Bob Baker's Full-Time Author Blog

Seth Godin on Building an Author Platform

Seth Godin gives a good dose of modern marketing reality with his blog post titled "The platform vs. the eyeballs." It's not intended for authors only, but the message certainly applies. Especially this excerpt:

Authors have traditionally relied on publishers to bring them readers. The author gives up the majority of the income and the publisher brings them the readers.

But then you see someone like Frank at Post Secret who builds his own audience for his (sometimes nsfw) content. He owns a platform, it's not something he rents.

Now, using a publisher is a choice, not a necessity. Just about every successful author going forward (except for the lucky exceptions like Dan Brown) will own her own media channel.

This dovetails perfectly with my own philosophy -- and the factors that allow me to make a living from my independently published books and resources for musicians and authors.

For years I have implored creative people to stop looking outside themselves for all the answers. Yes, you have to work with other people to share your message. But it all starts from a position of self-reliance.

Instead of asking, "How can I get the approval of a gatekeeper at some conglomerate and get access to their audience?" ... ask, "How can I build my own audience -- one that is loyal and supportive because I deliver value to them in an authentic and personal manner?"

That's the key to success today!



  • Hey Bob:

    This is a great post. For me it is an important reminder about having to take responsibility. As Jack Canfield says, "You have to take 100 percent responsibility for your life - 99 percent won't do!

    That is why I purchased your latest book 55 Ways to Promote & Sell Your Book on the Internet and am looking forward to putting as much in practice as I can.

    I am just dealing with a major problem with It involves having to change the ISBN numbers for 3 of my "independently published" books due to Random House buying Ten Speed Press and then Random House canceling the distribution Agreements that I had with Ten Speed Press. The problem with is that they have not placed any indication on the old Webpages for the respective titles (where the books are no longer available for purchase brand new) that the respective books are available for purchase brand new on new webpages. This is now only my problem, but any author's problem, whose book is on and intends to bring out a new edition.

    My new book distributor NBN has resigned itself to the fact that nothing can be done because does things this way. I know that something can be done, but I know that I have take the ball and run with it, being creative and innovative along the way.

    I will let you know how things work out and how I resolve this problem.

    But any sugggestions from you would help me solve the problem faster.

    Many thanks and so long for now,

    Ernie Zelinski
    Corporate Escape Artist, Innovator, and Unconventional Career Expert
    Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 110,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the Unconventional Career Guide Career
    Success Without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations

    By Blogger Ernie J. Zelinski, At Sunday, September 27, 2009  

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