Build Your Platform with an Email List

Build Your Platform with an Email List

A strong author platform is an essential ingredient for a successful cookbook. To define your platform ask yourself “Who listens when I talk, write, or speak?” or “Who am I in touch with on a regular basis through my restaurant or catering company”? Anyone who hears you, or buys from you, is your platform.

Publishers expect an author to have at least started to establish a platform.  The more connected you are with your cookbook audience, the more they get to know, like, and trust you. This trust factor makes their decision to buy your book easy for them, plus they like you, which is a bonus. Most publishers work on a limited budget for marketing and promoting cookbooks. Therefore, your author platform, and your willingness to partner with the publisher to promote your cookbook through your platform is an important piece of the publishing process.

One mistake aspiring cookbook authors make is they spend very little time building their author platform. Before the book is published, and sometimes even before the book is written, aspiring authors need to build up their audience for their future book. Publishers and agents love to work with aspiring authors who have a strong platform and who bring a connection with their audience to the publishing agreement.

One tool for building your platform is to build an email list of your customers and possible cookbook customers. To do so create a space on your blog or website to gather the names and email addresses of people who visit your website or blog. In addition, gather email addresses from customers who attend classes or presentations you do in the community. Entice customers to sign-up on your blog or website by giving them a complimentary copy of an eBook, manifesto, or tip sheet. Make the complimentary offer available for a download after the client or customer provides their email address. An email list then becomes a tool to engage in “keep in touch marketing” with your clients and customers when you send a newsletter, tip sheet, or recipe on a regular (and consistent!) basis to your email list. Each time your email arrives in their inbox the client or customer will think about you and your cookbook.

When you write your cookbook proposal it’s important to share with your agent or acquisitions editor how many customers you have on your email list. They like numbers! This list is a powerful tool for marketing and promoting your book and an agent or editor will enjoy knowing that you’re building an audience outside of just Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest.


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