Aspiring authors have it tough. Large online sellers like Amazon have driven down book prices. Those with an already made platform can still succeed, but to cut costs, publishers have cut publicists and marketing. Indie authors and small press authors are familiar with doing their own leg work. Perhaps seeing their success is what drove publishers to minimize their efforts (or as some say “optimized” them).
What does this mean for you, the aspiring author?
Small press, big press, no press – be ready to market. Plan your strategy now. You might have some help; you might not. Take the time while you’re writing to keep track of any groups who might be interested in your work.
Writing a historical fiction set during the Antebellum period? Why not connect with a few Civil War reenactor groups?
Writing a science fiction book set on Mars? The Moon? A distant planetary body? Contact astronomy groups!
When you approach these groups for their thoughts rather than to sell, you’ll get feedback, and there’s a good chance those who speak with you will become invested in your success. That, in a nut shell, is how you form the most simplistic of platforms. Speak with people. Get them invested in you – in your writing. You don’t have to go viral to build a platform.