(This post will take less than10 minutes to read)
Today, I’m proud to host another guest blog by a fellow wordsmith.
This is a topic close to my heart, but it will also be useful to anyone who’s published a book as part of their business, or have published a novel and need some pointers.
If self-publishing is an option you are considering, it’s a worthwhile read.
Cassie is a tech and entertainment blogger who is interested in self-publishing and social media and how they are changing the publishing culture for the better.
A massive thank you to Cassie for a great overview for those new to the concept of having an ‘Author Platform’ and what their next steps should be to raise awareness of their books.
How to Reach Out to Readers After You Self-Publish
Having your work published by a large publishing house is not easy. For many years, authors simply wrote for their own satisfaction because nobody would publish their work. This is finally changing with the advent of self-publishing and its acceptance as a legitimate option for authors.
Thanks to self-publishing, authors have more freedom today than they had in the past. There are countless excellent self-published books on the market.
Authors may be nervous about self-publishing for a variety of reasons, especially the fear of having to market their books themselves. They believe that large publishing houses handle all the marketing for authors, but this is not the case. While they do some marketing and promotion for their authors, the bulk of the work still lies with the author. Whether a large publishing house publishes your book or you self-publish, you have to do most of the promotion and marketing yourself.
There are many ways to promote and market your work, but one of the most effective is to reach out to your readers. This is true for both self-published and traditionally published authors. If you want your readers to read more of your work, you need to keep in contact with them. Despite the time and effort it takes, it’s worth doing. Here are a few good ways to do this.
Construct an Author Platform
If you are going to reach out to your readers, you need to have a “home base” from which to work. This is where your author platform comes in.
While there isn’t a simple definition for an author platform, it is really just a way for you to promote your work and keep in contact with your readers. It keeps a channel of communication open between you and your readers. Many readers want to contact their favourite authors, and an author platform will allow them to do that. Just remember it’s a difficult task, but it is vital to your success.
There are a few different methods to build your author platform. The most successful methods are creating your own website and starting a blog with a comments section. The comments section will help you keep in contact with your readers.
It’s useful to register your name and the name of your work as domain names. Registering domain names will allow you to create websites you can use as your author platform. However, if you don’t have the funds to do so, you can always create your blog on one of the free blogging services that are readily available. Later, when you do have enough money, you can register domain names.
Once you’ve created your website or started a free blog, you need to spend some time safeguarding yourself and your work. You will most likely be posting some personal information on your author platform, and there are lots of unscrupulous people who are only too happy to exploit this by harassing you or stealing your personal information. This is why it is critical you use a reputable Virtual Private Network, such as Buffered VPN.
You should also use reliable anti-virus software with a firewall, such as a McAfee product.
Use Your Author Platform Correctly
After you’ve built your author platform, you need to use it to reach out to your readers. The first thing you need to do is to include links to all the retailers selling your book. This will allow your readers to purchase any of your work with ease. After all, you don’t want to make it difficult for them to buy your books.
Your author platform also needs content, so you should write a bio page with a little information about yourself. Once you’ve done that, you can start blogging. Obviously, you need to write about your work, but remember your readers want to get to know you as well as your work. So reach out to them by including a few pieces that will show them who you are as a person.
You don’t have to include very personal information, just the sort of thing you would share with an acquaintance.
Novelty keeps people interested, so don’t post the same information over and over. Your readers will get bored and stop following you.
The comments section of your website or blog is the perfect way for you to connect with your readers. Encourage them to leave comments and respond to them in a meaningful way.
Don’t bother responding to trolls though. It will only encourage them to continue harassing you.
Allow Social Media to Work for You
Most people belong to at least one social networking website. You can use these social networking sites to reach out to your readers.
Start by joining as many social networking sites as you can realistically manage. Don’t forget the popular ones, such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Goodreads.
Create profiles and pages for each of them, and remember to include a link to your website or blog on each profile or page.
Put links to all of your social networking pages on your website or blog.
Just as you do with your website or blog, post pieces that will interest readers. Then get involved.
Respond to comments in a meaningful way to allow readers to get to know you and encourage them to communicate with you. You’ll build a rapport that will enhance your success as an author.
As a self-published author, how do you reach out to your readers? How do you engage them? Let us know in the comments.
Find out more about her work and her books at her website: www.culturecoverage.com
Connect on Twitter: @cassie_culture