Thursday, February 13, 2014

YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM BY RITA KARNOPP


There has always been talk about how to promote your work once you finally get published.  If you’re like me, I’d rather write stories – promoting take effort and time.  But a writer must make time and take efforts to create a writing platform.
Oh, I’ve heard it, “Do I really need to have a platform?”  No, not really, but then that depends on your goals and aspirations of selling your books.
If you desire – need – want – commercial success and great sales, then I would say, “Yes, having a platform will make all the difference in the world.”  It’s irrelevant whether you’re an indie (self-published) or traditional published author.  You must decide how you can grab those readers and get exciting exposure for your books if you want to be competitive in the marketplace.
What exactly do we mean by platform?  Simply put, your platform is the means through which you get your book noticed – then purchased.  It has a lot to do with who you know, creating networking, and learning to appeal to the massive world of readers.
You must be willing to take the time to nurture relationships, establish a sound foundation, and create or build effective networking to reach your target demographics and beyond.
So the next question, “How do I do that?”  There are so many ways you can create your platform, and it actually depends on your skillset, how large/small you want that platform to be, and finally your knowledge of the avenues available to help in this process.
Let’s discuss some of those avenues available to you.
·       Do you have a Website?  I’d say the most important first step will be to create a writer’s website.  It doesn’t have to cost much . . . I use a program called www.web.com and pay around twenty dollars a month.  It’s an easy self-create site –and there are a lot out there – even free sites.  Check with friends of sites you really like. 
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·       Do you have a Blog?   Carve out your own writer’s corner space and use it as a place to post articles that establish your expertise in your field. Share news about your book, speaking schedule, upcoming interviews, etc. If you don’t want to do this by yourself, ask a fellow writer to share a blog site with you.  Wonderful writer, Ginger Simpson, asked me to join her blog a few years ago … it’s a great working relationship (as well as sister-ship).
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·       Are you active on Social Media? It is critical to develop a social media network for communicating with your target audience. There are so many to choose from - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so many more.  Taking full advantage of any or all of these incredible online relationship-building tools.
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·       Do you network at every opportunity and events? Remember to hand out your latest book postcard, bulletin, or business card when going to the doctor’s office, or even when ordering food.  I never leave a restaurant without leaving one of those forms of advertisement with my payment.  Also, ask if you can have signings or leave your writing pamphlets at book fairs and other events – include your email address for comments, signed bookmarks, etc. Take advantage of opportunities to get your book circulating and to interact directly with new readers.  As the years roll by you will find you’ve created quite the network of fans. 

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