An author platform is the online relationship hub for authors to connect with their raving fans. If you an author and ignore this important step – you’ll lose money.
And while you’re writing because it’s a passion of yours – you’ll still want to make sales other than family and friends.
If you publish through a traditional publisher or with a self-publishing house, either publisher may offer you a website (author platform) as a perk of publishing with them. It’s a nice perk – but don’t bank on it.
Because that publishing company owns that website. If you sever your connections with that publishing company, you lose your website. You lose your author platform. You lose the connection with your readers.
I hear you saying, “But there’s Facebook – and Twitter to connect with raving fans!”
Very true. Plus there’s Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google + and more.
Social media is fantastic to use for connecting & you NEED to use them.
You do not own the social network. They are allowed to (and frequently do) change their terms of service (Facebook) making it more difficult to connect with super fans. So while social networks are needed to connect – it cannot be the end all to be all.
That’s why you need a website that you own as your communication hub.
You need to be able to communicate with your readers on your terms – when you want and how you want.
If you self-publish but are looking to publish through a traditional publisher or you are looking for an agent/manager – you need an author platform first before anyone will seriously think about taking you into their fold. You need to have a platform to show publishers/agents/managers that you are someone who will make them money.
The “Must Haves” Of An Author Platform
- Ability to buy books from you (store).
- Social media to connect readers with you – turning them into super fans (social media icons w/links to social media profiles).
- Upcoming author events (event page).
- A newsletter to keep in touch with readers (newsletter sign-up box).
- Blog posts to educate and/or entertain.
- Freebies for your readers (think content you didn’t put in books)
- News on upcoming books (news page).
- All About You (author page).
- A way for readers to contact you (contact page).
And of course, you need a front page to pull it all together + showcase your upcoming books.
Fantastic Author Platform Examples
- Nora Roberts: http://www.noraroberts.com/
- Dean Koontz: http://www.deankoontz.com/
- Jennifer Niven: http://www.jenniferniven.com/
- Brenda Novak: http://brendanovak.com/
- Doreen Virtue: http://www.angeltherapy.com/