Ideas to build or enhance your Author Platform.
Hey writers, do you have an author platform? A place to highlight your works?
Many of you may already have a website or blog to showcase your work. Awesome! (To those of you who don’t- you must consider getting one- read on…)
Having a presence on social media is great, but does not have the same impact as also having an author platform. There’s so much more you can offer your current and potential readers with your own website.
Maintaining an online presence on your own personal website gives you a professional reputation and helps you build a following of fans who become readers (aka: buyers) of your books. Building engagement with your readers is essential to keeping them interested in your upcoming projects.
How’s Your Author Platform?
FIRST THINGS FIRST
There are two things that are integral to creating an effective author website.
First, create clear goals for your site. For example: you want to highlight and sell your books, interact with potential readers, create valuable content on your blog, tell readers about events you are participating in, etc. Sticking to your goals keeps your focus clear and your site easier to manage.
Second, make sure your website is well designed and fairly simple. You want to keep it clean and fresh, but easy to update with new content without having to tweak it every day. This way, you can concentrate more on writing, rather than maintaining your web design all the time.
What every Author Platform should have:
1- Your books, with links, of course, but here’s where you can really sell them with extras like detailed descriptions, free chapters, background info, research, character profiles, your writing style, artwork, etc.
2- Your contact info– list and link to all your platforms, author pages, social media pages, and detail how one can contact you for collaborations and interviews, etc.
3- Include a photo of yourself. Readers like to see faces. It helps them see that you are a real person that they can connect with personally. People like to put a face with a name. And making real connections evolves into book sales. Your photo should be friendly and fun, or presented in a way that represents you. If you are camera shy, have someone help you or hire a professional photographer who knows how to make you look great.
4- If you have extra media like audio or video files, slide presentations, animations or have book trailers on YouTube, embed them on your site or link to them as well.
5- Provide an email subscriber form if you intend to create a monthly newsletter. (Get a free account for creating email campaigns on Mailchimp.com.) These subscribers may well be the first sales on your next new book, especially if you email them discounts or special sneak peeks. Your newsletter need not be complicated or long. You can just say “Hi, this is what I’ve been up to… “. Keeping in touch regularly makes your next book launch less sales-y, because your readers have been hearing from you about other things, not just about book sales.
Here are some more ideas for your Author Platform:
- A page that showcases your upcoming book, work-in-progress, and release dates or estimated dates. Get them excited with sneak peeks or free chapters.
- Artwork from your covers or book illustrations.
- In-depth character profiles.
- For nonfiction books: core ideas, expanded facts, related news stories or updated research, etc.
- A testimonials page where you can highlight your book’s best reviews.
- Poetry, essays, or articles that you’ve written. Or, write about your personal joys (and pains) of writing or self-publishing.
- Reviews of other books that you have read, or recommendations of books and films you enjoy.
- Contests, drawings for prizes (such as a signed book copy), games or puzzles that relate to your work.
- Events you have attended or will attend- book signings, workshops, speaking engagements, interviews, podcasts, etc. If you have photos of yourself at the events, include them too.
(By the way, if you are not tech savvy, search for tutorials, forums and help pages from your web host. I recommend wordpress.org. It takes a little time to learn it, but in the long run, you reap the rewards. You can also hire someone, but it is less expensive to try to do it yourself.)
People want to know all about you, writer, so don’t hide behind that cover… show them who you are! Create or enhance your author platform today. Reaching out to your fans and potential readers is what this author business is all about.
P.S. What types of content do you have on your Author Platform?