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How to Create Your Author Platform

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Rock-PeggysCove

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Platform
, a buzz word these days… “What’s Your Author’ Platform”?  THE famous question you will be asked by agents and publishers before they even consider to read your query or manuscript. As they spend almost all of their marketing dollars for bestseller authors, publishing houses nowadays expect authors to do their own book marketing. To ensure, the author brings his or her own audience and lots of potential readers and book buyers, agents and publishers want to see lots of followers and friends on Social Media sites and how an author appears on these sites. They want to see a solid number of blog subscribers/web visitors and the authors ability to present themselves to an audience.
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So, What Are the Essentials of a Platform?
In short:, platform is the visibility, the authority of the author, a proven reach, as well as a far reaching audience.

  • A Quality Blog / Website with a Large Readership
  • Guest blogging to successful websites, blog, magazines, and other media
  • Public speaking – the bigger the better, however at least at your local library
  • Smart connected social media presences (Google+, Twitter, FB, LinkedIn etc.)
  • Forum memberships, starting with Goodreads, Bibliophil, Wattpad …
  • Media appearances/interviews online and in print, TV, radio
  • and …. more than one book!

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Building an Author Platform
is not something you can do overnight, or in a month. The best time to start working on your platform is long before you start writing your book. Even if your book is excellent, has received great reviews, a marvelous cover – if readers don’t know about it, you are stuck. And if you go with a major publisher and they would receive – within three months from your books’ launch – lots of unsold copies returned by the bookstores, they would never publish anything from you again. That’s why they ask, “how will you market your book” or “what’s your platform.”

You might think, this is the publishers job – and you might be right. But not even for famous authors they will do all the blogging or social media part, they only advertise celebrities way more than unknown writers and pay for exposed space in bookstores, or send these authors on book signing tours.
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That’s all Publishers will Do:

  • editing, transforming a good manuscript to a great one
  • design the book (layout) and its cover
  • organize the printing process / e-book formatting
  • distribute your book in stores, speciality retailers and online
  • carry out all the necessary book keeping with retailers and your royalty payments

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Publishing houses laid off a huge amount of their staff within the last years. Remaining, over-worked publicists are not able to give your book’s marketing the attention it needs.
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“When is it Time to Start Building your Author Platform?”
Alan Rinzler, former editor for some of the “Big Five” explains in detail the Do’s and Don’ts “What writers need to know” and gives detailed examples – a must-read for every author.  He reminds authors: “A cardinal rule of the new author platform is never to actually ask people to buy your book (and my advise: never to motion people to like / follow you on FB or Twitter). Rather promulgate your work by making an enduring connection. Establish an authentic online personality, offer valuable information, analysis, opinion, and inspiring entertainment.”

Jane Friedman, e-media professor and former publisher of Writer’s Digest brought it to the point: “Getting a book published does not equate to readership. You must cultivate a readership every day – and start today. Audience development doesn’t happen overnight, or in six months or a year. It continues for as long as you want to have people read your books.” Read also Kristen Lamb’s blog article “When is it Time to Start Building your Author Platform?” Read the blog post about bestseller author Trey Ratcliff, mentioned in a former article.
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Without having a clear idea of which methods of promoting yourself and your work are really worth the investment of time, you might be tempted to avoid the subject entirely. But in today’s publishing world, neglecting your platform, even before you have a book deal, can be a precarious mistake. The most successful authors are those who have created ways of finding lasting fans – and of reaching out to new ones every day.
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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.international-ebooks.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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The Foundation for Your Publishing Success

Platform wikimedia.org

Platform wikimedia.org

When building a house, no one would start with the walls or the roof.  The first step is in preparing the ground and building the foundation that carries the home. Same with your publishing endeavor, you start from scratch to build a platform.

Platform, a buzz word these days… “What’s Your Author’ Platform”? the famous question you will be asked by agents and publishers before they even consider to read your query or manuscript.

Read the blog post about Bestseller author Trey Ratcliff,  mentioned in a former article

“I am sitting in a nice restaurant in San Francisco with all these executives of a major publishing house. It’s one of these power dinners of lore. We are to discuss the upcoming launch of my book, and I’ll never forget what happened. They asked me, “OK, Trey, what are you going to do to market this book?”  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  My young publishing life flashed in front of my eyes…  I ended up putting together a robust launch campaign. Luckily I already had thousands of people who came to my blog every month, a healthy Twitter following (this is before Google+) and a great network of people to help. I did everything, including….”

