HOW TO BUILD AN AUTHOR PLATFORM
If you are like me, and if you are reading this post then you might be, (I do not mean 6’2″ and an English gentleman) then I would presume that you have an interest in writing, ebooks and the Amazon Kindle Publishing platform.
Oh…and earning money.
Hopefully you are also an inspiring writer, but like me you might also be a novice starting off in the wilderness without any following…if a novice types in a forest of blogs does anybody read the article? Or perhaps you are an established writer who has released a numerous amount books but as had little success?
An author platform is essential for both the novice writer and the established pro, you need followers, you need an audience, you need subscribers to a mailing list.
But how do you start to build an author platform?
You must build up a loyal following via subscribers through your own email list, the more subscribers that you have the more likely you will be to shift more copies of the books that you write.
Lets look at five ways ANYBODY , can build an author platform to establish some followers, an audience and subscribers through an email list.
1. Create a website. This needs to be step one for the simple fact that you need somewhere where you can create your “voice” and express opinions, share your stories etc. Creating a website is not that difficult, it took me about 30 minutes to create a basic site from scratch with zero experience…I even wrote a book on it after realising just how easy it was do to. Shameless plug number one. Sorry. You can view it here :
You can sign up to Hostgator here to start your own website :
You need a website to be able to get subscribers, you can then build a following through an email list. You will need to sign up to a service like MailChimp to collect email address’s and make a list. It is easy to do, just get a plug in for your website (like an app) and it lets people enter the email into a little box which confirms that they would like to join your mailing list.
If you have a website, you can then direct people from your ebooks to your site, this is why step number one needs to be creating a website, you then use the potential of your writing being popular and the Kindle platform to create a name for yourself. This takes us on to step two.
2.Create a free give away / lead magnet. You need to entice people to sign up to your mailing list, offer them a real give away, something with plenty of content, a lengthy PDF / ebook relating to your niche is an ideal option but it needs to be good, really good, something that you would normally charge type quality. You REALLY want people to click on this offer, sign up and subscribe to your mailing list, the hook to get them needs to be good and the product that you are giving away for free needs to be even better.
3.Add a link in your ebooks to your website. Now that you have created your website you can simply enter your site address in to the front of your book, you can entice the reader to sign up with the free give away that you have created. I would suggest entering the link to your website at the front off your book and towards the end, that way the reader is shown the site address after they have finished reading the content. The other reason for putting a link at the beginning of the book is the fact that some people will just be a browser and not a buyer, on Amazon you can preview any book on the Kindle platform, they always show the first few pages and the link still shows up, that way someone who is not going to actually purchase your eBook might feel intrigued and still click on the link and be directed to your website, hopefully they will then still take advantage of the free give away that you have created resulting in a new follower and a potential buyer for the future.
You can use a link shortner like Bitly to track the traffic from your books to your website, that way you will now where you website traffic is coming from. You can sign up to Bitly here https://bitly.com/
4.Use Amazon KDP to promote your eBook. Amazon really is THE king of the jungle when it comes to eBooks and promoting your content, the best part of using KDP? IT IS FREE TO USE! When you upload your ebook to Amazon you have the option of enrolling in KDP select, I would strongly suggesting doing so and taking full advantage of what it can do for you, you have the option of having your ebook being promoted by Amazon for a maximum of 5 days every 90 days.
Amazon can reach thousands of potential buyers when they promote a book for you, people love a free ebook and you should see a very large amount of downloads across the five day period, the outreach they can offer you is HUGE, much bigger than anything else you can get for free, in my opinion nothing else comes close to promoting your work when you are just starting out.
A lot of people knock KDP select, but if someone can suggest a real alternative then please let me know, the only downside I see, if there really is one, is that you are tying your content into Amazon for 90 days as an exclusive deal, you are not allowed to sell you work anywhere else including your own website, if Amazon finds your work anywhere else they will terminate the deal, but really, is an exclusive agreement of 90 days really that much of a big deal for someone with no readers, followers or subscribers? It has not been for me, all it has done for me is increase my downloads leading to more hits on my website and then more subscribers to my email list.
Job done. Thanks Amazon.
You can sign up to KDP Select here https://kdp.amazon.com/
5.Use social media. Obvious I know, but I am not referring to just simply putting a tweet out or a post up saying ” please download my ebooks for free!” , you need to make full use of the power of social media which in my opinion is the groups, the communities and the chats. Facebook has excellent groups, you can see an awesome list by Michal Stawicki where he lists the best groups to post in here, Google Plus has amazing communities where you can share your ebook details and Twitter of course has chats that authors can join in with.
So by using the power of social media platforms, after your ebook has been enrolled in KDP select and you have picked your five days to give your ebook away for free, you can really bump up the downloads by sharing the dates to all the relevant groups, chats and communities, this can really help drive momentum and give you some awesome download stats, again, the more people who download, the more people who see your website link and then you have a much better chance of turning a reader into a dedicated follower who subscribers to your mailing list, hopefully you have a friend for life who will download future releases when you email them.
That’s it, five simple steps to build an author platform.
Once you have created your website you can make more tweaks to encourage more visitors, blog posts with great tips are extremely good for driving traffic to your site, (especially titles with 5 tips in…cough, cough) this will hopefully encourage more people to sign up to your mailing list and grow your followers even further.
Your subscribers will become the lifeblood of your business, they can help you grow so you reach your full potential, for every new ebook you release using KDP select be sure to send out an email to all the subscribers on your list, ask them to download a copy of your latest release for free and if they have a moment could they be so kind to leave you a review, this will help you gain even more exposure, they get a free ebook and you will hopefully acquire some new readers, it is a win win for everyone!
So if you have books already released just sitting on the Amazon Kindle store or if you are planning on releasing your debut piece of work soon be sure to get your website started and get to work building your author platform with just 5 simple steps.