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Develop your author platform and extend your reach

Today’s guest blogger is my friend D’vorah Lansky, the author of 21 Ways to Launch a Successful Virtual Book Tour. Lanksy offers virtual book tour workshops and courses for authors, entrepreneurs, and virtual professionals. She has taught hundreds of people how to conduct successful virtual book tours. This post is part of her virtual book tour for the book’s launch; check out the complete tour schedule

Develop your author platform and extend your reach

by D’vorah Lansky

I’d like to thank Sandra for hosting me in celebration of the launch of my newest book, 21 Ways to Launch a Successful Virtual Book Tour. In this article I’ll be talking about the importance of developing your online author platform. An author platform is a place where people can come to connect with you. It is where you share your message and it refers to the size of your following/readership and your presence on the Internet. It is essential for an author to have an author platform as your platform raises your visibility and allows people to get acquainted with you.

Here are a few things that you can do to develop your online author platform:

  • Set your blog up so that it makes a positive statement about you as an author. If you have any intentions of speaking, you are going to need a website which actually shows people who you are and what you speak about.
  • Have a media page or speaker sheet that can be easily accessed on your website. Include images of both you and your book cover.
  • Include a page on your site where you can feature endorsements or testimonials. This will provide a powerful way for people to get to know you through third-party endorsement.
  • Make sure that you have a professional presence on the social media networks. Social networks provide you with the ability to reach a large number of people easily, develop your presence, share your expertise, and impart the message of your book.

Whether you are beginning with a well-established website and large audience, or you are just setting up your website and beginning to grow your audience, there is much you can do to develop and promote your online platform.

The fastest way to develop your platform is to make sure you have an attractive looking blog or website where people can come to find out more about you and your book. Develop a daily writing schedule and post articles to your site several times a week. Interact on the social networking sites and invite your target audience to enjoy reading the articles you’ve posted to your site. You will soon come to be seen as an expert in your field and you will develop relationships and friendships with your readers.

Top social networks for authors

As authors, social networking is an important aspect of our marketing plan. In addition to the big four social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube) there are dozens of social networks that are designed specifically for authors. Following are some of my favorite social networks for authors. Take time to explore these sites and pick one or two to join. Set up your profile page, add information about your book, and begin networking with authors, readers, and publishers.

Author Central on Amazon – Author Central is a free service that Amazon offers so that authors can gain more exposure and promote their books. At Author Central, you can share with your readers the most current information about yourself, your events, and your work. In addition, you can view and edit your bibliography, add a photo and biography to a personal profile, upload book cover images and videos, track your book sales, and pull in the RSS feed from you blog as a way to connect with readers. Here’s my Author Central page if you’d like to connect: www.DvorahOnAmazon.com.

Authors Den – AuthorsDen is one of the largest and most vibrant online literary communities for both authors and potential readers. Nearly 1.5 million readers a month visit this website and have the opportunity to review books while interacting with others.

GoodReads – GoodReads claims to be “the largest social network for readers in the world.” GoodReads members recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they’ve read and would like to read, form book clubs, and interact with others. GoodReads authors can create an author profile, add their books, create events, and interact with readers.

Shelfari – Shelfari is known as a gathering place for authors, aspiring authors, publishers, and readers. They have numerous features to enable these groups to connect in an enjoyable way.

What kind of networking about your book and topic do you do online? Tell us about your favorite social networks and how these networks have helped you to promote your book and your message.

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9 Comments

  1. Hi D’vorah and Sandra, This is a great article! Thanks for the info on Authors Den and Shelfari. Author’s Central and Goodreads rock, too!

    Extending our reach online is an ever evolving art form. Who ever said book promotion was tedious? I love it!!

  2. Hi Sandra, thank you for hosting me for this exciting virtual tour! I look forward to connecting with your audience and am happy to answer any questions.

  3. Thanks for these tips. It’s good to know my website meets your specs, but I’m going to fine-tune it this summer. So we should blog more than 2x/week? I wonder if ppl would read it if it was more often. I’ve used a professionally filmed vid of me talking about my career as a children’s book author and posted it on Vimeo as a reference for ppl.

    1. Kayleen, how often you should blog depends on how much time you have, what you have to say, how much work you can put into driving traffic to what you say, etc. For authors, 2xs/wk should be enough and once/wk would be OK, too.

      Sandy

  4. Hi Kayleen, glad you enjoyed the tips! Sandra says it perfectly, the number of times you blog is a strategic decision. Having an attractive, branded, up to date blog, allows you to put your best foot forward and will attract people to your site.

  5. Thanks for the great tips, D’vorah! I’m so glad Sandy asked you to guest blog – she’s an amazing gal.

    I am presently building my platform with my books and speaking, so connecting with other authors and speakers is always helpful. Your tips and links will help me continue to build my network. Plus, I was drawn to your “21” theme, as I’m also working with the auspicious number 21. Would love to swap insights about it sometime!

    Namaste,
    Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

  6. Hi Michael,
    Working with numbers is powerful!

    You are smart to focus on building your platform as that is the foundation for everything.

    All the best,
    D’vorah

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