Publishing industry leaders say successful authors and publishers build their book sales by having a strong author platform.
What is an Author Platform?
It is a combination of how you share your core message, what exactly is marketing message and who is listening to you. The larger the number and the depth of your personal relationships with your followers, the stronger your platform. This is what’s called “relationship marketing.” It is optimal to have a powerful platform before you launch your book, but it is never too late to begin building your platform.
An author’s goal is to develop a funnel of followers who are increasingly influenced by your message. These folks will move from a point of mild interest to greater interest and more involvement in your business and community, eventually becoming a part of your inner circle. Your objective is to have followers talking about your message and how good your book is with others within their circle of influence.
Authors use four techniques to draw followers into their inner circle: publicity, public speaking, social media and mailing lists of ezine/blog subscribers and client/customers.
Your Inner Circle
Your inner circle consists of your clients, subscribers, and your professional network of folks in related areas who will promote your products to their lists. These folks are your ambassadors, spreading the word about your books and products. To develop your inner circle, you need to have a website with a blog and an opt-in page to build your list. Your opt-in box should offer an informational, complimentary gift in return for their name and email address.
Social media helps you connect with folks who are just learning about you. You need to be active in at least two of the four social media opportunities: 1) Twitter, 2) Facebook, 3) LinkedIn, 4) YouTube. Spend at least 10 minutes a day communicating through your chosen avenues. You can automate the process and boost your productivity by using TweetAdder.com or SocialOomph.com. Comment on other people’s blogs, answer questions directly and avoid hype.
Speaking is a great way to get your message out to a broad audience. You can do paid or free gigs, host your own event, participate in workshops, or do guest spots on radio and webinars. Focus on groups who have a vested interest in your topic. Prepare ready-to-go customizable presentations so you can jump on opportunities that pop up.
Publicity involves working with the media: TV, radio, magazines, newspapers. Monitor the news for topics related to your message and prepare press releases to the media. You can hire a publicist to help you.
Be sure to stick with a plan and be consistent with your communication and message. Eventually you’ll develop a phenomenal platform which will drive your sales higher.
One of the biggest challenges a publisher faces is growing her/his book sales. If you’re struggling with marketing plans, Facebook pages, blogging and other ways of promoting your book online, I have a solution for you, it’s called Social Media Express:
Social Media Express
I’d like to introduce you to Social Media Express, created by a colleague of mine. Mary Walewski of Buy The Book Marketing has been helping authors market their books since 2005. Recently, she has introduced Social Media Express, an online classroom that provides easy, ongoing social media training for authors and small business owners. Here’s how it works:
Every month at Social Media Express, you’ll receive access to a new video lesson in social media. You’ll learn the inside secrets to using Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more to promote your business. The lessons and workbooks are available to you on the membership site 24/7.
In order for you to master social media marketing, you need to practice! As a member of Social Media Express, you’ll receive invitations to attend 2 Study Halls every month. Study Halls are online group calls where Mary answers your social media questions, gives you an opportunity to you show off your website and social media profiles, get some encouragement and coaching and share information with your peers.
In addition to the monthly lessons and Study Hall, you’ll also have access to a private members’ blog and a private Facebook group, both featuring marketing tips, tools, and more.
Mary has worked on keeping costs low for you. You can join for 6 months for only $39.50 a month or you can save $39 by paying $198 in advance. She also offers a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied.
Want to know more? Would you like to learn how to join Mary’s Social Media Express program?