Have You Created An Impressive Authors Platform?

ANNOUNCEMENT:   As some of you may (or may not) know, I’ve been hosting a writing contest since early September and have received more entries that I ever thought I would. Hosting literary and writing contests has long been a personal dream of mine, so this overwhelming response cemented a long overdue idea and passion on which I am finally going to focus all of my energies.

While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this weekly blog and have a nice little following, I am going to transition the blog to another online medium effective January 1st, 2016.

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It might seem a little ironic that I would choose today to make this announcement (considering the topic is focused on building an audience through platforms such as blogs), but I felt it only fair to give an honest assessment of where this blog is headed.

As I make the transition, I will also not be posting every Tuesday. The following dates will be posted until the end of the year: I will finish out every Tuesday in October, including the special Halloween post on October 31st. This will be followed by November 10th and 24th and December 8th, 15th, 23rd, and 29th.

I hope you all continue to visit, and I will remain dedicated to bringing you as much relevant information as possible.

OK, enough about the transition – let’s get started.

An Author’s Platform is still under some debate as a necessary pre-tool when publishing. I use the term ‘pre-tool’ to indicate you’ll want to establish yourself prior to beginning the agent submissions process. I am on the team that thinks yes – you should have a relevant, existing platform.

Author Platform pic

It looks good if, in your author bio, you can reference a saturated writers blog with a hefty following. Agents like seeing that you have invested time and energy to create a following; they also recognize that a substantial readership might consist of several pre-orders to the book you are trying to sell.

Having an established authors platform also allows room for marketing non-traditional publishing platforms (i.e. eBooks and self-published novels).

The key to growing any kind of self-directed platform is persistence and patience.

You can also visit Your Writer Platform for some free eBooks on the topic.  In addition to the freebies, Your Writer Platform provides access to a professional marketer who has invested her knowledge into helping authors build their author platform.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM
Social Media has one key word in it – Social. This means if you aren’t into social gatherings, even online one’s, this might not be the best tool for you to build a platform.

Despite your personal feelings on the matter, however, developing a social media network really is critical to establishing an ongoing method for communicating with your target audience. There are several options to choose from: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.

Social Media pic

I would recommend selecting only one or two social media and then focusing your energies on those two selections. Post something every day at minimum – twice or three times daily is recommended for sites like Twitter. It takes time ( a lot of time) to grow a strong social media presence, so the key word is patience.

BLOGGING
Blogging can be your secret weapon in the publication arsenal. Blogs are a great place to post articles that establish your expertise in your field. Blogs are also a terrific way to start a following and introduce your writing.

You can start a free, dedicated blog using established platforms such as WordPress or eBlogger. I’ve listed a few free sites below.

Tumblr.com

Blog.com

WordPress

Bravenet

Blogger (aka eBlogger)
**Requires a Google Account log in
***Sorry for no direct link.  Even though I don’t personally have a Blogger account, the url kept capturing my personal Google information. You can visit the site by typing Blogger.com into Google

Blog pic

If you don’t want to invest in a personal blog, you can still reach your audience by posting relevant (and regular) articles to sites like ArticlesBase and Ezine. I’ve listed a few free article submission sites below.

WriteArticles.org

Buzzle.com

Ezine

ArticlesBase.com

Article Dashboard

You can create whatever niche you choose and discuss that niche in great detail. Providing knowledge-rich, solid content and interesting topics are the best way to secure a following. You can also share news about your upcoming book(s), which is a perfect way to generate interest in an upcoming release.

eBOOKS
Many authors want to hold out for that traditional “pot of gold” – agent selection and big house publication. In today’s online world, however, there is no need to wait for that golden phone call in order to make your publication dreams come true.

Kindle readers and the like have opened the doors to all authors who wish to self-publish their book.

Self-publishing an eBook will open several doors, especially for the new author. He or she can ascertain, through eBook sales, if their story has a market – – this insight is incredibly valuable as it will allow the author to move forward into the next venture with a more exacting approach.

Kindle Publishing

Kindle Pic

Smashwords

BAM (Books A Million) Publishing

Lulu

David Carnoy, author of Self-Publishing: 25 Things You Need to Know, writes another fantastic article, How To Self-Publish An eBook.   Highly recommended reading for those interested in this avenue.

SELF-PUBLISHING VIA eBOOK: DREAMS DO COME TRUE
Think you’re losing out on traditional marketing with big sales rights? Think again! The Martian by Andy Weir was first published under his own name. It was originally self-published in 2011 after which Crown Publishing purchased the rights and re-released it in 2014. The Martian, a film adaptation directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, was released this month [in October 2015]. It is also a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

The Martian book cover

So, you see, self-publishing to big market venue is indeed very possible!

Don’t give up and keep writing…you will eventually see results!

Next Tuesday’s Blog Topic: 45+ Websites That Will Pay You To Write
I’ve long been the proponent of the following:  Focus less on the big publishing; focus more on the day-to-day publishing.  Getting your work out there is extremely important…and these lists include PAID submissions!

Don’t forget to enter your Halloween Flash Fiction! $50 1st place, DEADLINE is this Saturday the 24th at Midnight.  GUIDELINES

Connie Irons is a novelist recently begat blogger. As a double GeminiThumbnail of my Blog Picture it’s hard to tie her down to one genre, but her favorites are well written horror and snarky memoirs (hail David Sedaris). When she’s not writing she’s mindlessly spoiling her beagle/basset puppy, Tucker, and evading payment on multiple loans from her fiancé.

Twitter: @connie_irons
Facebook: Fictional Black Ink
Email: Contact Me
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Thanks so much for visiting – you make what I do purposeful!

“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.”
– Hunter S. Thompson

 

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