Author Platform Building, Part 2 by Cassiel Knight
Did you do something about your strengths and challenges? Did you learn any revelations you’d like to share? Maybe a strength you didn’t realize you had or a challenge the surprised you?
Before we move on to talk about applying strengths and weaknesses, I want to share with you something I got out of this book I totally forgotten I’d gotten recently – Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to Building an Audience, Selling More Books, and Finding Success as an Author by Chuck Sambuchino (ISBN#978-1-59963-575-0). I haven’t finished it yet but I figure, these things are interesting and useful enough that I’m incorporating some thoughts into these sessions. It’s tailored, in large part, to non-fiction but that’s not problematic since the general concepts on platform remain the same.
For today, I’d like to start with:
Chuck says that “no matter what platform options you engage, the guiding principles of effective visibility remain the same.” He says if we apply these twelve fundamentals to everything we do, the specifics of what we do won’t matter – we’ll have a good chance of building our platforms faster.
It is in the giving that we receive – about getting people to like you – to engage with you BEFORE you start asking for them to buy
- You don’t have to go it alone – work with others and share the load.
- Platform is what you are able to do, not what you are willing to do – we might be willing to do a lot but aren’t able to. Focus on what you are able to do.
- You can only learn so much about writer platform by instruction, which is why you should study what others do well and learn by example.
- You must make yourself easy to contact – this means make sure your links work for people to find you. If you are published, are you website links from your publisher page good? Make sure you can be found and links are good. If readers click on a link and it doesn’t work, most times they won’t work to find you. Don’t make it hard to find and connect with you. An author with Champagne Book Group, gave this analogy: Links are like bridges and websurfers hate to use boats.
- The goal is to work incredibly hard at first, then let your platform run on autopilot – this is hard to encapsulate but basically, you have to do a lot of work to build your platform and make it run then at some point, you’ll do less but will still get maximum visibility from your platform.
- Start small, start early – and hope for tipping points – while it is easier to start a platform WITH a book, building a platform from scratch is possible, just difficult. Get on Twitter, build a simple website, begin now. This is something I wished I’d done. Now I have to work twice as hard playing catch-up.
- Have a plan, but feel free to make tweaks.
- The world is changing, and the goal of platform is to look forward, not back – it’s less important what you did in the past then what you do NOW.
- Try your best to be open, likeable, and relatable – all the things under platform will help build your platform but Chuck says that overall, it matters who you know. He’s a strong advocate for networking. So am I. It’s opened doors for me I never would have had otherwise.
- Be part of your community and understand the needs of its members – be involved. Don’t just post about your book or links. Be actively involved with your tweeps, friends, members, etc.
- Numbers matter – so quantify your platform – this matters more so in non-fiction but it is helpful to know how effective you are in genre fiction or if you self-publish and want to break into commercial publishing.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?