Creating an Author Platform
What is it?
Basically a channel for anything you do offline or online to create visablity and credability. It’s about your ability as a writer, your contacts, your expertise, your books, your personality.
Why do I need one?
An author with an established audience assures that booksellers will take notice of the book, that the book will likely get media attention (audience feeds more audience), and that there are likely fans who will immediately buy the book—all good for the publishing business. If you wish to pursue a more traditional way of publishing, then publishers and agents are more likely to take on writers with credentials and who are visible to their target audience.
How Long Does it Take to Build one?
Take it slowly and build it up, layer by layer. Think of it as a marathon and not a sprint. Even if you have not yet written or finished your first novel, start thinking about a business plan for how your author platform and your book promotion can generate income for you. Your book writing and your platform building needs to be self-sustaining.
Where Do I start?
1. Your expertise. Validate what you are about and who you are
2. Your books. An ebook, paperback and ideally an audio book but not completely necessary available to download on various online platforms or to buy.
3. Be clear about your target readers. What genre you are writing about? Who might want to read your books? What age group might they be?
4. Define your brand. How might your audience perceive you? A solid brand identity can be the critical groundwork for developing customer loyalty, customer retention, and a competitive advantage. ( I will be looking at BRANDING next week and offering advice and tips)
5. Stick to your schedule. It’s about follow-through and the ability to stick to a commitment to create content. It’s about consistency, and showing up even if it seems like no one is listening.
6. Publish some articles or blogs using one of many open source (CMS) Content Management Systems like WordPress, Medium or Tumblr. Find some local or national forums and ask if you can write some guest posts. Having your articles published exposes you to new readers and can be helpful in extending the potential reach of your next book.
7. Join organizations that share your values and can help promote your work or attend some writing conferences.
8. Don’t forget to write a business and marketing plan.
Do I Need an ONLINE PLATFORM?
YES and YES!
1.Create A Website.
You can either pay someone to do this or adopt a DIY approach. Register a domain name with a domain registration company like 123 Reg and then use a classic template website builder. The current top 5 are Wix, Weebly, Square Online, Go daddy and JIMDO. Even if you just have one page, it’s a start! All you need is a short bio, your author name and the name of your books. I tend to buy the domain name first, build the website then transfer the domain name over but most of these website builders can supply with a domain name
I have already done a blog on this so please refer back to my previous blog!
3. Build an email list
Get people who look at your website to suscribe to a mailing list. These are your readers. It builds up your relationship with potential customers. When you release or market a new book, you should expect see a spike in sales. I like aweber which provides email marketing but you can choose Campaign Monitor, Active Campaign, Hubspot Marketing and many others.
3. Use social media wisely
It can be rather overwhelming so be selective. There is no definitive – you must post on twitter, you must post on instagram. It is probably better to pick to two and stick to those. Post regularly. Social media marketing is about about engaging with your readers to get shares. Shares lead to follows. Having a u-tube channel is good to promote yourself, maybe make some short promotional videos about your books.
4. Link any social media accounts to your website
Increase website traffic. Position your social media buttons at the top of your website. Having links will improve your online presence and ranking in search results, helping your audience to find you.
Please contact me with any queries or if you need any help!