How to build your author platform
This is the preface to my revised book marketing guide, you can find the whole series on Medium or download the free PDF.
Sell more books with your author platform…
A few years ago I would have said that product is everything. Your conversion will depend on just three things, cover, blurbs, reviews, and to some extent, those can all be improved, controlled and measured. But what they can’t fix, is audience behavior (what they want/are searching for) or reception (do they actually like it).
So there’s actually a fourth thing, which is your platform or brand. These are not the same. The platform is how many people you can reach for free; the brand is how those people feel about you. That emotional response to your content is a good indicator of your brand’s value: are your posts, content, messaging, all providing a positive, uplifting experience? Or not?
While a cold audience may ignore you completely and be unlikely to take even the smallest of actions (like a post for example), people who know you and like you will be far more likely to pay attention and take action. But relationships are built over time by providing value. It’s the stories you share, the interactions, the personality and humor, the consideration, encouragement, integrity. It’s showing up and being present. Yes, it improves conversion. People are more like to give you their consideration. To notice. To pause. To respond.
How people feel about you may not seem like quick and easy book marketing advice, because it isn’t. And you can skip it if you only have one book or don’t plan to continue writing. It’s not the most important thing. And I wouldn’t spend a ton of time figuring out your author brand, website, social media and all of that stuff rather than fixing your actual product and making sure it converts. But after you have some books that do sell, and you’re looking to broaden your reach, the platform becomes increasingly important, because it’s that one extra thing that will grow over time, produce real results, and make each book launch easier. It’s not essential, but it helps, and there’s no good reason not to do it.