Greetings Walmart Shoppers! On aisle four we are trying to be all things to all people so we have a smattering of this and a smathering of that and we want you to buy it ALL! Is that your audience target? Everybody and anybody? Golly gee…you and Dorothy are on the Yellow Brick Road to nowhere but home if you follow that method of author platform building! Face it, you can’t be all things to all people. Successful books and their authors have a highly targeted audience.
Take romance novels for example…who is the audience? People seeking escape, an romp in other folks’ libidos and maybe a good bodice ripping or two. At the very least they are expecting well…romance! They aren’t expecting a three page dissertation on what they should do to make their own bosom heave or loins ache on the author’s blog! Yep, they go to the author’s blog to find out more about the author, new books coming out, fun facts about their writing life, etc and not for a session on a relationship couch! Know your audience!
Wondering how to get started blogging on relevant ‘author’ stuff? Look up some authors you admire on the internet and find out what they write about and share with their readers. Susan Wiggs (romance author) shares photos, stories of writing on deadlines, awesome recipes, stories about her dog Barkis and gorgeous photos of the Puget Sound. True crime author Gregg Olsen has a huge following on Facebook and his website. He blogs at http://www.crimerant.com where he is faithfully followed by his fans. Children’s author Anastasia Suen has published over 115 books, teaches writing classes, critiques and reviews books, and maintains several blogs. Her classes are highly sought and her books are widely read by kids, librarians, and adults who love kids and kid’s books. Now that is a platform!
To build a relevant platform that helps promote your work as an author you have to hang out where your “peeps” are hanging out. If they are on Twitter…then join in and start tweeting. If they only hang out on Facebook and Gowalla then you better figure those places out quickly. Build an interactive community that gets excited about the same things you do.
Word of mouth marketing is critical to building a web presence that results in a powerful author platform. Today’s quirky market is about the speed with which you can make your message go viral. Cultivate your author visibility just like you cultivate the plot and characters in your book. Get known, make your presence seen and heard. Now get out there and build your soap box and start beating your drum so you can get known!