Boost Your Platform with a Book Proposal
In this blog post, you’ll learn how your book proposal can be a powerful tool to carve out your niche in the literary world and boost your platform.
Boost Your Platform with a Book Proposal
You have all the experience, expertise and stories you need to write a book, but you also know you need to boost your platform.
Rest assured that having a smaller platform doesn’t mean your book dreams can’t become reality.
And while it’s undeniable that a thriving community—comprising devoted followers, email enthusiasts, clients, and supportive peers—helps with any publishing route you choose, you can build it with a solid plan and consistent effort.
I advise my book proposal clients that their present platform, no matter the size, is just a starting point.
And no, you don’t need to become a TikTok sensation to expand it!
You only need to learn how to teach or show up online effectively to build your platform.
Even better, when you follow my advice and work on your book proposal first, you’ll see that the marketing and promotions section will become a blueprint for how to grow your audience.
So, in this blog post, you’ll learn how your book proposal can be a powerful tool to boost your platform and build an audience of eager buyers.
But first, let’s briefly touch on why a book proposal is so powerful in getting a book deal.
Understanding the Power of a Book Proposal
Most budding authors know the weight a book proposal carries.
At its core, it’s the gateway to the publishing world, a pitch that sells your vision and marketability.
Your book’s marketability is directly tied to your platform – whatever the size – and how you plan to draw readers in before and after publication.
That’s why it’s essential to nail this portion of the proposal.
Next, we’ll define it and delve deeper into how it can help you build your platform.
The Marketing and Promotions Section
This section serves as a litmus test for understanding the market you’re writing for.
By demonstrating an intimate knowledge of your target readership and how you’ll reach them, you instill confidence in agents and publishers regarding your ability to effectively promote your work when the time arises.
The Marketing and Promotions section encompasses many elements, with the initial step being assessing your current platform.
Download my free Book Publishing Roadmap here for a detailed breakdown and outline of everything you must include in your book proposal.
Assessing and Building Your Author Platform
As noted above, every competitive book proposal includes the all-important Marketing and Promotions section.
This section is critical because it signals to the publisher that an audience is waiting to buy your book and spread the word about it.
It also clearly states your commitments and how you plan to grow over the next year or two.
After all, while sharing your story and expertise is essential, it’s only as impactful if read by those who need it.
So, taking stock of your platform now and where to take it for success is essential.
Let’s take a look at some considerations in the next section.
Here are some questions to consider as you assess your platform as it stands now and its potential:
- Social media numbers – How many followers and how engaged is this audience?
- Email subscribers – What is your email list size, and how responsive are they? How much are you communicating with them?
- Fans & Friends – Who do you know that will support the book?
- Professional Affiliations – Do you have any that will support the book?
- Press & Media – Interviews, article mentions, and press opportunities all count!
- Speaking– Have you been on stages? Panels? Have you taught workshops?
- Long-Term Plan – How will you promote the book to your audience and beyond? (6-8 month plan)
- Business Development – What will you launch in your business over the next few years to help promote the book?
If you have compelling answers to all of these questions, great! You’re well on your way.
However, if you’re like many successful business owners and credentialed professionals, you may have some work to do.
The following section will cover how to bolster your answers above and build your profile.
Leveraging the Book Proposal for Platform Building
Your proposal isn’t just for publishers. It can act as your roadmap and action plan to increase your followers, engagement and eventual readership.
Here are some best practices to consider as you build your platform:
Start Early: Why wait? As your proposal takes shape, drop hints on social media. It’s a snippet here, a research anecdote there, an exciting revelation– it’s all about creating buzz.
Engage with your Audience: Use your proposal as a conversation starter. Read a portion of your chapter summary, get their opinion on a title, etc. Feedback is gold.
Commit to building your email list with compelling content on social media and in your regularly scheduled emails. Poll your audience to see what they’re interested in. Ask them to share your emails with a link to sign up for your newsletter.
Collaborations and Guest Posts: Your proposal is a treasure trove of content ideas. Pitch guest articles or podcast topics linked to your book’s themes. Borrow other people’s audiences if they align with your target reader and make the offer to continue to follow you.
Events and Speaking Engagements: Propose free webinars or workshops based on your proposal’s content, reinforcing your expertise in the subject. Add value to your current and potential followers by sharing what you know and pique their interest.
Be Bold: Many writers fall victim to comparison, vulnerability, and overwhelm when discussing themselves and their work. I share this because these feelings are NORMAL.
But whatever you do, don’t stay paralyzed by those emotions—you’ll be robbing the world of your greatness.
Keep your eye on the vision.
Keep picturing that ONE person whom you can help and impact through your book.
Up next: one of the most impactful and effective ways to connect and keep your audience coming back for more.
The Art of Micro-Conversations
Many people feel they have to get on social media or in their newsletter and teach their entire model or share their whole story.
In other words, they believe they have to give it all away.
I like to advise aspiring authors to engage in micro-conversations.
To start a micro-conversation online, brainstorm all the sub-themes in your book. Pick a talking point for each post or reel, and spark conversation from there.
For example, I’m a book proposal coach, and in this blog, I’m teaching you how your platform connects to your book.
When this post goes live on Instagram, I’ll support it by discussing how writing a book can be a really emotional experience for writers.
I may also offer insight and engage with other writers about how to show up boldly in your writing.
These are just a few of the many related themes to play with. And, the more micro-conversations, the more content your audience will provide you with new and fresh ideas.
Before we close out this post, I want to caution you about some common, honest mistakes aspiring authors make when promoting their books.
Promotional Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoiding the common mistakes many authors make while building a platform is equally important as the should-do’s.
Here are a few to avoid:
Being Overly Promotional: Your audience seeks value. Offer insights, stories, and genuine engagement rather than a constant stream of selling. Selling has its place, but please serve before you sell.
Be Social: Platform building requires interaction. Create space in your calendar to respond to comments, spark discussions, and nurture the community around your book. You will find a treasure trove of feedback and insight to help you create more content they’ll love.
Assuming Instant Success: A robust platform is a labor of love. It demands patience, persistence, and authentic passion. Audience growth can take time, but you are not aiming for 100K followers. You strive to reach the people who need your book and will evangelize it!
That said, as long as you show up on your platform to offer your reader value, you’ll be well on your way to building your platform.
Want to Boost Your Author Platform? Start Planning With Your Book Proposal
As I’ve shown in this post, not only is your book proposal a pitch for your book, but it’s a dynamic marketing plan that you can action to boost your author platform.
It doesn’t just sell the idea of your book; it lays the foundation to find a community eager for your voice and your work. It also helps build confidence and messaging around your future book, which can easily be transitioned to your platform.
So, as you craft that proposal, envision the vibrant platform it will help you construct.
Here’s to a journey that takes your book far beyond the shelves!
Click here to download a guide and template for your book proposal, including the all-important promotion and marketing section.
Share this post!
In this blog post, we’ll cover permission to pause in your writing, not just from the perspective of having a “maybe pile” but for everyone committed to projects—especially if you’re knee-deep in your book proposal or manuscript.
I’ll share key takeaways from my in-depth and far-reaching conversation with her in this blog post. You’ll have an inside look into what she looks for in book proposals, how she stewards authors through the process, and why acquiring a book is a mix of mystery and science.
Need a roadmap to publishing your book?
I’ve got you covered!
Enter your name and e-mail below and I’ll send you my roadmap for developing your book idea. You’ll learn how to attract the right agents and publishers, and be on your way to getting your book out into the world!