Book Marketing Plan – How to Get The Most From Your Writer or Author Platform

Your Writer or Author Platform and getting the most from itAre you a writer? Are you an author? Regardless which one you are, you need a platform and book marketing plan today!

The term ‘author platform’ is gaining more notoriety in publishing today and it’s a term used to describe your awareness building and promotional efforts being made to create exposure for yourself and your work. That’s essentially the overall gist.

Your promotional platform acts essentially like a web. Create a web wide and strong enough and you’ll be more successful capturing readers, building relationships and exposure for yourself.

I believe it’s paramount that writers understand that it’s not just for those who are published either self or traditional that need one, but that it’s a critical part of building your own awareness as an emerging, to-be author. If your an author your platform forms the basis of reaching potential readers and selling books. If you haven’t yet published a book, you need to begin building your platform so you can network and form relationships, build confidence and then use it as a launching ground when your book is ready.

For those that are still seeking a traditional publishing deal, you need a visible platform and good book marketing plan as evidence that there is demand and your books will sell. As the publishing economy is rapidly changing, publishers marketing budgets have constricted even further making less room for new authors. Today more than ever before agents and publishers are seriously looking to those who have an established platform or brand and those already selling books and this acts as a huge filter for them when making decisions.

I’ve heard first hand from an editor at international publisher, Hay House, who said that emerging authors really do need to show a strong presence and that they are willing to put in the time and effort into marketing. You’ll find agent and active blogger Rachelle Gardner has also publicly supported this through her blog.

Ok…

So now that you understand it’s vital you work on building your writer or b, let’s cover what your promotional platform can consist of.

Getting the most from your writer or author platform

Most of you probably already know that your author websites are considered the hub of your promotional platform and everything outside of this such as, social media, forums and events work at drawing viewers and readers deeper into your web, with the purpose of landing at your website or directly buying your book.

Take a look at this image I’ve created for you below. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘mind map’ and is rather symbolic of a web. You’ll see that the website/blog is your hub with all your additional platform tools such as Facebook and Twitter on the outside linking in.

A visual of a strong writer or author platform

(Click to enlarge)

Writer-Author-Platform-Promotions-Mindmap

The Hub
Your website/blog acts as the hub, where all your content and information resides. Make sure you have a professional looking site that oozes a strong professional tone, looks smart, has well written content and is well laid out. This is not a single page, free hosted blog that has no image of you which screams ‘ I’m just a hobbyist, don’t take me seriously’. This is where the first impression is made about what level playing field your on.

Social Media
You’ll have your social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Now depending on your specific audience and book, you may find that only a select two or three really work for you. Don’t feel you have to be on every single one. Find out which ones your audience uses most and then make sure your there too!

Interaction
This is where your directly interacting with others through topic related forums and blog commenting. These additions to your writer or author platform are valuable yet often misunderstood or simply unknown to writers and authors. These two particular ways of interacting bring about finding new readers, contacts, market research, increased website/blog pagerank juice (let google know more about your website) and allows others to click your name and find out more about you from your website.

Communities
These are made up from such groups as Goodreads, Shelfari and JacketFlap to name a few. Here you can share what your reading with others, have others discover your books, run giveaways, give and receive book reviews and more. Have a look at these, see which ones you might enjoy and benefit from and start off with one or two.

Events
Even in today’s ever increasing technological world, real world events can play a huge part in your platform and promotions. From book signings, writing groups, book clubs, expos, school visits and workshops all offer more awareness building to those who don’t spend time online. These events offer you the opportunity to get real feedback and direct people back to your online site for more content, information and find where to buy your book.

Media and PR
These have varying results from ‘Ok’ to ‘amazing’. What you focus on from Press releases, radio, newspapers or blog guest posts will really depend on your goal, who your audience is and how you’ll best reach them. When seeking traditional offline media coverage you’ll need to find a hook that is going to be attractive to reporters by offering a controversial angle or offer a great benefit to the readership of that particular media outlet. To get the most success, find a professional who can assist you.

At this point, you’ll now have an understanding of what this ‘platform’ thing means that people keep talking about and it’s importance for your success. If you have a platform up and running, then I hope there were some ideas here you perhaps haven’t yet considered that might be worth trying. For those who are just starting out, this should give you a better idea of how your promotional platform works how to flesh out your book marketing plan. Start with building a great website/blog and grow from there.

Clicklikeand leave a comment below. I’m interested to know what your platform consists of and name one aspect of your platform you enjoy doing.

Boom!
Anthony
Here’s to creating a killer book marketing plan!

