Building an Author Platform
Guest Post by Yen Cabag
Nowadays, writing is only one part of becoming a successful book author. The other part is something many aspiring authors frown upon, but it is absolutely necessary: Building an author platform.
Does every author need an author platform?
One way of looking at it is this: let’s say you were buying makeup or some other beauty product, and you went online looking for a website and couldn’t find any. How would that make you feel? Wouldn’t it make you wonder if the product was manufactured in some grimy garage? Chances are, you would think twice about buying it again!
As an author, you also face a similar challenge: Readers will be more comfortable buying books from someone they’re relatively familiar with. And the other side of the picture is just as important: Publishers and bookstores are always more willing to take on someone who has a solid following.
What is an author platform?
An author platform refers to the name you build as an author, which includes the number of people that you reach. The bigger your following, the bigger audience you have for anything you publish. This makes publishers more willing to invest in your book and gives you a greater chance for more people to know about your book!
Maintain a blog. The key here is to think of giving value to others. Creating a blog gives you a place where you can offer your thoughts for free. Focus on developing useful content, and the more people that you end up helping, the bigger the chance that they will be interested in anything else you have to say.
One important note: when you blog, be sure to learn the basics of search engine optimization (SEO), since that will help the public find your posts.
Offer giveaways. Connected with giving value, people love giveaways. Just make sure you present the giveaways as something celebratory, and not as a desperate ploy to get people to do stuff for you.
Build your email list. As you start your website and blog, find ways to build an email list. People who sign up for free reports or free inside information that you give away on your blog can be a good audience for future marketing programs for your book.
Remember to choose the book promotion sites that match your genre. Some book promotion sites focus only on specific genres, so knowing which ones work best for you can save you a lot of effort.
Be effective on social media. Different people have different views on the role of social media in building an author platform. In any case, choose the social media outlet that you are most comfortable with, as that will shine through in the way you post updates. For example, some authors prefer to use Facebook, while others are more comfortable with Twitter or Instagram. The key is to choose what you enjoy using, so that you can do it without any pressure.