Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Author Platforms

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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Breaking The “Rules” of Book Promotion ~ 6 Different Views

I read an email this morning from an Author Hustler—made that term up—someone who sells advice about book promotion to authors

First, why buy advice if you can find it for free?

Second, why take advice if most of the advice givers are borrowing from other advice givers and trying to dress the “advice” in different clothes so it looks “original”?

Over the last three years, I’ve checked out, subscribed to, and read tons of “expert” advice; and, gotten quite sick of most of it.

I’m no expert but I have 20 posts labeled “promotion” in the Subject Index Links in the left side-bar and 31 posts with the label “book promotion”. <<< those last two links are for folks who can’t find the Subject Index Links :-)

What I’ve shared in those posts is my experience in promotion as well as my perspective on some folks that seemed to have a bit more to offer than just somebody else’s dressed-up opinion.

Today, I’ll pull out links to a few of those past posts, with a bit of intro for each.

Would love your comments on what I think and what the folks I talk about think—after this post or after any of the following six posts:

Need Some ENERGY To Get Busy On Book Promotion? ~ Meet Jonah Berger :-)

“Watch the video, not to learn the techniques but to have some of Jonah’s ENERGY galvanize you to, at least, begin to think differently about how to promote your writing, and, hopefully, get the book and the free application-guide and  learn the techniques :-)”

#SocialEra ~ The New Model for Book Promotion

“The video is definitely not a simple ‘follow these steps to success’ rip-off.

“This woman will let you think and think again and, perhaps, come up with your own unique way to do the ‘Business’ of being a writer.

“If a writer can walk through an art gallery and absorb concepts they later apply in their writing process, then a writer can watch this video and absorb concepts they can translate into guidelines for book promotion.”

Are All Writers Introverts? ~ and ~ Can An Introvert Do Book Promotion?

“First, let’s clear up a misconception—introverts are shy.

“Not true—introverts gain energy from the “Inside” and many an introvert can function out-front, as long as the environment doesn’t hamper their ability to access their inner self.”

Writers Want To Be Reviewed & Read ~ More on Book Promotion

“I’ve said it often here—I’m a maverick.

“I will  take advice but only if it sticks on My Walls :-)

“A friend once defined Book Promotion as everything that helps a writer get comfortable with their Own Way of Living Their Writing Life.

“This fits well with my oft stated ‘maxim’ that Book Promotion is Relationship Building…”

Traditional vs Self-Publishing ~ Is The Promotion/Marketing Different?

“There’s much to read about the ‘war’ between traditional and self-publishing–most of it quite hyped.

“I’m always happy when I find an article about the traditional publishing world that’s rational and fair.

How “Should” Writers Find Readers

“One thing is for sure. There are more ways to attract readers then ever before and there could well be yet many more to come…

“So, rather then trying to read all the articles being churned out and then (horrid thought) attempting to do everything all the ‘experts’ say, let me offer a video by Jane Friedman.”

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Why All Writers “Should” Consider Having A Google Plus Account . . .

I normally don’t like to tell anyone they “should” do something



You’re a writer and you produce content on the Web, you “should” get a Google Plus account.

And, a “maybe should” is:

If you’re a writer and you don’t produce Web content, perhaps you “should”

Back in February, I wrote a post called, Google Plus and The Author Platform.

That post linked to a CopyBlogger post that gave some good reasons to use Google Plus to build online Authorial Authority.

But, CopyBlogger has a whole series of posts that explore the power and future of Author Rank.

Here are links to five of them:

Why Hunter S. Thompson Would’ve Loved Author Rank (And Why You Should, Too)

How Google’s PageRank Algorithm Screwed the Online Writer (and What They Did to Fix It)

Seven Ways Writers Can Build Online Authority with Google+

Why Google+ Is the Best Social Platform for Content Marketers

10 Reasons Writers Should Claim Their Google Authorship Markup

And, if you get to the bottom of the fifth one, you’ll see that the series has yet another post coming :-)

[ EDIT: that six post was published—The Writer’s Author Rank Cheat Sheet ]
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Don’t “Make” People Pay ~ “Let” Them Pay . . .

I’m hoping it’s fairly obvious that a writer can “easily” transfer ideas that work for a singer/performer to the realm of attracting a readership

I know it’s totally obvious that this is the shortest blog post I’ve ever done :-)


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For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

Social Media Mistakes . . .

Social Media, Social Networks, whatever you call them; not many are truly “social”

Of course, if you’re a writer, self- or traditionally published, you need an Author Platform

Ever tried being social on a platform?

Over the last three years, I’ve struggled to do what others say one Must do to engage readers.

Most of what others think is necessary and viable in the Platform/Promotion dance doesn’t work for me.

Check out this past post: Social Networking for Mavericks.


Noting that I’m not doing it like others do it, let me share some fairly reasonable ideas about how others make mistakes

Anne R. Allen has a blog post called, 12 Social Media Mistakes for Authors to Avoid.

I’ll list the mistakes from her post but leave her explanations as an exploration for those truly interested:

1) Spamming somebody’s Facebook wall

2) Creating a Facebook page and Twitter account for every one of your books

3) Creating an “event” or “group” and adding people’s names without permission

4) Responding to Tweeted links without reading the article

5) Tweeting as a fictional character and expecting people to respond

6) Blogging your WIP and asking for critiques and praise

7) Blaming people you’ve friended or circled because you’re getting email notifications

8) “Thanking” people for following you by sending spam

9) Following and unfollowing immediately after you get a follow back

10) Tagging a photo that’s an ador worse, pornwith the names of all your Facebook friends

11)  Not posting share buttons or your @Twitterhandle on your blog

12) Hiding your identity behind a whimsical name or avatar

So, if you’re one of those people who can make the new norm of social media work for you, those 12 actions will sabotage all your efforts

If you do take the link and read Anne’s explanations for those mistakes, do check out the over 40 comments she got :-)
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