your reputation and credibility as a writer. For example, the 2020 Booker Prize launched four debut authors to literary fame. Don't ignore the importance of participating in these competitions; it may be necessary for your writing career. And though the Booker Prize requires a publisher to nominate you, plenty of writing contests and prizes only require a simple entry form. Most of them allow you to enter for free. Everybody loves a prize-winner. And you won't become one if you never enter your work for any prizes. So, it’s essential to look into competitions or awards that are a good fit for what you have to offer and send in your best samples. If you don't have any published book to enter, you can submit a poem or short story. Having a poem or short story distinguishing itself in a competition or award is a fantastic boost to your author's bio. Literary agents typically scout talent from these prestigious competitions. 

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Frank Stephen