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Author platform discussion (part 1)

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Let's discuss author platforms. This is a huge topic, so I'm starting a series with different themes/questions for each one. 

 

Part one! 

 

What platforms are you on? Facebook, Twitter, your own website, Youtube, Pinterest, Wattpad, etc. 

 

Let's rank them from your favorite to your least favorite. 

 

I am just starting out on mine, but so far... 

 

1) Pinterest (Learning the ropes) 

 

2) My own website (In the making process) 

 

3) Youtube (Have a writing channel planned, but one thing at a time.) 

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Posted (edited)

I'm on my own website (blog), Facebook, and Twitter.

 

#WritingCommunity on Twitter is a little like screaming into the void - very occasionally someone will hear you. Facebook is good if your demographic is 30+

 

I've heard Instragram is the place to be, but I can't really speak to that myself.

Edited by PenName
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(Hanging my head in shame) I have my own website, but it's all about punctuation, not about my writing. I have a Facebook account, but I haven't been on it in months. I have family in Australia, but she's too busy to read books. Besides, I would give them to her. So ... I have ... no social platform (except here).

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Also got nothing. But I am planning to start setting up a website sometime this year, and will consider what platforms to jump onto from there.

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Right now, I'm not liking any of my platforms. 🤣

 

1. My website. There's not much on there at this time, but it's my favourite because it's all mine and I'm only limited by my imagination.

2. Instagram. It's a decent place to get engagement if you post regularly with good content and know how to use hashtags properly. The downside is figuring out what to post.

3. Facebook. I'm not a fan. I have a page because I feel like I need to be present there. I've got a few followers, but finding and posting good content there is a time-suck and doesn't give much return that I can see.

4. YouTube. I have one video on there and hope to put up more. I mainly use it as a place to host videos that I want to share.

5. Goodreads. I've claimed my books but don't do much on there.

6. Bookbub. As with Goodreads, I've claimed my books, but I've done even less there.

7. Pinterest. I'm not really using it as a platform, but I pin content related to my sub-genre. Amazingly, even doing almost nothing there, several people have pinned things from my board.

 

I intend for my mailing list to be a key part of my platform. I'm currently taking steps to make that happen. God willing, I'll focus mainly on my mailing list, website, and Instagram.

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Social media is critical to name recognition. If you wait until your book comes out and then start on social media, how will anyone know your name or care about your book? Some experts say it isn't necessary until you publish your book. But that makes no sense. Connection with others is essential. Otherwise, it's like walking down a crowded NYC sidewalk and holding up a sign that says, "I've written a book!" Who will care to stop and ask you about it? :oops::rolleyes::confused:

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7 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

If you wait until your book comes out and then start on social media, how will anyone know your name or care about your book?

I don't often disagree with you. Although I know I'm in the minority in thinking this, as an independently-published fiction author, I don't see the harm in focusing on getting the book (or even books!) written before focusing on social media.

 

Books have a very long shelf-life. Big launches matter to traditional publishers because in their business model, a book only has a tiny window of opportunity to prove itself. If it's not performing after a few months, it's considered to have failed. But as an indie, I know that even if a debut book is released with very little or no social media fanfare, it will always be there for people to find, and for the author to promote. Joanna Penn made the New York Times bestseller list with books that were several years old. Even if they weren't technically new, they were new to the readers who had just discovered them. And I don't count myself as a success yet, but I've just had my best sales month ever on a book I released back in October. Readers don't mind that the book is five months old.

 

Building a social media presence can take a tremendous amount of time and energy that is better spent writing the next book. Back before I released my first book, I needed all my mental resources and time to focus on finishing the book and publishing it. If I'd been trying to cultivate a fan base at the same time, it would have been way too much for me to juggle.

 

Now as I work on finding readers via social media, I have things I can show them. A new reader who finds me today with my two books is no different from the same reader finding me today if I'd started social media platform five months ago.

 

The one thing I do wish I had started earlier is a mailing list. But even that would have required a finished book.

 

This is from my perspective as an idie fiction writer. I know that things are very different for non-fiction, and for people who are hoping to be published traditionally.

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I'm on Facebook, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and post occasional guest blogs on Indie writer sites. I've taken a pass on other platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and others.

 

10 minutes ago, EBraten said:

Building a social media presence can take a tremendous amount of time and energy that is better spent writing the next book.

 

AGREED.  I would take this one step further. We've all been hearing the drumbeat of platform, platform, PLATFORM for years. I agree it can be important, but I've also come to learn that its importance can vary depending on the genre you write.

 

For instance, if I'm writing non-fiction cooking books, then platforms such as YouTube can be very effective. I could post short videos on cooking that link to my books. It's even better if I'm a chef who works at a five-star restaurant. I can leverage that credibility to my platform.

