Posted by authorcamilson
About the Book
Title: Building Your Author Platform
Author: Tiffany Shand
Becoming an author in today’s world has never been easier with the self-publishing revolution. But how does an author stand out in a crowded market?
Setting up and building your author platform before you even publish your first book is the best way for building a solid platform that will last and help you grow your tribe of fans. This book contains all the fundamentals from creating your author website, to choosing your route of publishing and much more!
Tiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. After doing a creative writing course in her teens, she discovered her love of nonfiction writing and is now a freelance writer and professional editor.
She writes both non-fiction and fiction, and is the author of the urban fantasy Excalibar Investigations Series. When she’s not writing, you’ll usually find her reading.
Tiffany lives in Essex with her family, two very spoiled cats and a hamster.
When I first started my publishing journey back in early 2014, I had no idea what an author platform was or how to build one.
So what is an author platform? An author platform, as the name suggests, is a launch site from where all your book marketing takes place. A platform encompasses everything from a website, social media to readership. A platform is basically the number of people you can broadcast your message to.
Publishers don’t usually gamble on new authors who don’t already have a platform and an audience ready and waiting. If you already have an established platform and a readership, they are much more likely to take an interest in you.
Essentially, a platform is built out of a website and/or a blog, social media channels, and an email newsletter. It’s a direct link to your readers.
It’s the amount of influence you have over your readership, the level of visibility and authority you have in your particular genre, and your connection to your readers.
Authors can easily reach their fans on a global scale, thanks to the Internet. Gone are the old days of having to write letters or press releases. Now you can reach readers with a click of a mouse.
Do you need an author platform?
My answer would be: yes. In my opinion, every author needs a platform, whether they are writing sword-fighting fantasy, historical romance, children’s books or business guides. Every platform is different for each author, depending on their genre.
New authors need to have a strategy to launch their book and create a hype for it. Without any kind of strategy, it will make it harder for you to sell books or gain any real readers and long-time fans.
Some authors may say that they don’t need an author platform to sell books, and this may have been the argument for authors 50+ years ago. Writers aren’t just authors nowadays, especially if you are an indie author. Now authors have to be marketers and entrepreneurs. Having a solid author platform can help you market your book and leave you able to write more in the meantime.
When should you start building your author platform?
Ideally, it’s best to start building your author platform as soon as you start writing your book or at least before you publish your first book. Many authors don’t do this. I didn’t start building my own author platform until after I had published my first novel and this definitely made things harder for me to start growing my audience and building a readership. So the time to start building your platform is right now!
It’s common for non-fiction authors to establish their reputation based on speaking events, articles, guest posts or having their own niche website. They grow their audience by building interest in their books and selling them to their target audience.
If you write fiction, it can be easier to gain interest in your book by posting teasers and snippets of your book before publication on your website and social media channels.
An author platform is something that is forever growing and changing and something you will never stop building. It’s part of your long-term strategy and almost everything you do related to your book business.
What steps do you need to take?
One of the most common things I have heard is: how do I start building my author platform? Which is why I’m writing this book in the hope it will help other new authors to avoid some of the mistakes I made, and build their platforms much quicker. Your platform is the bridge between your books and your readers. So take the time to build a strong one.
Your author brand is your promise to your audience. Branding is how authors market themselves. Many writers don’t do this, but it is an important step before you build your platform and market your book. If you can’t show what you have to offer by making your work and writing unique, you won’t be able to connect with your audience.
Identify your target audience
This is a very important step in building your platform.
Who is your ideal reader? What are their wants, needs, interests and desires?
A lot of authors say that everyone is their ideal reader, but this definitely is not the case.
You need to target your audience.
- Male or female?
- What age are they?
- What age group do they fit into?
- What are their interests?
- What are their beliefs? This is important when it comes to political or religious works
- Where do your ideal readers hang out online?
I found that a lot of my fiction readers spend time on Facebook and Twitter. But younger readers usually spend more time on Instagram.
What do your ideal readers want?
With fiction, they want to be entertained and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Reading a book takes them away from everything.
With non-fiction books, readers want to learn something new. What do they want to know? What kind of problem do they need fixing and how could you solve it?
Understanding what your readers like and need is an important step, and is something that most authors often miss when they are first starting out. Taking the time to get to know your readers and their needs can be very challenging, but it’s worth the effort in the long run.
You must recognise the fact that not everyone is going to like your book. It’s not a “must-read” for everyone and won’t appeal to every single person on the planet.
How to determine your author brand
Some good ways of doing this are asking yourself:
- Why do you write what you write?
- What message are you trying to share?
- How do you want to be perceived and why is that important to you?
Identifying your target audience requires an understanding of the characteristics of a particular group of people and the relevance they have to your work before you do anything to promote yourself or your book. You must be able to know why you write what you write and who cares about what you write.
The key is to identify and research what the target audience cares about and recognise what you have to offer in order to benefit your ideal reader.
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