In simple words, an Author Platform is the ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.
In today’s ultra-competitive book market, an author’s success is determined by more than just the quality of their work. In order to be successful, an author needs to have a substantial online presence and also be a smart marketer. This is why it is extremely crucial for you as a writer to build an author platform.
The term causes fear, because it covers many aspects, but do not be afraid! All successful writers have started from scratch, so do not forget this and keep in mind the following 6 important things to consider on how to build an author platform.
1. Develop Your Brand
As a writer, you can go about growing your online brand in any way you see fit as long as you position your author brand as something unique and authentic. The most important things you should consider when developing your brand is the message you want to put across, and what differentiates you from the rest of the pack.
Visual presentation is essential in developing an online brand because things like color scheme, typography, and logo are responsible for attracting people to your books.
Branding confirms your credibility as an author, it allows you to connect emotionally with your readership, and it motivates them to buy your book. Branding helps you getting a loyal audience.
2. Launch Your Digital Home Base
If you are the type of person that thinks ahead, building your author site is a very smart idea. It does not matter if you haven’t published your book yet. The best advice when it comes to creating one is to do it right away. If you start thinking about getting your site online right when you release your first book, then you will realize that it will be necessary to promote the site as well to gain more exposure.
Take your author website as a node where you can post blog entries to share on social networks. This will help you establish yourself little by little.
Some authors decide to build them by themselves, and save money, while others prefer to hire a professional designer to ensure that it is done correctly without having to waste time on technical issues such as settings to put it online.
While creating a professional author website is not free, it can be surprisingly convenient because that way you can dedicate your time to writing, and leave the design aspect to someone who has the expertise and experience to do so.
Creating your author site in advance is also important, because over time google, and the most important search engines are going to give a lot of relevance to the age of your site. This will impact on how your pages and blog entries will rank. Better rankings in google mean more traffic!
3. Focus on Your “Most Important Metric”
Focusing on your most important metric means that you must focus all your efforts on how to gain more audience and turn it into loyal fans. This may sound difficult, but it is possible with the help of the implementation of newsletters sign ups.
Publishers value highly those authors who have a large subscriber list, even more than followers on social networks. Having the email addresses of your readers will allow you to have a closer contact with them. This is possible with services such as mailchimp, where you can manage your email campaigns. A good idea is to offer a free chapter as an incentive for your visitors to subscribe to your mailing list. Remember that your book may not be published, and yet you can start building your mailing list.
4. Use Social Media
To achieve faithful followers it is important for you to be authentic and consistent with social networks. Focus on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. Many authors also use Pinterest to share their blog posts, quotes, book covers, books they have read and are reading at the moment. Consider using Instagram as well and share your photos, and what you do day by day. If you are a young adult author, do not lose sight of Tumblr, as there are many young adults hanging out there. Use hashtags and be spontaneous!
5. Create A Content Funnel
The most important thing to know is that the more interesting and free content you offer, the more readers will become familiar with your work over time. That is why it would be essential that you not only consider blogging, since this will generate traffic on your site, but also offer some other type of incentive or premium content on your author website. Create giveaways, offer free chapters, write character bios and special content. Encourage your readers to subscribe to your mailing list. The larger the list, the greater your reach and success in sales.
6. Develop Relationships and Links
Seeking to develop good relationships with other authors and influencers is of vital importance. Follow them on social media, interact with them, pay attention to their blogs, what they write about, and comment on their posts. Get to know other people, do not hide and try to be active in social networks, forums, and other bloggers comment sections. With time and once you have your blog and author website placed, you can send emails to ask for guest blogging. Remember that gaining exposure is one of your fundamental tasks to win more readers and grow your author platform.
Building an author platform is a process that does not end. It may seem overwhelming to authors who have not yet published their first book, but it is not an impossible task. It requires a little investment not only of time and money, but also of being organized and achieving the habit of being consistent. Do not let the enthusiasm decay over time, start building your author platform, spontaneously, and make sure you have fun!
If you have any suggestion or you want to share your experiences on how to build an author platform, let us know below in the comments section!