THE WRITE PLATFORM – With the diminishing influence of the Big 5, up against almighty Amazon, authors need platforms. Why is that, you might ask? I’m a writer. Do I really need to bother with publicity? Yes. Do both, write material and engage in marketing. Some of these are costly, and some are free, so start somewhere based on your resources. See below for tips and highlights. Blog – This is the most important aspect. Write on a regular (weekly or monthly) schedule, since you’re going for repeat visitors, not the one time click. Email – Create a footer signature with all your platform links. Start collecting other’s emails to send out info when new releases come out. Every message you send should share your platform information. Website – Think of it as a landing page to house your platform links. Decide whether to use your real name or penname. Make sure the website address isn’t overly complicated. Newsletter – Add a newsletter signup to your blog. Whatever you do, don’t spam your list. Keep it brief, interesting and valuable in terms of the information presented. Social Media – Be interesting and add value. Your Facebook should link to your Twitter which should link back to your Pinterest and so on. Giveaways – Consider handing out a freebie to increase exposure or grow your list. Some writers have perfected the first-one-is-free serial. Local events – Go to book signings, writers groups, book stores, interview panels, book readings, conferences, book fairs, etc. Multimedia – Each story should have a book trailer available to spread the message about your work. Familiarize yourself with video, image and sound editing software. Handselling – Ask your local bookstore if they will sell your book? Oftentimes they will accept a few of them and send you a commission. Tell them you’re a local writer! Online – Groups, clubs and associations support writers for free or for a price. Facebook alone has hundreds of groups dedicated to writer’s support. Branding – Make your selections with uniformity–fonts, cover images, topics and themes–with a critical eye. Style is crucial in a visual medium and your customer should instantly know what you’re all about. Author page – Amazon offers a central place for all of your books and reposting of all your blog posts. Interviews – Once you’ve established credibility as a writer, ask about appearances on podcasts and radio shows. A lot of platforms are started and abandoned. What’s the point of that? Now it’s time to get busy with your writing platform.
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