Build It and They Will Come

Meghan Stevenson
2 min readJan 27, 2021

I understand I need to build my platform but . . . [enter bullshit here]

Whether you want to write the book first, think building a platform is hard work, or want to pay someone to do the work for you — I’m here to say that there’s no one who will care more about your book (or your business) than you will.

That might sound harsh but I’ve worked in publishing long enough to know that writing a book is the easiest part of the whole damn process. That’s part of the reason why self-publishing has boomed. According to Bowker, over 1.6 million books were self-published in 2018 (and that’s after 1.2 million in 2017).

That’s an increase of nearly 40%.

If we speculate even half that growth year over year, then the number of books self-published in 2020 would be 2.2 million books.

Which is a lot of freaking competition if you ask me.

The stats I just shared don’t even scratch the surface, really, because these numbers don’t include all the self-published books that don’t have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). And that includes the majority of books published through Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon).

Discoverability is the biggest problem in book publishing.

Finding a good book to read can be a challenge for readers — and finding people to buy your book is an incredible hurdle for authors. That’s why building your own audience — and a platform for you to promote the book — is so important.

When you have an established platform, you can speak directly to readers.

People know about you.

People trust you.

People want to read your book.

And therefore you can sell your book.

Whether you are self-published or not.

Do you remember the tagline from the movie Field of Dreams? Build it and they will come? That’s kinda the only way success in book publishing happens too. You need to do the hard-as-fuck work of building a platform and then — that’s when readers show up. My only question is: are you willing to do the work?

— Meghan

Meghan Stevenson

I help entrepreneurs, experts and thought leaders create book proposals that sell to major publishers. I also run marathons, save senior dogs and love the Mets.