My 8 Favorite Platforms To Market Your Books
Right off the bat, let’s define PLATFORM.
It is the structure you’ve built on the web to increase your visibility as an author and thus sell books.
There are a multitude of explanations for the necessity of a platform, what it is and what do to. Just Google Writer’s Platform.
The reality is in today’s immensely crowded market, you need to make you and your books visible.
This blog is not about the need for a platform, that’s a given. It’s about the platforms I use to build my visibility, thus creating a very stable and focused “Author Platform” for me.
There are two platforms that you have near-total control of, and thus make them incredibly important! In other words, you can’t really do without them.
I consider this the main stage. This is the place I want people to visit. It’s my one-stop shopping so to speak. It also showcases my brand, meaning color schemes, logos, my tag line.
- can learn about me as writer
- can find my books and read more about them
- can sign up for my mailing list (vital)
- can see my social media and hopefully, join, follow, etc.
- can see my blog
- and some folks have a direct sales page. I do not. That is simply one headache I don’t want at the moment.
So, in my opinion, you need a website.
Don’t groan, they’re important. There are a lot of great books on how to write a newsletter. Here’s a link to my blog post on a newsletter how-to book I think is awesome.
With a newsletter I…
- create a bond/relationship with my reader
- remember they are your book’s lifeblood
- offer more about me and less about my books. There is a formula, see the blog, or read the book on it
- ask my peeps questions so they can connect with me
- I answer them back
- I periodically tell them about me books, releases, sales
- use images (I create many of them in Book Brush) as people love images or pictures
REPEAT, this is all about building a relationship with your readers.
I mention this because having one can be helpful, and you do have total control over the content, but blogs, in general, have become a bit stale, overdone and perhaps not as important as they were.h
- They are great time hogs, and while I still blog, I’m not nearly as prolific as I was
- however, I’m not willing to not blog as I have a good reader counts when I do post. So, this is a conundrum I’m not willing to solve at the moment and I keep posting
Now for the social media platforms I use and over which I have nearly zero control on who sees what, when. BTW, there is no specific order of preference in the listing, you’ll see my comments in each platform. And these are the ones I use.
Yes, I still post on FB. I have both an author page which you need if you’re going to advertise and I have a profile. We all know the algorithms have changed and will change again. This saddens me, I want to connect with all my friends. But again I have zero control
For Facebook I…
- make ads in Book Brush to post. But as with my newsletter, not all are about my books…it is SOCIAL media. So be social
- can make my header in Book Brush again using my brand for recognition
- can build more of a relationship by asking questions, pictures of an amazing day, or of a moment of peace, sadness, whatever you’re sharing
- realize not everyone will see it. This is why having more than one social media outlet seems to be increasingly important. I used to love FB but it’s not my #1 platform any longer.
I think of Twitter as more of an informative tool than a relationship-building tool.
I create a lot of images (memes) in Book Brush to use on Twitter. Read more on how to kill it with promo images on Twitter.
There are a lot of linking mechanisms in Twitter that allow other people to resend a tweet, increasing your visibility.
With Twitter I …
- make judicious use of #’s or else it’s overwhelming and there is some evidence that hurts more than helps
- go into my twitter stream and retweet people who then repay the favor by retweeting me (and I thank them for it via a tweeted reply)
- make use of a program like TRIBERR and join “tribes” to amplify your tweets. But a caution, you must use it or you’re going to be a “user” type of person and eventually dropped. Share and be shared
Images are worth a 1000 words, or something like that. And I agree.
I use Instagram to…
- promote my covers, memes (again created in Book Brush 😊) and the fact that I am an author, and hopefully, I’m attracting a reader’s attention
- visit my Pinterest Infographic for a how-to on posting images from your computer
- show (curated) pictures of my life, remember I’m building relationships here
The negative about Instagram is the inability to link within each image or caption. However, a potential new fan can readily go to my home image and get a link to my WEBSITE, which is where everything can be seen, read, joined, and linked to buy!
There are some camps that think Instagram is the upcoming way to sell and others think…
…is the best way to sell on social media without paying for advertising.
I have a business account but started with a personal account. The business account (free) gives me the opportunity to link directly to a product! And again, when people repin my pins, my social visibility goes up.
With Pinterest I…
- make the cover pages in my brand’s imagery or at least colors. I admit I need to redo mine. Right now, they are a gorgeous tiffany blue color, so close, but not really my new look
- have a theme to my pins (I’m not good at that, but realized I can create templates in Book Brush and reuse over and over!!!)
- add pins (that’s what your images are called) on a regular if not scheduled basis to again up my visibility
I use YouTube, Book Brush uses Vimeo. It seems to be oversaturated right now, but that’s not stopping me from trying to build a following.
And you know those book trailers…these are places to post them. (BTW, Book Brush knows we want to make book trailers. So I suspect we’ll see a new tool in the future.)
I use YouTube…
- as a way of having pictures tell my story, bringing people into my fold…errr…readership
- to host my book trailers. Right now, I use Adobe spark for my trailers. I’ve used iMovie and Adobe Premier, but I want a simple process and a short trailer as nobody has the patience for a long anything
- if I was smarter and had more time, I’d create more trailers
- just be sure about the images you use, make sure they are royalty free or you’ve taken the pix!
Is becoming one of my more useful paid programs.
I use Bookfunnel…
- to give away books easily thus hopefully gain new readers and add their names to my mailing list.
- to participate in a number of promotions. I must use my NEWSLETTER to promote the promotion. Say that 10 times 😊
- sell my book. I don’t actually do this yet, but it’s an option, I’m looking into
Remember Book Brush has templates you can use for BookFunnel in a variety of ways.
Did you notice that nearly all the headers for my social media showcase my brand? That’s important and easy to do in Book Brush…natch!
Creating a platform is important in any business. Maintaining and feeding it is a time-consuming juggling act. These platforms work for me, but all of this takes time away from writing and can become overwhelming.
I caution you to look at your social media and find the ones you feel comfortable with and enjoy using. There is no “one fits all”.
That said, do not skip creating, and updating your website and newsletter. They really are the backbone, the foundation, the stage for everything else.
I truly hope this helps you.
I started writing as a child, really. A few things happened on the way to becoming a published author … specifically, a junior high school teacher who told me I couldn’t write because I didn’t want to study … urk … grammar… That English teacher stopped my writing for years. But the muse couldn’t be denied, and eventually I wrote, a lot, some of it award winning. However, I wasn’t really making a career from any of this. My husband told me repeatedly that independent publishing was becoming a valid way to publish a novel. I didn’t believe him even after he showed me several Wall Street Journal articles. I thought indie meant vanity press. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I started pursuing this direction seriously, hit the keyboard, learned a litany of new things and published my first novel. My second book became a bestseller, and I’m absolutely on the right course in my life.
Please come visit me at www.lasartor.com, see my books, find my social media links, and sign up for my mailing list. I have a gift I’ve specifically created for my new email subscribers. And remember, you can email me at Leslie@LeslieSartor.com