“Building your author platform” and what that really means
Episode #10 of the course How to self-publish a book by Emmanuel Nataf
“The more you engage with customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing” — John Russell, President of Harley Davidson.
We conclude our course by exploring how you can develop a relationship with your readers over time and build your platform as an author.
The term “platform” is thrown around a lot in publishing, but simply put, it’s about your ability to reach out to potential readers and get them to buy your book. These days, publishers are handing out book deals to internet celebrities, largely because they have a proven platform—in their case, millions of YouTube subscribers.
Why is building your platform so important?
That’s because there are a million channels through which you can market your book, from social media advertising to search advertising to email campaigns. The list is endless. While many of these channels can be effective, building your own platform reduces your dependency on expensive advertising. You will increase your sales by organically growing your audience.
So how do you go about building your platform?
Okay, this is the harder part. Depending on your genre and target audience, this involves:
Your author website: If people love your book, they’ll immediately Google you to find out more about you. This first step to building your online presence is crucial to keep your fans happy and engaged.
Social media: Social networks like Facebook and Twitter provide an excellent platform for you to interact with your readers. The best way to keep them engaged is by sharing original content: you can write blogs, run a podcast, host contests and give away exclusive gifts. Simply responding to tweets isn’t a bad start.
Mailing list: We already explored email as your most important marketing channel. In the context of your platform, it means you should send newsletters of genuine interest to your audience. Send updates at a reasonable frequency: too often and readers will unsubscribe; leave it too long and you risk losing your fans’ interest.
The idea is to constantly share unique and valuable content with your target audience. This way your existing fans remain loyal and engaged, and you keep expanding your audience as new people come across your work.
That’s the end of our course on self-publishing a book. I hope you learned some useful things along the way. This is just the beginning. In the near future, we’ll be bringing you lots of amazing courses that offer in-depth guides to editing, design, marketing and more. Have a great day!
“Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott
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