So today we’re talking about building an author platform. This is important, so pay attention.
Now let me completely honest with you. I am terrible with computers and software and all that other stuff. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t realise the importance of being socially visible.
Times have changed in recent years, and where an author merely had to produce a top quality book and pimp it to the top dogs over at the big publishing houses leaving them to do the bulk of advertising, self-publishing has opened up a whole new playroom for authors. With that comes a lot more work though, and that’s where being visible is important.
There's no point in writing an awesome book if no one knows that it exists!
Readers want to connect with you on a personal level, not just that, but you need to connect with other authors too.
Finding like minded authors, helps get you through the bad times when you’re struggling, and so does the occasional messages you get from people that enjoy your books.
There is now a minefield of different ways to do connect with people over the internet, and it really takes a lot of commitment from an author to do this, but you also need to decide ‘how’ you want to connect with your readers. I’m going to cover the basics, but everyone is free to post other relevant links below.
Let’s start with Facebook.
Facebook gives you two main options, a business page and a personal page. I have both. I like to keep my personal
page pretty much private since I try to keep an air of professionalism to me. Ha ha, okay, so if you follow my author
page, you know that’s not true, but I do have lots of pictures of my children and family on my personal page and I know that my family don’t necessarily want to be involved in my career. So I keep my author page just for my book related things.
I know a lot of authors don’t have an author page and only have a personal page that they let both fans and family interact with, but it’s a personal thing that only you can decide upon.
Okay, now you need a website. Yes, a website…and a blog too. Readers want to connect with you, they want to find out
more about you and your books. I’m an avid reader and I regularly stalk all my favourite authors.
There are tons of places to start up a website, I use Weebly and find it REALLY EASY. Remember right at the start I said
I was mechanically inept? Yeah, see, well, even I can manage Weebly. It’s free too, another bonus, AND it has a blog attached to it—another bonus. Again, everyone please feel free to post what platform you use below. I can only go from
my own personal experience.
So now you’re set up with your FB and a website, maybe think about Twitter. Twitter is HUGE, and a lot of readers and authors use it and have great success. I’m not a big fan of it, but again, I realise the importance of having it. So I set my
twitter up to interact with my author FB page. So when I post to FB it posts to Twitter, and vice versa. This makes it
easier for me and it’s yet another way that readers can find and interact with you.
So what else do we have?
The list goes on and on with all the different ways for you to connect with readers and authors. Look them all up and have a look through, see what’s going to be the easiest and most convenient for you to keep up with. Once you’ve gotten used to using one or two, you can open up an account on another platform, slowly building them all up.
With each new platform comes possible new readership. And that’s what it’s all about. Helping get your name and your book out there and into the hands of people that will love it!
Again, let me reiterate, this is just a very small list of platforms and social
sites that exist. These are just the ones I use quite frequently and find
the easiest to use. But more than anything, I just wanted to give you a place to start.
But whatever you do, do at least one of these. It really is so important to be able to connect with readers and authors, and have somewhere to promote your work, and it will make a difference.
I can't tell you the amount of times I've talked to writers that don't 'do social networks' and aren't getting anywhere with their books. Every time I'll read their book and they are truly awesome, but they aren't getting the reach because they stay away from this side of being an author, either worried they'll mess it up, just plain confused by it or 'tried it years ago and it didn't work then'. But it really isn't that difficult once you get everything set up, and things have changed so much over the past couple of years.
So do it, go set up a website, open a FB or Twitter or G+ account and get connecting!
Come back next week to talk about book covers and why they're so damn important!
Claire C Riley
9/8/2014 07:38:20 pm
Every time I'll read their book and they are truly awesome, but they aren't getting the reach because they stay away from this side of being an author, either worried they'll mess it up, just plain confused by it or 'tried it years ago and it didn't work then'.
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