From Nathan Bransford’s post on why platform matters:
Let’s say you are thinking about writing a book of nonfiction and want to have it published by a major publisher.
The first thing you need to do is assume that every single person in the entire world wants to write a book (which isn’t really an assumption, it’s basically true).
The second thing you need to do is ask yourself if you are the most qualified person in the entire world to write and promote that book. This applies to virtually all nonfiction….If the answer to that question is no, then sorry, chances are you’re not going to get your book published by a major publisher. If you can imagine someone out there who is more qualified than you to write a book, then that person probably already has their proposal in front of publishers as we speak.
I bet that’s basically true for nonfiction. Nathan does make the point that it’s sort of true for fiction as well, as social media platform becomes a selling point for debut authors. Lively discussion of this trend then ensues in the comments.
My understanding, which could well be wrong, is that in most cases a big social media following does not translate well to book sales. That’s certainly better for those of us who do not, and probably won’t ever, have huge followings on social media.