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Comments

  1. I’ve been building a platform online mostly to other writers. I’ve realised I need to branch out to readers too.

    • Yes Charmaine that’s what I see many writers do and they become glum about not selling books. Having said that, it’s totally fine to have a blog that targets writers but the problem lies when writers/authors dilute their site trying to please both the industry audience and the readership. These are two very different groups seeking completely different content. It’s best to have one site/blog be for your writing and networking and have another for your books, especially that you write for YA. A separate site with fun extras and freebies would be the way to go in that case. Thanks Charmaine for taking time to leave a comment :)

  2. I love reaching out to other writers for the support. Most of the time it’s the cheerleading or informational kind. Here and there, it’s promotional support.

    • Absolutely Theresa, I too believe it’s important for writers and authors to talk more with each other and encourage and learn from one another. Congratulations on your short story entry in the 100 Stories for Queensland anthology. Jodie worked very hard with you all to produce that book.

  3. Great piece. I’m toying with having a separate author blog, but think I’ll stay with my current format and perhaps incorporate some of my published works in there as this blog is the essence of several writing projects I’m putting together so it’s my focus and I’m hanging facebook and twitter from it.

    • Thank you Cheryl. Your other writing projects are all somehow based around Kangaroos. In this case having your current site would work. (I like your uncluttered sidebar by the way) If you were writing projects that were to be all different books, then that would be a case where it would serve best building an ‘author name’ brand. Keep up the hustle Cheryl!

  4. Wow, I have never seen this Platform before! I am very excited to think that I am covering most areas too! I dont have a blog, but at this stage in my life (with 4chn youngest 7mths) I dont have a lot of time – however I do reach a lot of people through incidental meetins, contacts etc.. I love this diagram and now feel I have some direction to head in(Previously I have been simply fumbling in the dark!) Thank you!!

    • Nicky your most welcome and a big thumbs up for already having put many of these things into action, well done! I’m stoked to hear this diagram will be of assistance. I know of a couple of people who printed it out which I thought was a great idea. All the best with your pursuits and if you find time to invest in setting up a blog for yourself make sure you let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction. Thanks for the great comment Nicky!

  5. Wonderful advice, Anthony. I’ll be sharing your site with my writing community. It was great to see the web diagram. It’s perfect for a visual person like myself. You have left no stone unturned. keep up the good work! Best wishes Angela

    • Welcome to BCC Angela, thank you for your comment and sharing with your community. I really like what you’ve done with your website and how you’ve showcased your info and content, sporting some nice, clear author pics of yourself and work. Keep up the hustle Angela!

  6. Tthis is indeed a very helpful list and diagram. As a publisher, I am often in trouble when trying to explain to a new publisher what he/she might like to do. Plus, I want to do all of that too, of course, in order to help and to get my brand name out there…
    Sometimes, the most daunting thing is to find something to contribute to and then get the proper words to pour out, but isn’t that actually always the worst? I am sitting here thinking that I know exactly what I need to do but actually going out there and doing it?! And I know what I want to say but the words are in my head in something like a picture and that does not just print out, unfortunately.
    Thanks for your effort with the map!

  7. Wow, what a terrific graphic you have created to illustrate the various components of platform building and book promotion!

    I also love how you have shown a website as the hub in your diagram. In an interview I did last week I talked about why the author website is the hub of everything authors do and I urged aspiring authors get their website/blog up and running before they publish, as part of their platform building process.

    I would like to add that in addition to a platform building and promotional plan, a comprehensive book marketing plan also includes things like defining goals and target audiences, setting a competitive price, writing a strong sales copy, designing a great book cover, and developing a budget and schedule. Authors can get a free book marketing plan outline at http://www.CreateYourBookMarketingPlan.com.

    • Thanks Dana. I also discuss with clients the importance of establishing a website hub long before they publish. Thanks for stopping by and adding some great advice to compliment the article.

  8. Carole Avila says:

    Thank you, Anthony! I’m in the process of creating my platform right now and am looking forward to doing a great job. I appreciate your ideas.
    Carole Avila
    Posse Member

    • You’re very welcome Carole. If you have any questions feel free to send me and email or comment on the Facebook page. Thanks for the comment!

  9. Thanks. I printed the graph and will study it and learn how to do better.

  10. Taylor says:

    I was almost done with my first website, almost ready to launch and read you blog. I’m going to take the time to change the entire site. You’ve got a great site and I really appreciate your focus.

    • You’re welcome. Great to hear you’ll take good action on improving your website. WordPress is ideal. Thank you for the feedback, helps craft future content. If you have any questions, simply shoot me an email using the contact form.

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