Do I really need to build a writer’s platform before I have a book published? Sounds like a classic “Chicken or the Egg” dilemma doesn’t it?
The answer is a lot less complicated than that old causality conundrum. You do not want to wait until you are published to build your platform, for two very good reasons.
First, building a solid writer’s platform and web presence, with social media and author websites, takes time and patience. It’s all about making meaningful connections, and those don’t happen overnight. Your platform is your network and reputation as a writer. You will want to have this firmly in place when you publish your book, so all it takes is a few clicks to inform a network of people, who know you, like you, and trust you, about it. If you wait until after you publish, you’ll be scrambling and in a panic–something that often leads to the fatal mistake of spamming. Set up your platform now and learn how to use it properly so you can be prepared.
Second, having a platform in place already will be beneficial in your search for agents and publishers. It tells them you are serious–that you have already begun to build the network and reputation needed to sell your future books. If an agent or publisher is considering working with two great authors, but one already has a network and reputation and the other does not–can you see how already having a platform might affect their decision?
Of course, before you publish your book, your platform will be limited to family, friends, supportive peers and the occasional “fan”who likes what you have to say–but planting the seed now will give your platform something to kick off from once your book is published.