For indie and self-published authors, there’s a lot of talk about building your author platform and/or your marketing platform. Some people see these as two distinct entities while others may argue that they are the same thing. We won’t get into the semantics of that. The key is really just creating a platform, which means you have visibility, authority, proven reach, and a target audience in your topic area. It’s great to be able to start with your family and friends, but you really need to reach beyond them as you’re developing a platform. Social media and online marketing can play a role, but you need to be doing a lot more than this. There are four things to keep in mind as you start to think about building your author platform:
- It’s about engaging your potential readership/audience.
- It’s a process that takes time. It’s a good idea to start working on it before your book is published.
- It takes persistence and consistency.
- It’s an art, not a science, and it’s likely that there will be a lot of trial and error.
Jane Friedman says, “Platform building is an organic process and will be different for every single author.” It can be an arduous process and can be almost as much of creative endeavor as writing and publishing your book. However, if you commit to working on building your platform it can be extremely rewarding and pay off in the long run.
Determine what your goals are for your book marketing – Of course many people have the idea that they’d like to sell millions of copies and become famous. However, that might not be realistic. Take some time to figure out what your specific goals are for your book. Is your goal to increase your business, position yourself as an expert, educate, or entertain? Make sure you know, so you can tailor your efforts accordingly.
Learn about your specific audience – Once you know your goals for your book, start to drill down on who your audience is and what may drive them to buy your book. Hang out in online groups or forums where they hang out. Attend events, such as book clubs, book fairs, or events specific to your topic area. Once you gain a better understanding of who your audience is, you can tailor your content to increase engagement.
Create great content – Identify what makes your book unique and figure out ways that you can deliver meaningful content based off that. What is going to make you stand out? There are lots of great tools out there online that you can use to help spread your message, whether it’s images, video, blogging, or other social media. However, as we mentioned previously, social media is really only a tool. Once it’s set up, you need to make sure that you’re populating your social media profiles with good content that’s going to engage your readership and keep them coming back for more.
As always, if you have questions about the most effective ways to market your books, please contact us.
SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!