Writer’s Corner: Platform and Marketing

By Rebecca Lang

(from October 2014 meeting)

Platform and Marketing

“You must learn to market without marketing. /no one wants to hear, ‘Buy my book.’ Everyone wants to hear, ‘How are you today?’ ” –Gayle Carline from her lecture “Self-Publishing Savvy”

  • Whether or not you publish traditionally, more and more the burden of marketing is falling on the writer. It’s important to build an audience and communicate with them, in a way that feels genuine, not gimmicky.
  • As soon as you decide you want a career in writing, start working on your platform. If you (like me) you got a late start, begin work ASAP.

The Quick Guide to Building Your Writer Platform by Kimberley Grabas, copyright 2014. (Download free e-book with subscription to site.)

“ ‘Platform’ is used to describe the variety of ways that you use to connect to—and engage with—the ideal readership that is most receptive to your work. It’s also the amount of influence you wield, the level of visibility and authority you have gained, and the deepness of your connection with your readers.”

5 Steps to Building a Platform

  1. Define and Build Your Author Brand (This is your promise to your readers of what they can expect from you)
  2. Identify Your Target Audience (Who is most likely to buy your book?)
  3. Set up Your Author Website/ Blog (This will be your home base.)
  4. Start Building Your Email List (Your lines of communication)
  5. Establish a Presence on Social Media (Emphasis on social, not promotional)

Other Strategies

Build the Best Product Possible

  • Writing, Editing, Cover Art, and Formatting

Connect with Other Writers and Groups

  • Advice, Strategies, Information, etc., etc.

Use Metadata

  • Tags and search engine keywords that readers will use to find you

Get Reviews

  • Ask author heroes to create blurbs for your book in advance
  • Exchange books with other authors: I’ll review for you, if you review for me
  • Be careful to do this ethically

Free Giveaways

  • Used to find new readers and get reviews
  • Doesn’t have to be just book: can attach small gift card or use crafts from hobbies
  • Kindle lending library: audience reads for free, but you get royalties

Create an Event

  • Contests, Book Launching Party, Lecture
  • Network to get free food, prizes, etc.

Videos and Podcasts

  • Book trailers, events, book reading, show off a skill

Build up a Body of Work

  • Short stories and series

Be Generous and Grateful

  • What goes around, comes around

Free Resources on the Web

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