In most basic terms, your author platform is how WHO YOU ARE and WHO YOU WANT TO REACH are represented through various media, interactions, and events.
The Author Profile is the first step in developing (or refining) your platform. It is designed to help you create a broader foundation, to clarify professional identity, and establish tone for marketing and communications purposes.
- You might be a writer who is better known in many other capacities (as a mother, a co-worker, a local business owner, etc.) ready to stake a claim to your creative identity.
- You might be an emerging writer who has published some stories, essays, or poems, but not yet a book.
- Or you might be a more established writer, with a book or two under your belt, who hopes to reach a larger and more diverse audience.
Be as specific and detailed as possible in your answers, and remember, this is about who you are as a WRITER.
- Where do you live?
- Do you have a particular regional, cultural, social, or political identity that informs your work? If so, how?
- What genre do you work in?
- Why do you work in that particular genre?
- What subject matter and interests inform your work?
- What themes do you find yourself returning to over and over again?
- Where are your stories, essays, or poems set?
- What are your other interests? Do these interests inform your creative work in some way? If so, how?
- What are your other skills? Do these skills contribute to your creative work in some way? Do they contribute to your professional identity as a writer in some way? If so, how?
- What activities do you participate in? Do these activities inform your creative work in some way? If so, how?
I’m not suggesting that every aspect of your private life should be made part of your public platform. In fact, in the process of creating (or refining) your author profile, you are developing your professional identity, which implies certain limitations. The distinction is that, as creative people, we get to have a little more fun with our professional identities than, say, bankers. We can be more personal, more transparent, and more authentic, because taking those kinds of risks is what making art is about. You get to set the parameters.