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Tag Archives: Jane Friedman

How to Create Your Author Platform

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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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Comparison of Online Book Retailers

Robert Niles has written an article: Which online retailers do the best job of helping sell your eBooks? 

Jane Friedman gives advice: 10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to Any E-Publishing Service

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Cassandra Giovanni wrote a great blog post, in detail, about the pro’s and con’s of several online retailers and her experience about uploading her books, categories, interface, sales reports etc. Recommend this blog for every writer / author publisher!  Thanks Cassandra!

You’ve published your novel! Congrats! You have it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, now what’s next? Both of these retailers are great and will give you a generous reach to all over the world, but they don’t get everyone or to every device. After a few months of selling on both, but mostly Amazon, I saw an advertisement on Goodreads for Google Play. Now, if you have been following my blog for sometime you probably already know how amazingly arduous getting on Google Play was. I was astounded that such a large company would be so poorly set up to accept novels from publishers and authors. The whole system is archaic. Where it took me all of five minutes to get on Amazon and B&N it took me nearly TWO months to get on Google Play and countless emails. There was a bit of embarrassment involved in that one…

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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in e-publishing, Marketing

 

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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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Bestsellers with More Than 150 One-Star Reviews

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Porter Anderson wrote in Jane Friedman’s blog a post about – I guess you can call it: Scandal of the Year.  Here are some snippets from his article, make sure to read the complete post, including the NY Times article and comments.

“Potential reviewers were told that if they felt they could not give a book a five-star review, they should say so and would still be paid half their fee…As you might guess, this hardly ever happened.”  Quote from a NYT article “The best reviews money can buy“.

Mr. Locke was secure enough in his talents to say that he did not care what the reviews said. “If someone doesn’t like my book,” he instructed, “they should feel free to say so.” But additionally: He also asked that the reviewers make their book purchases directly from Amazon, which would then show up as an “Amazon verified purchase” and increase the review’s credibility.

Locke appears to have been a happy customer of Rutherford. Having e-mailed Rutherford in 2010 that he was “ready to roll” with the false reviews he bought, he seems unapologetic now for using such a mechanism to build his now-discredited “success.” He confessed in the NY Times to contravening Amazon policy.

This NYT article got a wide range of responses:
“This is fraud! This guy, along with John Locke and his ilk, should be banned by Amazon for defrauding their clients http://t.co/xmDb4Pxx&#8221;

“It’s hard to overstate how angry I am with shysters like John Locke for taking the easy way out.” http://t.co/rTUk65kZ #selfpubauthorsspeak
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Jason Boog at GalleyCat pulls off an entertaining twist on the issue, creating a list of “Major Bestsellers with More Than 150 One-Star Reviews”:

  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (717 one-star reviews)
  • A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin (456 one-star reviews)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (432 one-star reviews)
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (248 one-star reviews)
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (3,665 one-star reviews)

When you read Porter Anderson’s blog post, don’t miss to scroll down and read all the comments, both authors and readers are pretty mad.
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I must say, I bought Locke’s book “How I sold 1 Million books in 5 months” – without paying any attention to reviews – and read /scanned it about three times to find out how he really did it. I wanted to learn from him how he achieved this enormous success in such a short time. But essentially he said he used only contacts through social media, especially Twitter to achieve those bestseller numbers. My feeling was: “he hides something”. Now I know…

It would be interesting to find out how all the other commercial reviewers, such as Kirkus (charges over $400) or Book Rooster (less than $100) handle this. Do their reviewers get the books for free or do they have to buy it on Amazon? Are their reviewers really free to use the whole range of stars?  One can also ask: Are 1-star reviews written undercover by the competition?  Or an honest valuation of the books content?

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are more than 520 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, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And 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, Doris

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