Author Platforms are important for traditionally published and self-published authors. But what if I said aspiring authors should have one too.
What is an author platform? It’s how you present yourself and your brand to potential readers. Yes, I said your brand. You’re not just selling books, you are selling yourself. Readers like to connect with authors. They like to know the person behind the words. They want to connect, ask questions and learn more about how the characters they love come to life. So, as you write your book you need to create a platform that will attract potential readers to your stories, but more importantly to you, so you have a ready audience when your book is published.
This applies to all authors, whether you have an agent and publishing company or not. You will have to market yourself and your books. The publishing company will rarely do it for you. If you have your platform started it will help you later.
How do you start an author platform? These are my suggestions.
- Website- You can start with something free and simple like Wix. A website will establish yourself as an author and give a landing page where readers can learn about you. Include a biography, an author picture and consider starting a blog. Keep your readers up to date with your writing progress. Give them some insight into you. Consider including a short story to showcase your writing, something you aren’t considering publishing.
- Newsletter- Start a newsletter with Mailchimp or Mailerlite. Create a landing page for people to submit emails. Consider a reader magnet that is given for their email address and opting into your newsletter. Join promos on Book Funnel to get email addresses of likely readers. Send your Newsletter at least once a month on a specific day of the week or date.
- Social Media- Choose one site (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) and master that first. Think about where your readers hang out. Focus on the site that will give you the most exposure to your readers. Then post consistently. If you aren’t posting consistently (daily) you are losing opportunities to gain readers. They will forget about you and you will not appear in their feeds due to the algorithms. This is why I say you should choose one platform and master that before you add another.
This is just a start. After you have a platform, you can think about marketing, as that too needs to start before your book is released.
Below, see two podcast episodes I’ve recorded on this topic.
Comment with your thoughts!