We have good news and bad news. The good news: Congratulations—you’re a published author! Give yourself a round of applause for all your hard work. The bad news: You’ve still got some work left to do. A book hitting the shelves is only half the battle.
What do we mean by that? Well, after your book becomes available, you have to make sure people outside of your friends and family know it’s been released! You’ll also want to grow a following: a group of people who eagerly await your next release.
Don’t know where to start? That’s where we come in! Read on for Night Heron Media’s tips on how to build a strong author platform.
First things first: Head to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads to make your own author accounts. Readers and publishers alike use social media to find new authors and follow longtime favorites. You can use these channels to interact with fans and even network. Many authors choose to combine their personal and professional accounts due to the informality of the industry. If you do go this route, make sure the majority of your content stays relevant to your books and ongoing projects.
Create a Website
Today, it’s easier than ever to build your own free website. You can check out two popular systems: Weebly and WordPress. Many authors use the latter to run a blog, where they can update their fans about current projects or provide writing tips. If you don’t have the time for a blog, you can always stick to brief Tweets and Facebook posts. At the very least, a website will legitimize your career and give people an easy way to access your books, info about you, and your social media information all in one place.
Start a Newsletter
You can also update followers through a newsletter. MailChimp and MailerLite allow you to send mass emails to whoever signs up. A newsletter allows you to transfer all your updates into an easy-to-read format. Maybe you want to send a monthly newsletter, or only a few a year; either way, stay consistent to avoid overwhelming your followers. Consider including upcoming events and links to relevant social media posts.
Build a Brand
Ideally, you’ll want your social media accounts to complement each other. Maintain a brand across your socials and website. Decide on colors, fonts, and styles you want to use in your posts. Your audience should determine how you brand yourself. If you write children’s lit, you might utilize vibrant colors. If you write nonfiction, you might stick to more sophisticated and sleek styles.
Don’t stress over your author platform too much. Readers and publishers want to see you for who you are, not who you think you should be! So have fun—and enjoy getting to know people on the other side of the screen.
By Sydney Meve, Intern