What is an Author Platform?

Many new authors ask, “What is an Author Platform? And why do I need one?

Whether you are publishing traditionally, or independently, an Author Platform is massively important in today’s market. Since the majority of books are now sold online, it is more important than ever to have a presence in places that your customers hang out. So how do you do that?

‘Author Platform‘ is a comprehensive term that encompasses your entire online presence. But it is more than just a term, it needs to be a strategic marketing tool. Usually, it is centered around a website, but there is much more to it than making a webpage and pushing ‘Publish’. This is where many writers fail to capture an audience, which ultimately means their book sales slow to a dribble, as do other potential income streams. Even many of those that do build a nice website and have a presence on social media, fail in the strategic planning department, because tying it all together is critical.

Here is a list of components that can help you turn your presence into a marketing plan:

  • Create a meaningful Logo
    • Even if it is just your name, make it distinctive and identifiable.
    • Fiverr.com is a great resource for logo creation, cheap. Mine was around $20.
    • The idea is that the common logo across all of your platforms helps unite your image in the marketing plan.
  • I write under my own name, but I also have a Pen Name for Fiction works. (this is new, so don’t go searching for T.J. TAO books until after August of 2019). But while they each have their own Social Media profiles, all of them look very similar and all of them link back to www.WordsmithMojo.com. This is where you want to drive your followers and keep them engaged.
  • Have a presence on as many social media sites as you can, You don’t have to work them all, all the time, but be there because you never know where your next champion will come from.
    • Work Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter consistently, the others work when you have time, but it is critical to work them occasionally.
  • Blog… You are a writer, sharing your thoughts, talents, and knowledge will help people engage with you personally and get to know you a bit. Build a steady stream of new followers.
    • Sharing your own blog posts on the other social media sites is a great way to get people to come to your website… it’s quick and easy too.
  • There are four primary reasons that you want people to come back to your website.
    • First is so you can engage with your followers (readers)
    • To let them see all of your offerings in one place
    • To have them sign up for a newsletter or free eBook and build your email list. Start this from day one.
    • If you do it right, you can make more from the affiliate sales links on your page than you will from selling books.

I am not saying that I have it down to an art form… yet! But as a long-time business owner, I know that you need to give customers as many buying opportunities as you can. To do that you need a comprehensive plan.

One additional side benefit, if you have gone the self-publishing route, once you have built a significant audience, the publishers will start coming to you, not the other way around… of course, by then you may not need them.

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