By Christine Thackeray
This has been an incredible year for me. I had my first two books published and completed two more manuscripts that are currently under consideration. But in the last month I've also finally gotten back my sales numbers for those books and they were shockingly lower than I had hoped. Just because a book gets strong reviews does not mean it will sell like hotcakes. What I didn't realize is that the sales of a book are often decided before the book is even written.
There is a reason that so many celebrities are able to publish children's books and that Glenn Beck's book became a number one bestseller despite certain story flaws. These people already have a platform. In the publishing industry the word platform means a customer base or people that already know your name and WANT to hear what you have to say. Developing a platform is hard work and the truth is I STINK AT IT! But I'm trying to get better.
So that is my New Year's resolution- to increase my platform. There are a number of ways to do this. First I'm increasing the number of friends I have on facebook. If I don't have you- add me. Next I'm joining more yahoo groups that I'm interested in. If your interests or hobbies have groups you can join, that can be a treat venue. I've already gotten more traffic on my blog and website from reaching out more. Another area I'm going try is to submit articles to other LDS magazines and publications so that people recognize my name. Last, I'm going to look for speaking engagements and create opportunities there. I'd like to work on book club appearances and wonder how I can tap in there too.
With a little luck, I'll get my name out there better. What I wish I had known was that if I started sooner, then when that first book came out, it probably would have done MUCH better. If you are interested in writing, start now to increase your platform. It may not be as fun as simply writing, but it will drastically increase your opportunities to publish and certainly will increase your bottomline when you do.
Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.