Creating Your Author Platform
My name is John Robin, and I’m the senior editor for Story Perfect Editing Services and owner of Dreamscape Cover Designs. One of the things I love most about the work I do is helping self-publishing authors put out books that are on par with what’s offered traditionally, and this has meant my work goes well beyond just the editing phase. Over the years, I’ve picked up a great deal of knowledge on the fundamentals of effective author marketing, and with a background in adult education, I find myself eager to teach this knowledge to the authors I work with. What better way to do this than through a course—so here I am!
Whether you’re new to publishing with a pending book launch or are well into your career and looking to improve, over the next 10 days, this course will walk you through the steps you’ll need to set up an effective author marketing plan.
Today, we’ll talk about the first step: creating your author platform.
Author Platform: What It Is
Your author platform is where readers can find you. It can be both physical and digital.
Your physical platform might consist of: bookstores, fan conventions, library signings, or other author events (like TV or radio appearances).
Your digital platform might consist of: your website, blog, social media, email, and accounts on other platforms you associate with your writing (such as an Amazon Author Central account or a Goodreads account).
Many authors make use of a physical platform, but since this course is about marketing an e-book online, I’ll be focusing on the digital aspects. It’s worth noting, however, that even authors with print titles can leverage a great deal more using online marketing, to the point that many authors with print and e-book titles have little, if any, physical platform (which is to say, if you are taking this course and want to market a print book, as well as an e-book, the overall principles we’ll discuss over the next 10 days will still apply, since readers can buy your physical book online through your digital platform).
Where You Should Be Online
It’s tempting to think that when you start out as an author, you should be everywhere online. This is not a good idea because every place you establish your presence requires time and energy to manage. When you are considering what you want your platform to consist of, choose the places you actually want to be. If you’re not sure, start small.
Some fundamental aspects of platform you’ll want to be sure to have are:
1. A website
2. Amazon Author Central account
3. Goodreads account
4. Social media
Other important and commonly used components are:
4. YouTube (or similar video media)
5. Forums or community websites
We are going to talk about items #1-4 in detail and touch on items #5-9.
The important point to remember about your author platform is that whether you are marketing an e-book or both an e-book and a print book, you can build a strong marketing plan just by setting up a good online platform.
Choose where you want to be online, making sure you have a website, social media presence (even if it’s just a Twitter account, that’s good enough), and Amazon and Goodreads author profiles. If you want to get involved in more than that, make sure it’s something you really want to do, so you can show up consistently and engage your fans in those places.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about item #1 on the list: making an author website.
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