Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Are You Struggling with An “Author Platform”?


This young New Year probably has quite a few writers struggling to implement a resolution to build or improve their “discoverability”—having readers find them—providing ways to develop a relationship with an audience… 

Jane Friedman about Author Platform and Book Promotion

Jane Friedman

As I always do, I caution any writer to not take anyone else’s “formula” for this activity and rather take the time to develop their own way of becoming “Known”

In the four years of this blog’s life, I’ve done 16 posts about Author Platform and 40 posts about Book Promotion (both those numbers are being increased by one since I’ll be Tagging this post with both phrases; and, if you take those links, you’ll find a number of posts in both categories…).

Also, I have 33 posts referencing Jane Friedman (again, overlapping with the other two sets…).

Jane is a rather unique person in the pantheon of “experts” in the Book-World—she thinks deeply, is willing to be flexible, and truly cares about the “sensitivities” of writers

There’s a new video of Jane being interviewed by folks at Book Marketing Tools which I’ll share; but, first let me quote just a bit from the transcript:

Why is building an author platform so important?

“It’s what I consider the long game. It’s trying to build a readership that’s going to be with you for not just one book, but for every book that you write or for every story that you tell or every product or service that you develop….it tends to be very organic. It’s not like a one-time event. It’s something that you’re going to put a little bit of effort into on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.”

Why do you think authors struggle with the idea of a platform?

“Many people find marketing and promotion to be somehow antithetical or at cross purposes to artistic mindset…”

“…if writers can stop seeing marketing as something that’s outside of the realm of their imagination of creativity and think of it as something that’s intrinsic to the work itself, I think it all goes much more smoothly and doesn’t feel like such a departure from the writing activity.”

“I think one of the biggest problems, to put this in concrete terms, is authors hear this kind of disembodied advice, whether that’s from their publisher or somebody else, to get on Twitter, start a blog, or start a Facebook page. I call it disembodied advice because it really has usually nothing to do with the writer’s personality, the writer’s work, the writer’s skill set.”

And, skipping ahead a number of talking-points:

What common issues or problems are authors facing today?

“For the types of authors I encounter, people are asking what are the buttons that I press to make the marketing work? People are very either confused or frustrated that what they used to do doesn’t work anymore or that what they’re doing for the first time doesn’t work the way they thought it would, even though it’s been highly recommended by XYZ expert. So of course there are lots of reasons things may not work the way they used to, and I think a lot of it is just misunderstanding of how to apply the principles they’ve learned, and also just a lack of patience.”

The video interview is just over 30 minutes; so, if you’d rather have the podcast, you can download it here

The video is called Blogging for Authors but, believe me, it has much more than that


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4 responses to “Are You Struggling with An “Author Platform”?

  1. juliecround January 6, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Yes, and I am seriously considering posting a novel in serial form on line for folk to read for nothing. I just haven’t decided the best way to do it – through wordpress or wattpad or some other way.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai January 6, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Julie,

      You may like the opportunities available at LeanPub

      Like

      • juliecround January 6, 2015 at 10:51 am

        Not really what I was looking for – too biased towards non fiction. I rather fancy copying Charles Dickens – who wouldn’t? Thanks, anyway. I really don’t mind using one book as a loss leader and letting people see if they like my writing without paying. Four pints of milk for 89p! (UK comment)

        Like

  2. Pingback: So Ya Think Your Book Will Be a Bestseller? | Notes from An Alien

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