By building your author platform before your next book launch, you can harness the power of potential buyers, industry contacts, and your entire web community.

The “author platform” is a fancy buzzword folks in the book business use to talk about an author’s fan engagement, their social media and web presence, the size and dedication of their readership, and their connectedness to other authors, bloggers, critics, agents, publicists, publishers, etc.

By building your author platform BEFORE your next book launch, you’ll be able to harness the power of all those potential buyers, all those industry contacts, and your entire web community to increase your chances of success. After all, the only thing worse than not publishing your book is to publish it and get ignored entirely.

So how do you build your author platform?

One day at a time, of course. Just like writing, building an author platform is hard work; it takes daily dedication and organization. But the benefit of that labor is your writing will actually have an audience!

For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume a few things about you (if any of these assumptions are incorrect, adjust accordingly):

  • You are not a full-time author yet, but you’re building towards it (i.e. you still have a day job)
  • You have other personal or family commitments that prevent you from spending every waking hour on your writing goals
  • You are able to set aside 2 hours a day (M-F) for your writing and platform-building work

Only Monday to Friday? Well, at times the drudgery of this platform-building is gonna feel like a “real” job — so you deserve a weekend. If you can sneak in a few extra hours to write on Saturday or Sunday, that’s great, but leave the author platform stuff for the workweek.

Your weekly writing and platform-building schedule

A few notes before you start building your author platform:

  • If you’re waking up early before work to get in your 2 hours, I’d say start by writing — that way if you’re in the flow, you can always keep going. If you’re doing your 2 hours after work, you might want to “wind-down” with the platform stuff; then do the writing afterwards once you’ve de-stressed.
  • I always thinks it’s smart to choose 2 social media sites to concentrate on at first. I’m using Twitter and Facebook for this example, but you could substitute with Pinterest, G+, etc.
  • Reading is something we’re hopefully doing all the time. But you gotta find time outside of these 2 hours for that!
  • Keep things flexible. You might end up spending an extra 20 minutes on your interview responses one day, which cuts into time to submit work for publication. Oh well. You’ll get back on schedule the next day!

Week 1

Monday

Tuesday

  • 60 minutes: writing
  • 30 minutes: revision
  • 10 minutes: respond to social media comments
  • 20 minutes: prepare 2 submissions

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • 60 minutes: writing
  • 30 minutes: write a guest post for another blog
  • 10 minutes: respond to social media comments
  • 20 minutes: website maintenance (updates, respond to blog comments, etc.)

Week 2

Monday

  • 60 minutes: writing
  • 30 minutes: revision
  • 30 minutes: schedule tweets and Facebook updates

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • 60 minutes: writing
  • 15 minutes: revision
  • 15 minutes: review newsletter copy and email it to your list!
  • 20 minutes: interact with book forums/book-recommendation engines, GoodReads, etc.
  • 10 minutes: respond to social media comments

Thursday

  • 60 minutes: writing
  • 30 minutes: prepare for your reading (press release, logistics, etc.)
  • 10 minutes: respond to social media comments
  • 20 minutes: seek out guest blog opportunities

Friday

Week 3

Monday

  • 60 minutes: do an interview (by email, phone, or in-person) for a blog, podcast, TV show, radio, etc.
  • 30 minutes: calm your nerves from the interview — drive back home
  • 30 minutes: schedule tweets and Facebook updates

Tuesday

  • 60 minutes: writing
  • 30 minutes: revision
  • 10 minutes: respond to social media comments
  • 20 minutes: prepare 2 submissions

Wednesday

  • 60 minutes: writing
  • 30 minutes: revision
  • 20 minutes: interact with book forums/book-recommendation engines, GoodReads, etc.
  • 10 minutes: respond to social media comments

Thursday

Friday

  • 60 minutes: writing
  • 30 minutes: join or maintain relationship with online writing group, author association, or sign up for a writing conference
  • 10 minutes: respond to social media comments
  • 20 minutes: website maintenance (make sure your blog looks pro)

Week 4

Monday

  • 60 minutes: writing
  • 30 minutes: revision
  • 30 minutes: schedule tweets and Facebook updates

Tuesday

  • 60 minutes: writing
  • 30 minutes: revision
  • 10 minutes: respond to social media comments
  • 20 minutes: prepare for your reading — which is coming up on Thursday!

Wednesday

Thursday Night

Friday

  • 60 minutes: edit the video from the night before
  • 30 minutes: post the video on your blog, YouTube, and share on social networks
  • 10 minutes: respond to social media comments
  • 20 minutes: WILD CARD! (do whatever you didn’t have time for earlier in the month)

This is just an example of one way to do it, but I’d love to hear from you: does this schedule look anything like your daily writing and platform-building routine? How have you started building your platform as an author? What’s worked? What’s been a waste of time? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Twitter Guide

 

Related Posts
How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Author Platform and Sell Your Book
Social Media For Authors
Five Essentials Of Your Author Marketing Plan
Rebel Miller: Book Marketing Lessons From A Self-Published Author
Book Publicity Tips From An Industry Veteran

 

Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 571 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

6 thoughts on “Building Your Author Platform in 10 Hours a Week (Including Writing Time!)

  1. Sunny Virgo says:

    I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you for the great post! I have been looking into building an author platform, and the schedule you made up is really something I am going to apply to my own life.
    Thank you again 🙂

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