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So, what are the essentials of a platform?

  • Blog / website with a large readership
  • Guest blogging to successful websites, blog, magazines, and other media 
  • Public speaking – the bigger the better, however at least at your local library 
  • Smart connected social media presences (Google+, Twitter, FB, LinkedIn etc.) 
  • Forum memberships, starting with Goodreads, Bibliophil, Wattpad … 
  • Media appearances/interviews online and in print, TV, radio
  • and …. more than one book!

.
Even if your book is excellent, has received great reviews, a marvelous cover – if readers don’t know about it, you are stuck.

And if you go with a major publisher and they would receive – within three month from your books’ launch – lots of unsold copies returned by the bookstores, they would never publish anything from you again. That’s why they ask, “how will you market your book” or “what’s your platform.”
You might think, this is the publishers job. Not even for very famous authors they will do the blogging or social media part, they only advertise celebrities way more than unknown writers and pay for exposed space in bookstores, or send these authors on book signing tours.
.

Publishers will do:
- editing, transforming a good manuscript to a great one
- design the book (layout) and its cover
- organize the printing process / e-book formatting
- distribute your book in stores, speciality retailers and online
- carry out all the necessary book keeping with retailers and your royalty payments
.

Publishing houses laid off a huge amount of their staff within the last years. Remaining over-worked publicists are not able to give your book’s marketing the attention it needs.
.

Jane Friedman, e-media professor and former publisher of Writer’s Digest brought it to the point: “Getting a book published does not equate to readership. You must cultivate a readership every day – and start today. Audience development doesn’t happen overnight, or in six months or a year. It continues for as long as you want to have people read your books.”
.

Without having a clear idea of which methods of promoting yourself and your work are really worth the investment of time, you might be tempted to avoid the subject entirely. But in today’s publishing world, neglecting your platform, even before you have a book deal, can be a precarious mistake. The most successful authors are those who have created ways of finding lasting fans – and of reaching out to new ones every day.
.

Spend less time promoting – and more time writing.
Most writers are not marketing specialists by trade, so if you need help and assistance in building a platform, read all our former blog posts or book us for a while  (it’s just $98 for 3 months) to get all the individual support for your book and the knowledge, necessary to continue on your own.  We studied for years e-publishing and book marketing, so that YOU don’t have to.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are almost 700 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.  Feel free to re-blog on your own WordPress blog

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://pinterest.com/111publishing/

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS      = 111Publishing @ Google+

Don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks

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“Why e-Books Will Be Much Bigger Than You Can Imagine”

Photo Trey Ratcliff http://www.stuckincustoms.com


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Just found this sometimes hilarious story on an internet blog by Trey Ratcliff:

“I am sitting there in a nice restaurant in San Francisco with all these executives of a major publishing house. It’s one of these power dinners of lore. We are to discuss the upcoming launch of my book, and I’ll never forget what happened. They asked me, “OK, Trey, what are you going to do to market this book?”  You could have knocked me over with a feather. My young publishing life flashed in front of my eyes…

I ended up putting together a robust launch campaign. Luckily I already had hundreds of thousands of people who came to the blog every month, a healthy Twitter following (this is before Google+) and a great network of people to help.

I did everything, including:

  • Put together a limited-edition print along with a signed copy of the book for early orders. This required me to warehouse the book with a third party, pay for massive shipping, and have a ping-pong table covered in books for two weeks while I signed all of them along with the prints, etc.
  • Organize a book tour (at my own expense) to hit several big cities like New York and Chicago.
  • Blog and tweet about it on countless occasions.
  • Sneak into hundreds of Barnes & Nobles, secretly sign my books, then tweet out the location so a little flash mob would appear to get the special signed version. (BTW, this got me thrown out of at least three bookstores by short-sighted managers.)

The book came out and did amazing. It sold out on Amazon in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. It takes a lot to sell out a book on Amazon! The book was reprinted and moved into the black within the first quarter.”

Read more: “Why e-books will be much bigger than you can imagine” (well, IF you do the marketing…)  by Trey Ratcliff, his own website is http://www.stuckincustoms.com/trey-ratcliff/

Not only a writer, teacher, landscape photographer, film maker and photo teacher, here a glimpse into his HDR photo teaching.  Even the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC shows his work!

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