author writing

What Comes First, the Platform or the Book?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

author writingConventional wisdom says that first you build a platform — be it a blog, a large twitter following, or something else — and then you write a book. But this formula often only works, initially at least, if the writer is interested in translating their online subject and expanding it into a book.

But what about the other way around, what if a writer starts with a book and then wants to develop a platform to go along with it? Does this appear, in our cynical world, appear to be too contrived a conceit to develop an audience? Perhaps to some, but most of us — saturated as we are with marketing — recognize this as an opportunity to connect with readers and, vice versa, for us to connect with an author.

But is one preferable over the other. If you’re moving from blog to book, is there a risk of having burned through your best material online? Drying up the well of inspiration? Or does the opportunity of writing a book offer new motivation to the writer.

On the other hand, does moving from a book risk taxing a writer beyond the herculean effort of putting together the original text.  And what if a writer isn’t suited to blog or Twitter — can they get away with it?

We’ve wondered before, “Should I Tweet?”

The key, as always, is to do the very best work you can in whatever format you choose to pursue.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.