Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Book #Review ~ Building Your Author Platform by Tiffany Shand

About the Series:

Titles: Building Your Author Platform, How To Write A Business Plan For Writers and The Author’s Guide To Book Blog Tours

Tired of hearing that you must start building your author platform straight away but having no idea how to get started? Becoming an author in today’s world has never been easier with the self-publishing revolution. But how does an author stand out in a crowded market?

Setting up and building your author platform before you even publish your first book is the best way for building a solid platform that will last and help you grow your tribe of fans.

In this series, I’ll show you all the fundamentals from building your platform from scratch, writing a business plan for long term publishing success and how to promote your book with a virtual tour.

Let’s get started on your publishing journey.

Tags: Business Writing, Web Marketing, Non-Fiction

Add to your shelf on Goodreads:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2yL6gUV

Here is my review of Building Your Author Platform by Tiffany Shand:

Building Your Author Platform gives great, practical advice to new and seasoned authors, alike. Tiffany Shand gleans information from her own experiences as an author and relays the do's and don'ts of creating a platform. Her suggestions on website/blog platforms and social media usage are great tips that all authors should review. The advice given also applies to bloggers regarding whether or not to use a free or paid blog/website.

I actually had the original blog I created in 2011 shut down without notice and without explanation by the free site I used. I'm still trying to decide if I want to pay for a self-hosted blog/website. Blogging and book reviewing isn't a job for me so having to pay for a website that doesn't make me any money just doesn't appeal. Anyway, her sound advice on website/blog platforms is not something to take lightly. I really did lose everything (including my email account).

Building your author platform is important for marketing purposes, to create value for your books, whether fiction or non-fiction, and to pull together readers who want what you offer. Like the author states "Your platform is the bridge between your books and your reader" (Shand, 2017). Go forth and create your platform, you'll be glad you did.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book.

My Rating:

Read an Excerpt from each book in the series:

From Building Your Author Platform

What is an author platform?

When I first started my publishing journey back in early 2014, I had no idea what an author platform was or how to build one.

So what is an author platform? An author platform, as the name suggests, is a launch site from where all your book marketing takes place. A platform encompasses everything from a website, social media to readership. A platform is basically the number of people you can broadcast your message to.

Publishers don’t usually gamble on new authors who don’t already have a platform and an audience ready and waiting. If you already have an established platform and a readership, they are much more likely to take an interest in you.

Essentially, a platform is built out of a website and/or a blog, social media channels, and an email newsletter. It’s a direct link to your readers.

It’s the amount of influence you have over your readership, the level of visibility and authority you have in your particular genre, and your connection to your readers.

Authors can easily reach their fans on a global scale, thanks to the Internet. Gone are the old days of having to write letters or press releases. Now you can reach readers with a click of a mouse.

Do you need an author platform?

My answer would be: yes. In my opinion, every author needs a platform, whether they are writing sword-fighting fantasy, historical romance, children’s books or business guides. Every platform is different for each author, depending on their genre.

New authors need to have a strategy to launch their book and create a hype for it. Without any kind of strategy, it will make it harder for you to sell books or gain any real readers and long-time fans.

Some authors may say that they don’t need an author platform to sell books, and this may have been the argument for authors 50+ years ago. Writers aren’t just authors nowadays, especially if you are an indie author. Now authors have to be marketers and entrepreneurs. Having a solid author platform can help you market your book and leave you able to write more in the meantime.

When should you start building your author platform?

Ideally, it’s best to start building your author platform as soon as you start writing your book or at least before you publish your first book. Many authors don’t do this. I didn’t start building my own author platform until after I had published my first novel and this definitely made things harder for me to start growing my audience and building a readership. So the time to start building your platform is right now!

From How To Write A Business Plan For Writers

Why you need to treat publishing like a business.

Writers write books, but in this new world of digital publishing, they have to be a lot more than that. Writers have to be marketers and entrepreneurs. They have to build themselves an author platform, grow their readership, engage on social media, network and so much more. Writing a book is really only the tip of the iceberg.