 

But here's my reality. I write fiction, usually thrillers and mysteries. I have no professional creds that would tie into this - like law enforcement or government intelligence experience. I'm just a storyteller with a vivid imagination - like thousands of my fellow authors.

 

So how can I build a platform?  I think by concentrating my initial efforts on generating content, and visibility to my books, rather than on me. Obtain reviews and sell through book promotions. Then as sales build, and more books get released, I can build a platform on name recognition. Getting to this point is a perplexing challenge. Knowing what's effective changes constantly. But publishing more books, which provides additional sales opportunities as readers discover you, is probably the best use of my time right now.     

 

        

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42 minutes ago, EBraten said:

Building a social media presence can take a tremendous amount of time and energy

 

It really takes only a few minutes of your time. ;)

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58 minutes ago, EBraten said:

I don't often disagree with you.

 

Please, disagree all you like. That which helps others is what we strive for, so if I'm {choke cough} wrong (which is often ;) ) then others will learn what is best. Sooo...though I understand the point of view of fiction writers on this topic, it's still hard for me to agree. :oops::rolleyes::D

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12 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

so if I'm {choke cough} wrong

gXTndOLdVWMdW.gif.93f8630732036a9a691acd2191e484b7.gif

 

😄 I'll start a whole thread about how important your platform is. Sound good, everyone? 

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1. I am on Facebook, haven't done anything with my book's page. I got very discouraged about the processes.

2. I am inactive on Good Reads. Because of the discouragement.

3. I have a blog.  Since my fall and injury, I have not been  active about posting to it.

 

Since I have had to think on this topic today, I realize that my discouragement is deeper than I thought. I thought it was due to some events that happened in real life. But a lot of it is related to not being ble to get the attention of some Christian magazines and editors. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, lynnmosher said:

It really takes only a few minutes of your time.

I must be doing it wrong, then, because it takes me ages! 🤣 Here's my Instagram feed. I have to devote a big chunk of time to come up with content and create images.

Edited by EBraten
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2 hours ago, Accord64 said:

So how can I build a platform?  I think by concentrating my initial efforts on generating content, and visibility to my books, rather than on me. Obtain reviews and sell through book promotions. Then as sales build, and more books get released, I can build a platform on name recognition. Getting to this point is a perplexing challenge. Knowing what's effective changes constantly. But publishing more books, which provides additional sales opportunities as readers discover you, is probably the best use of my time right now. 

 

100% this.

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Thomas Umstadt Jr. is the best resource I know on this topic.  He has the Christian Publishing show, the Novel Marketing show, the Creative Funding Show, and various other podcasts.

https://stevelaube.com/057-why-platform-is-not-important-like-you-think/  This podcast was a real shot in the arm for me.  (The key word is RESONANCE) 

My favourite platform is .....ChristianWriters.com!  Lynn reassured me that it is considered platform to be part of a forum!  

I can be found on Twitter.  I try to encourage people there.  

I haven't pulled my stories from Wattpad yet, but I can't support it anymore, even if there is a small Christian corner there.  

I have my website and just today put out my second newsletter!!  I feature my writing, giving out a bit of it in the letter. I have a Subscribers Only page that features recordings by me of my own work. 

I also feature encouragement.  So much is needed.

  I blog in spurts.  (That sounds like a poem coming on. A Rap.) 

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11 hours ago, Nicola said:

My favourite platform is .....ChristianWriters.com! 

Agreed by about 1000%!!!!!

 

11 hours ago, Nicola said:

I blog in spurts.  (That sounds like a poem coming on. A Rap.)

Bring it on!

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1. My own website (blog on website, updated weekly)

2. Facebook (It's my personal Facebook page, but display funny things to promote my book and Human Beans)  (I am thinking of starting one primarily for my book and Human Beans)

3. Twitter

4. Instagram

5. Chimpmail?

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, carolinamtne said:

My favourite platform is .....ChristianWriters.com! 

I forgot to include that one! Great website! Wonderful people!!!

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Just now, Bob Leone said:

I forgot to include that one! Great website! Wonderful people!!!

I know, right!?! I wish they could all be like that one! 😊 

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Am I weird for not considering ChristianWriters.com to be part of my platform? I absolutely love this community, and the friends I've made here and things I've learned have blessed me incredibly. But to me this is more like a support and fellowship group and not a place that contributes directly to my outreach.

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1 minute ago, EBraten said:

But to me this is more like a support and fellowship group and not a place that contributes directly to my outreach.

No. We get it. Here it is community and support, and not marketing. 🤔 Which makes me think of another question... 😁 

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