Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules — A Literary Agent’s Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps (BenBella Books, $16.95) is like an all-you-can-eat buffet. You’ll need more than one trip through to satisfy your hunger.
Literary agent Carole Jelen and tech Michael McCallister have co-written an encyclopedic secret weapon. Experienced authors might shrug over the introductory steps of having a website, blog and Twitter account. However, things get intriguing fast. Following the 14 steps in order would mean a new author created a GooglePlus account before focusing on Facebook. However, the sub-chapter reads, “Why Facebook is necessary for authors.” Other chapters, such as Twitter, substitute the word “necessary” with “important.” Hmmm…readers might have fun simply debating which order the platform-building steps should occur.
Early on, Jelen and McCallister spell it all out. “The danger you face is this: If your own author platform is created badly, you may lose readers to an inferior product that was simply easier to find because its platform was superior to yours.”
The book’s organization is first-rate. Scanners concerned about the 14-point plan and the 384 total pages, take heart. Each chapter contains sections titled “Why you need this,” “How To,” “Best Practices” and “Final Steps.”
Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, wrote an introduction that would build up any shy writer’s courage. Reading about the constant, off-the-wall efforts Canfield made to tout his titles will fire up any author wanting even a sliver of his success.
The only thing missing from Build? The final reminder to keep writing. Yes, building an author platform is vital. So is having another book. With the steps Jelen and McCallister offer, you’re more likely that readers will be asking for more from you, too.