Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Building Your Platform One Day at a Time

Authors whose books aren't selling need to get out an ax and shovel. Time to build from the ground and up. Your book (and this applies to products) requires a platform. What is a platform? Your business or book platform is your viewpoint or message. You build a platform using marketing and public relations practices. What do you include tactically? Your website, blog, social media, newsletters and mass media. Each effort ties to another effort. Your website ties to your blog; your blog ties to your website and newsletter; your newsletter ties to your blog and website; and everything in your media kit and press releases ties back to your website, which ties back to your blog, newsletter and social media. You see it's connected in a circle. Then you get to work.

For my brand new book California Girl Chronicles just out on Amazon yesterday, here is what I am doing.

1. I went back to my pre-reviewers and asked them to post reviews on Amazon. The results were amazing and thank you to my pre-reviewers who quickly reacted to my request. You want to show a strong fan following. Get as many reviews as possible posted on Amazon. The more you do, the more reviews, the more sales will follow. Glut Amazon with those reviews if you can. Now in the past, it was hard to get people to follow through. With California Girl Chronicles, however, the energy around it (as you'll see from the reviews) is vibrant and excited. So, people willingly went and posted.

2. I built a separate "website/blog" for Brea, my heroine. Called Brea's blog, it will contain news and updates about the book. I can use the blog to send to the media for more information about the book, and since it's dynamic I can keep it updated regularly on my own.

3. I am posting to all social media regularly. I have already built up my social media connections, and since I've built that baseline, it's working. It got people who wanted the book and knew it was now out to buy it. It also recently attracted a reviewer who requested it on his own. Another reviewer also requested it that way earlier. Leverage your social media. It works.

4. Justine Brown does PR for 3L Publishing. I am working with her to spread the word in the mass media. We strategized key media we wanted to pursue. It has worked very well. We got the book out to Elle, Maxim, New York Times, and a host of others. When she pitches the media she is using all of the tools described above to leverage the situation and capture reviews.

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