Thursday, February 7, 2019

Five Ways to Build a Sustainable Author Platform

Whether you’re a seasoned author or someone just stepping into the publishing waters, you have undoubtedly heard about the importance of building an author platform. In case you haven’t heard this term, your author platform is essentially the way in which you engage with your target audience. For some authors, a certain social media channel is their main platform. For others, it’s their teaching or speaking careers. For others, it’s a blog or website. For most, it’s a combination of a few of these things.  

Authors often ask us which are the best platforms for them. The answer is this: the best platform for you is one that is A) reaching your target audience and B) sustainable for you. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and that is a good thing! The more unique and organic ways you can reach your audience, the better! 

That said, there are definitely some things that all great author platforms have in common. Here’s what we have seen work for authors to build a sustainable platform which sells books!

Engage, consistently.
We cannot stress this enough. Simply having an Instagram or LinkedIn account is not a platform! You absolutely must join groups, respond to comments, and communicate directly with people on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.
Build a platform where
your audience spends the most time. Facebook might be your favorite social media platform, but what’s the use being there if that’s not where your audience is? Any research you do into where to best find your readers will be well worth your time and energy.
Utilize a content calendar.
It can be really overwhelming to feel the need to post and interact with people on a consistent basis. That’s why you should keep a calendar. Can you commit to a once per month newsletter? Can you schedule posts to your social media 3x a week for the next month, so you don’t have to worry about it on a daily basis?
Collect email addresses.
One thing we can say with certainty is your email list is an important part of building your platform, regardless of genre. Use a service such as Mailchimp to store and send beautiful emails to your audience about the things you’re up to.

Have fun.
This might seem silly, but hear us out. We are naturally attracted to positive, inspirational people. When we see an author who is clearly loving what they do, it’s much easier to want to support them and give their book a try. Use your platform to show that you love this work, even when it’s hard! Your audience will grow organically because of it.

Roseanne Cheng is an author of two award-winning young adult books. She is the marketing director at Wise Ink Creative Publishing and co-author of Buzz: The Ultimate Guide to Book Marketing.

You can find her at

Thursday, January 17, 2019

What to do with that Terrific Book Review

So your book just got an excellent review . . . Congratulations! Good reviews are like gold. If you're fortunate enough to get one, you'll want to make sure you do everything possible to put that endorsement to work for you to help sell more books. So where do you start? Here are a few tips for ways to help spread the word about recommendations for your book . . .

Press Releases
Submit your book review as a press release to all your local media (newspapers, magazines, radio, television news, etc.) If your book appeals to a specific niche, make sure you submit your press release to any publications online, or otherwise, which cater to the demographic of your readership. Don't forget to use online free press release services to help spread the word.

Back Cover
If you've received a positive review from a reputable review agency, make sure you put it out there where potential buyers can see it. Use a quote, or an excerpt of a quote for any future print runs of your book. Don't forget to credit the source of the reviewer; if you've received a great review from the New York Times, then you want to make sure everyone knows about it!

Banners & Signage
If you're attending book-signings at festivals or other venues, you'll want to create professional looking signage. Banners and signs are a great place to promote positive reviews of your book. Take the time to do this well. Professional looking banners with sturdy banner-stands are eye-catching and can do wonders to create a professional image for you and your book. If a banner is impractical, or out of the budget, you can also print professional looking signs to place inside plexiglass frames.

Social Media
Do you have a blog? Great! Post your review there. Don't forget to share your review on your Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn pages. Make sure to use #hashtags to increase your post's visibility. Go ahead, be shameless, and ask your friends and family to like and share your posts.

Amazon's Editorial Reviews
The Editorial Review Section on your Amazon Author Central profile was created to help you bring attention to your professional reviews and literary achievements. This is a great place for sharing your success as an author!

GoodReads Profile
Post your reviews in your GoodReads profile (go to your dashboard to do this). Also, don't forget to blog the review in GoodRead's blog section.

Your Barnes and Noble Profile
Post your review in the section entitled: More About This Book. Take the time to get this right the first time though, because Barnes and Noble does not make it easy to edit your posts here.

Your Website
Post all, or a portion of your all your positive reviews on your website. Don't forget to include images and logos (with permission) to help bring attention to those reviews which have been provided from reputable and well-recognized agencies. If you have a media page include a PDF of your review which can be downloaded directly from your site.

Your Sell-Sheet
Your sell-sheet is the perfect place to include reviews of your book. A sell-sheet should include pertinent information for bookstores, libraries and buyers to tell them why and how to purchase your book.