How to Build the Relationships You Need to Become a Successful Author

To become a successful author, yes, you have to write an incredible book, one that speaks to the hearts and minds of your readers.

But there’s more.

Whenever you speak to a successful author, they will invariably talk about the people who helped make their success possible. It could be their editor, agent, or publicist; other writers and peers who helped provide guidance or make introductions; bookstore owners, librarians, and reviewers who spread the word; or the readers themselves who didn’t just buy the book, but connected with the author, each other, and helped turn the book into a conversation.

So when I work with writers, I focus on not just developing strategies and tactics to ensure they find readers for their books, but also develop relationships with some of the most amazing people I know in publishing.

On March 27th, I launch the next session of my 6-week online course: BUILD YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM. Built into the heart of the course is access to those with deep experience ensuring books get published and find raving fans. These are literary agents, publicists, authors, publishers, and those who have decades of experience ensuring books get read.

Here are the incredible bookish folks who have agreed to speak in the course:

Joanna Penn
Joanna Penn is a author, blogger, speaker and entrepreneur who helps writers learn how to best publish and sell their books. She knows the trends, and knows what works by speaking with hundreds of successful authors, and by publishing her own series of thrillers. She blogs at and you can find her on Twitter at @TheCreativePenn.
Jason Ashlock
Jason Ashlock is the President of Movable Type Management. He manages more than 100 authors across categories, aiming to tell stories across platforms, devices, territories, and generations. You can find him on Twitter at @JasonAshlock.
Justine Musk
Justine Musk is a writer of three traditionally published novels, who is currently working on an edgy psychological thriller called THE DECADENTS. She blogs about how to live a creative life at You can find her on Twitter at @JustineMusk.
Joel Friedlander
Joel Friedlander helps writers navigate the publishing process. He has an extensive experience in book design, and knows the ins and outs of how to take a book from a manuscript to a powerful connection between author and reader. You can find him at and on Twitter at @JFbookman.
Kathleen Schmidt
Kathleen Schmidt owns the public relations firm KMSPR, and has worked in publicity roles at Simon and Schuster and Penguin. She spends every day working with writers to ensure people hear about their books. You can find her on Twitter at @bookgirl96.
Richard Nash
Richard Nash Richard Nash is an independent publishing entrepreneur – VP of Community and Content of Small Demons, founder of Cursor, and Publisher of Red Lemonade. For most of the past decade, he ran the iconic indie Soft Skull Press for which work he was awarded the Association of American Publishers’ Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing in 2005. You can find him on Twitter at @r_nash.


There is no doubt that I look at this list and feel a profound sense of gratefulness that not only do I have the pleasure of knowing these people, but that they are so generous.

If you are a writer looking to grow an audience of readers, and to connect your book with the world, consider signing up for my 6-week online course BUILD YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM. Everything gets started on March 27th.

You will be able to submit questions to ask to each of these guest experts listed above, plus you get:

  • 6 career-shifting lessons that take you step by step through the process of how to develop your author platform.
  • Personalized feedback via weekly homework assignments, where I directly address your challenges and opportunities with advice to ensure you are on the right track.
  • The ability to ask questions 24/7 via our private online forum. Here, you can discuss key topics in developing your platform with myself and other students in the course.
  • 6 Exclusive Insider Calls, where I get on the phone with the entire class and you can ask anything. Here you have a chance to brainstorm ideas; dig into specific challenges you are trying to move past; and build close relationships with myself and the other writers in the course. All Exclusive Insider Calls are recorded, so if you miss a call, you always have access to the recording.

To find out more, you can read the full course description here.

So many writers I speak to keep putting off connecting to those who have the power to not only get their books published, but ensure they find their way into readers’ hands. But true relationships take time to develop. Start building them now.

Thank you.