Nathan Bransford: What is an author platform?

When Nathan Bransford offers advice in the field of book writing and publishing, we listen. In case you’re wondering why, here he is with advice on a subject this TVWriter™ minion didn’t even know existed. Here’s to your happy authority and eyeballs!

What did that last sentence just say? Read on and you’ll see.

Yes, this is a visual pun, not at all the kind of platform being talked about here. Our apologies.

by Nathan Bransford

“Platform” is a perennially buzzy term within the publishing industry. Particularly if you’re writing nonfiction and hope to be published by a traditional publisher: chances are you’re going to need a platform. It’s helpful (but not mandatory) for fiction too.

In this post I’m going to cover:

  • What is an author platform?
  • Which types of authors need a platform?
  • What are publishers looking for in a platform?
  • How should an author boost their platform?

What is an author platform?

To my knowledge there isn’t a standardized definition of “platform” and many people in the publishing industry use the term slightly differently.

But to me, platform boils down to two things: authority and eyeballs.

Publishers want to know that you are one of the best people in the entire world to be writing and promoting this book. Or better yet, THE best person.


  • If you’re writing nonfiction, do you have credibility as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the topic you’re writing about?
  • Do you have the ability to summon an audience to help promote the book?

If you assume that every single person in the entire world wants to write a book (which isn’t really an assumption, it’s basically true), are you in the top handful of people who could conceivably write about the topic and give it a marketing boost…?

Read it all at

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