What’s the common denominator in measuring the success of any profitable author?
One word: Platform.
An author’s platform is basically an author’s group of fans. These are the people who will likely buy anything that the author writes or creates. These folks often look to the author as a thought leader and closely follow suggestions, advice and recommendations made by the author. Consequently, smart authors want to start building a platform sooner rather than later.
This article explains a few of the ways authors can build a platform starting now:
- An author’s blog. A blog can be tremendously useful in continuing a conversation started in the author’s books. It is ideal for vetting new ideas or content as well as sharing personal information about the author. Understand this latter point is very powerful. Why? Fans want to know the personal stuff of their leaders or gurus. In essence, fans try (or want) to live vicariously through the author’s life and sharing personal details facilitates this desire and helps to create a stronger bond between author and fan.
- An Amazon Author Central page. Only authors with books listed on Amazon are eligible for this page. It is a page which can contain an author’s bio, bibliography, rss feeds from the author’s blog (see above), a photo, plus an embedded video which can be either book trailer for a specific book or more of an introductory video about the author him or herself.
- A social media following. Another way for an author to reach out, interact and build a platform is with social media sites. At a minimum an author should have and use accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media is so powerful precisely because it is social and provides the ability to communicate one on one with fans.
- Email list. The ability to broadcast email fans is one of the best tools in building an author’s platform. Fact is that when an author can email an entire large list of fans and potential fans that author has incredible power to communicate, persuade and sway without the filter of a social media site. The best place to collect names and email addresses is via opt-in forms on blogs, websites and even on Facebook fan pages.
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