The Blog

Author Platform: Use the News to Boost Your Book & Platform

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Using the news can help boost the visibility of your book, your platform and you!

Themes run through your platform and book, whether it is fiction or nonfiction. Certain topics are prime candidates for coverage in the news such as:

• grief
• summer cookouts
• government authorities
• terrorism
• women's issues
• awareness of diseases such as autism, depression, breast cancer and others
• health conditions
• LGBT issues and gay pride themes
• back to school
• graduation
• weddings
• divorce
• holidays such as Valentine's Day, Christmas, Fourth of July, New Year's Day
• and more

When you tie these into your books and platform, make a point of following the news and pay attention to current events.

When something pops up in the news that is related to your book and platform, talk about it. Tie it into your next blog article, the posts you put out on Facebook, the pins you pin up on Pinterest, and the tweets you tweet out on Twitter.

Identify the right hashtags and keywords for your topic and use these to contribute to the larger conversation. This will insert you and your platform into the thick of the discussion and perhaps lead people back to your book, website, blog and world.

Journalists who are looking for sources often turn to authors for quotes, suggestions, guidance and commentary. Talk shows especially enjoy discussing current events with those who have written stories about related topics. Authors research particular subjects for their stories and thereby become great resources of information for the media as a result.

The news can also provide you with great ideas and storylines for your next novel or nonfiction book.

Books such as the ones listed below capitalize on news stories, events, conditions and occurrences that journalists continue to cover and discuss:

Terrorism: No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Ben Laden by Mark Owen

Economic Challenges: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Obesity: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

Religion: The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

Justice System/Falsely Accused: The Innocent Man by John Grisham

LGBT: Brokeback Mountain by Annie Prouix

Autism: Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds by Jenny McCarthy

Divorce: Heartburn by Nora Ephron

The key to writing is to write what you love, not for the trends. This goes for using the news too. There are certain trends in the news, but your book and platform should be broader than just one narrow focus designed to springboard you into being a news expert or commentator.

Instead, when you have finished writing your novel or nonfiction book, cull through it for applications to certain holidays, significant time periods of the year, evergreen news topics that receive coverage from time to time, and keywords. This will help you to determine how to use your book as your hook in so many ways with the media. It will also help you get better visibility in search engine results for several different topics your book and platform play into, especially when they are searched at a ravenous rate as a result of a prominent news story. Use these terms as tags for your book, articles and blogs when you post them as well.

The more you pay attention to the news stories your readers are hearing about every day, the more you can tie in your book and use it as your hook to raise your visibility and platform.