I was talking to a friend the other day, and he asked me how my book was doing.
I get this question a lot.
I filled him in on the general statistics, and we proceeded to talk about the challenge of releasing a book project in today’s social media driven world. As I work on my next book project, I wrestle with the idea of pursuing a more traditional book publishing route for this project. I went the self-publishing route with my first book project. A more traditional book publisher could bring a wider audience and distribution which is attractive, but there are also pluses to the self-publishing method.
Either way, a larger platform is critical to success in today’s world – in terms of quantity of book sales. And this is where I struggle.
I heard it said by one of my author friends that 90% of books sell less than 200 copies.
This is the reality in today’s world. I’ve learned that it takes a lot of hard work and self-promotion just to approach this number.
Publishers are looking for a large e-mail list, lots of Twitter and Facebook connections, and a lot of blog traffic.
This doesn’t happen by accident.
How does a person remain humble with a correct focus while promoting themselves and their platform?
This is the problem with platform.
We are instructed to be humble. We are taught to put aside our own interests for the sake of others.
Is it possible to build a platform while staying humble and pointing people to Christ?
I think so, but I think it’s a challenge.
This is the challenge I now face. As I pursue my next book project, I’ll be taking steps to grow my e-mail list and blog traffic. Meanwhile, I plan to use this platform to point people in the right direction. I’d appreciate it if the Stretched Community would keep me accountable to staying on the right track.
What are your thoughts on building a platform? What have you learned in the process of building your own platform?
This song by Colton Dixon speaks to me as I pursue this next project:
(For the record, I’ve sold or given away 116 copies of On Track – Life Lessons from the Track & Field. This includes paperback and Kindle eBook versions. This does not include the electronic copies given away to subscribers of my blog. As you can see selling more than 200 copies is no small task.)