Many self-published authors when they first start are more focused on writing than marketing, and rightfully so. I know marketing was the last thing on my list as I was contemplating self-publishing my first book. But for those that have been at this for a while have learned that marketing is one of the most important aspects of the self-publishing industry. Yes, you need an excellent product, but if no one knows you exist, then who is buying your product. The competition is fierce and with over 6.4 million books sold in the U.S. last year, how do your sales fair?
Over the years I have tried many avenues to promote my work, there are some avenues I have not, because of costs. But I have always been told that you have to spend money to make money. But I would add that from a Christian viewpoint, God also has something to say on how well you fair as well.
One of the key features of your portfolio and looked at by most traditional publishers is, how large is your platform? Platform someone may ask; what is one’s platform? Your platform is your public presence in the marketplace. Where can your readership find you, if they were looking for you? If you’re not a radio or TV personality or some famous star in the media, sports, religious, or political world, then your public footprint in comparison is quite small. So how do I get myself out to the public to be seen?
The answer is you begin to build your profile platform. The first place to start is by building an author’s website, then point all other promotional activities to that. As a Christian, I would find a web host provider that is not affected by other large tech media policies. They do exist, you just have to do your homework. After that, I would enlarge my presents by adding social “follow me” and “share” tools on my site that can connect me to other social media platforms you can trust. In recent days, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have become unstable toward conservative and Christian values, and one day you may find yourself no longer welcome on their platform or at least become censored to your world-and-life-views.
Personally, I have removed myself from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and have replaced them with MeWe, Gab, LinkedIn, and Vimeo. There are others one can use like Tumblr, Parler, GodTube, UltimateTube, and others. When choosing these platforms, your choice should be made on a long-term relationship. It takes time for search engines to find you and categorize your content. Think long term, not just for this year. Establishing your presence on the Internet is important and becomes a big part of your platform.
The next part of your platform if you choose to go in this direction is personal appearances, such as Radio, TV, Podcasts, Public speaking, book signings, book conferences, and book shows. For those that are already part of this scene because they are pastors, educators, or public speakers, this part of the building process will seem much easier.
As one can see, building an author’s platform can be quite involved, but moving forward does not have to be. Anyone can establish a website on their own or with a little help from those that offer such services.
One last item I almost forgot to mention, and that is, make sure whatever social platform you choose, that it’s a place your readers can be found at. Without hesitation, two sites are a must for any book author to be part of, and that is Goodreads and LibraryThing. Here you will find millions of book lovers that read and will provide feedback on your work. And if you ever get an independent book review done, make sure it gets posted to Goodreads. Why? Because Goodreads is the place many online book outlets that compete with Amazon, get their book reviews from to post on their bookstore pages.
There is a lot that could be shared, but I will leave for now on the following note. Self-Publishing is not just a business, we should see it as a marathon run to accomplish a goal, not a sprint to win some race to nowhere!
For additional ideas to how one can get noticed on the Internet, just Google, Bing, or Yahoo my name and you will see what ten years of promotion can achieve. I wish you well and my God bless his work in your life.