My posts on Platform have a bit scattered so I’ve decided to redo them with Book Marketing 101 titles that will allow you to follow along easily.
What is your author platform? It’s literally anything you will use to sell books. Your website, email list, social media etc, all live under the platform umbrella.
In a previous post I spoke about what pieces can make up your platform so today I want to talk about what your main goal needs to be.
Your number one marketing goal is to sell more books right? That means you need the number one goal of your platform to be growing your email list. This shift in mind set will help your business in more ways than you can imagine.
Book marketing has become increasingly digital. As a result, looking to internet marketers just makes sense. In Tim Grahl’s book, Your First 1000 Copies, he talks about how all the big names in internet marketing would give up all the other pieces of their platform if asked to choose between them and their email lists. If you’re just starting out or thinking about paying someone to look over your platform and help you, read Tim’s book first. Even if you need more help it will give you the understanding you need to move forward and be successful.
A lot of people talk about the usefulness of social media. How if you’re an author you NEED to be on all the social media sites. But in all the numbers I’ve seen, all the data, and my own experience, email beats social media every time.
As you move forward with your website, social media, and other platform pieces, remember your goal is to build that list. And don’t worry about starting at 0. Everyone starts at 0. It takes time but it’s important. Your career depends on it. As Tim said in his second book, Book Launch Blueprint, "You want to be author, not someone who wrote a book once."
Another common question is when to start building your platform. I think this might be one the most common issues. When I talk to new authors they always say things like "Well, I don't need to worry about that because my books isn't done yet." You need to start building your audience and working with other authors and influencers. If you meet an influencer and you don't have anything to sell yet, it's easier to build a genuine relationship and help them. I'll get into influencers a bit later but it's also important to keep in mind as you go about helping people, you're not keeping track and you can't expect a quid pro quo. That will burn bridges instead of helping build lasting relationships that can help you and the other person through out your careers. So start building your platform as soon as you can.
The mistake I made was a little different. I started a year before my book was published but I focused solely on Social Media which at the end of the day, doesn't sell a lot of books. Email lists are how you sell. Social media is great for connecting with fans and influencers.
Be sure to grab your Author Platform Checklist (free) Your step-by-step guide to building a platform that can launch a career.
I'll go more into websites in my next post including the host I use and what I use different sites for.
Do you have any questions? Leave me a comment below!
Are you looking for help with your platform and book marketing? Marissa is now scheduling free publishing consultations! Click here to learn more.