Before you can begin marketing your book, you need to build your AUTHOR PLATFORM!
What is an AUTHOR PLATFORM? I know you are probably visualizing something like a stage, but that is not what an AUTHOR PLATFORM is. There are some different ideas about what should go into an author platform. Jane Friedman says, “Platform building is an organic process and will be different for every single author.” However, she believes that you should think about these three ideas when building your author platform: “your unique story/message; your unique strengths and qualities; and who your target readership is.”
There are some standard pages that you can create on your Website that make up your AUTHOR PLATFORM. These pages include the following.
The pages that any author needs on their site include:
- Book Summary/Book Pages
- Opt-In with Free Gift
This page is your landing page. It should greet your visitors.
This is your Bio Page.
This page is a blank page, when you create it. However, it will hold all your BLOG POSTS.
Book Summary/Book Pages
This can be one page or many pages, depending on the number of books you have published. If you have more than one book, set up a page for Books and a page for each book that is linked to the parent Books page
This page should be full of endorsements and testimonials. If possible, get permission to use their photo, as well as their testimonial. Photos make pages more interesting.
Opt-in with Free Gift
This page is a promo for your FREE Gift. It also has an opt-in form. Your FREE Gift needs to be something that your readers want and is a big enough gift to entice your fans to sign up for your list. You want fans who are going to be loyal, to do that you need to give away something to encourage them to sign up for your list. You can then use the list to market your book.
This page lists all your appearances:
- Interviews; and
- Other activities that are relevant to your Book or Business.
This page is for Media Inquiries. On this page include:
- Professional Picture of You
- Book Cover
- Summary of Book
- Press Release Announcing Book
You need to get a professional photo taken. Do not use a snapshot unless you are using it for a placeholder while you get your photo made. Make sure your photographer can take a studio portrait. Get your hair and makeup done before your appointment. Wear professional clothing, such a suit.
Building Your List
One of the things you need for marketing your book(s) beyond your Author Platform is to Build Your List. The way to do that, of course, is to use your Author Platform. The Opt-In Page and Free Gift is the page on your Website and Author Platform that helps you do that.
Marketing and Your AUTHOR PLATFORM
In today’s book publishing world, there are many more books being published as e-books and print books by traditional and indie publishing methods. All of these books on the market make marketing very competitive, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Remember that competition can create opportunities to be more creative to find a solution that positions you in unique ways.
What your AUTHOR PLATFORM does is to represent you and your “business” (and as an author, you are in business – the business of selling your book, if nothing else) as a solid foundation that embodies your author resume. Your Website is a major part of your public relations and marketing, because it represents your professional reputation, as well as intensifies your visibility.
Of course, the Website will need to have traffic to do any of this. To drive traffic to your Website or Author Platform, you need to write blogs for your Website, post to Facebook, write guest blogs and get them published on other similar Websites that have an audience that will bring visitors to your site. Pick Websites to guest on that have not only a similar focus, but has a larger audience than you have.
Your Author Platform is integral for your marketing success. While an author used to simply sell a great manuscript based exclusively on its writing merits, these days it is more difficult to sell your manuscript to traditional publishers. If you do sell it, the fact that you have an Author Platform will help sell your manuscript to a traditional publisher. If you plan to Indie Publish, which can include doing everything yourself or hiring a done-for-you Indie Publisher, the done-for-you solutions can be everything or some of the tasks.
Creating your Author Platform needs to be done prior to finishing your book. There are many things you can do within your blogging to help pre-build your list. For example, you can give away something that gives a peek into your main character.