If you become traditionally published, you may think that your publisher will do all the work for you, but that’s rarely the case. Publishers expect authors to market their own books and build their own platforms. If you don’t have a strong author platform in place, a publisher is unlikely to take much interest in you. It’s harder to get a traditional book publishing deal now, but not impossible. EBooks have provided authors opportunities that have never been open to them before.

If you decide to self-publish your books you are essentially your own publisher. Publishing is a business and has to be treated as such. You have to sort out things such as editing, formatting, cover design and marketing.

Although you can do some of these things yourself, some of it does have to be outsourced, and like any business that takes time and money.

From the moment you decide to publish your book, you became your own business. That’s right a business. Most writers just think they’re writing when they write their book – I used to think the same thing. They don’t think of it as the product it is.

I’m a writer first and foremost, but I also have to be a lot of other things.

Yes, it takes a lot of work to publish books well and get some profit out of it. But it’s also a very exciting and rewarding job.

You put a lot of effort into your book, why not put a lot of effort into yourself as well?

Unless you only write as a hobby and expect friends and family to read your book, you are a business too. A lot of writers don’t think of themselves this way. They think they are just creatives who love the art of writing. But there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy writing your own business plan too. It can help you to focus on your business and life goals too.

If you are someone who likes plotting out their novel chapter by chapter, scene by scene, then you’re definitely going to love writing a business plan. It’s a very similar process.

If you’re the kind of writer who just likes writing on the fly then there’s something in this book for you too. Having a plan in place can help you become much more focused and produce books on a regular basis when you have clear goals in mind.

Why do you need a business plan?

You may ask why do you need a business plan. I used to think this way myself when I first started my publishing journey. You may claim that you’re not a small business, which isn’t true. Writing isn’t like starting up your own company, but you are essentially your own business. If you’re the kind of author who does local talks, goes to book signing, or does workshops you’re already promoting yourself as a business.

Having a business plan will help you plan out your goals and the future you want by building a business around your books. It will also help you to make some money. A lot of aspiring writers believe the old myth about being a starving artist, but this isn’t true. You can make money from your writing if you go about it the right way.

You want to get paid for your hard work, don’t you?

Don’t get me wrong, you’re probably not going to make millions just from your books alone, but there are plenty of people out there who do make a decent living from writing.

From The Author’s Guide To Book Blog Tours

What are book bloggers?

Book bloggers have only been around for the past few years since the use of blogs became much more popular and website platforms became much more affordable for the everyday user.

Since the growth in popularity of blogs over the past few years, dozens of booklovers have taken to writing about their favourite books. A book blogger is someone who loves reading books and writes blog posts about it on their blog. This can include thoughts on books, excerpts and posts about different books and reviews.

The different blogs reflect their owner’s tastes and vary in focus. Many readers will read a variety of different genres; other blogs will focus on a specific genre such as romance, fantasy, or young adult, etc.

Different blogs will have different kinds of audiences depending on what genre that blogger chooses to read. A blogger who likes to read a lot of different genres will probably have an audience who likes the same thing and chooses the type of posts they read on that blog.

Not every blogger will want to read your book, don’t ask a romance reader to read your sci-fi novel to help you promote your book. Choose a reader who enjoys your type of book. This may seem obvious but a lot of authors mass email book bloggers in any genre to try and promote their books, regardless of whether that blogger reads their book’s genre or not. There’s no point in trying to contact them if they don’t like your particular type of book, it’s just a waste of your time and theirs.

Who are book bloggers?

One author asked me who book bloggers are; they are, of course, people who love to read books. They enjoy sharing their thoughts about the books they have read and write about it on their blogs. They can be male or female, and range in age from teenagers to people in their 70s. A lot of teenagers love young adult books because they can relate to that genre of growing up and trying to figure out who they want to be in life.

Some book bloggers are aspiring authors experimenting with their blog to see what reactions they get to their writing. The kind of blogger to look for really depends on your target audience. For example, my urban fantasy and paranormal romance books are aimed at women, but my non-fiction books are aimed at both men and women.

For most book bloggers, blogging is just a hobby and something they do in their spare time. They don’t generally make money from their blogs – or if they do it isn’t very much. But there are exceptions to this, there are successful, profitable book blogs out there. It’s still worth approaching some of the bigger bloggers as they may still be interested in your book.

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