With the ever growing popularity of websites such as Amazon and Smashwords new authors have plenty of opportunities to try and get their books self-published. A common mistake that new authors can make though is believing that their work is over once they’ve finally completed their book and gotten all their editing completed. Technically speaking an author can proceed to self-publish their book and then move on to their next project. This isn’t encouraged because there’s no guarantee that anyone is going to know the book exists. Authors need to keep in mind just how many other writers are going to be taking advantage of the ease in self-publishing. This creates a huge amount of competition. If writers are going to have any hope of getting noticed they are going to want to develop a strong reputation, commonly referred to as an author platform.
An author platform can consist of a few different things. Author platforms aren’t exclusive to online authors either. In fact, it isn’t even limited to just online advertisement, although this is a great place for new authors to start. One of the most recommended ways for an author to start building a platform is through creating their own website or blog. It is important to note that it is highly recommended for authors to do this before they have actually published anything. The reason for this is it gives the author a chance to build up an audience. That way when they do publish their book, they already have a bunch of potential readers. These readers are going to be used to that author’s writing style, and not only are they going to be more inclined to pick up the book, but they’re also likely to leave positive reviews as well. Even if the readers might not normally be interested in the genre, they could still be persuaded to pick up the book simply out of loyalty to the writer.
It is worth noting that the blog shouldn’t just be about the author’s book. By posting about different subjects they’re going to reach out towards a larger audience. Readers also are going to lose interest if the only thing the author discusses is their book. By covering a number of different subjects the author also increases their chances of being noticed by larger blogs. Authors might even be asked to write guest posts for other sites, which is again a great way to advertise. Even if the subject isn’t about the book, most sites will include a small blurb at the beginning or end of the article that tells about the author, allowing them to link to their published work. On a slightly smaller scale, authors are also encouraged to use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. These typically aren’t great places for writing lengthy articles, but it is a good way to reach out to a large audience and make announcements.
As previously mentioned, an author platform doesn’t just end with an online presence. That’s the best way to start building up a reputation though. From there, authors are encouraged to seek out additional advertising means. This can include guest speaking and book signing. Generally though it takes writers some time to reach this level of fame, which is why building a strong online reputation first is so important.