Indie authors need some way of telling the world about their writing. Whether it’s a new book release or your latest flash fiction, you are in serious need if you don’t have a platform on which to tell your readers what it is you’re writing about. What we are looking at here is your way of interacting with your readers via the world wide web and ways of gaining more readers.
What is an author platform?
Actually, I’ve often wondered why it’s called a platform as it’s more like a web, in much the same style of the world wide web. However, platform is how most refer to it so we’ll stick with that.
Your author platform starts with a website, that’s your home base. Think of it as a shop window where the passerby can stop and browse what’s on offer. In some cases it can also be where you sell your books if you don’t use Amazon or sites like Amazon to sell your books.
This home base, your website, should also have a blog attached to it. Blogs should be part of your website, not a separate entity, and your blog should be used to showcase your writing, much the same as mine does here.
The next level of your author platform is social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others.
Next you have email and printed material, such as a business card or leaflets.
All of these things, your blog, social media, email and printed material should point to your website. That’s what constitutes your author platform.
Booklinker FOR AMAZON BOOKS
But there’s one very important aspect of your platform you must not forget. Your website needs to show what books you have on offer and most importantly have a link to where they are found to purchase. If you sell off your website then a link isn’t much use, but most will sell via Amazon and to ensure you get your potential reader onto the correct Amazon website you should use booklinker. Booklinker is free (I think I’m right in saying Amazon own it) and it allows you to create a universal link for all your books. But it also does something very clever with that link, in that when you click the link it takes you to the Amazon page for your country or the nearest website to you. That saves you the headache of putting the links to all Amazon websites on your website.
Attracting readers to your platform
Finally, you need to attract an audience. That’s more complicated than it seems:-
- Your website has to be search engine compliant
- You need to use Google’s Search Console to make sure your website is indexed
- You need to use Google Analytics to ensure people are finding your website
- You need to research your keywords and make sure all your web pages have keywords
- What your website’s about should be obvious, like mine tom-kane-author.website
- You need to ping your blog on a regular basis
- Contact other bloggers and see if they will ink your website to theirs
- Write good content on your blog
- Submit your blog to blog directory sites
- Share your blog posts on social media
- Use SEO on your Blog
- Ensure your blog (wordpress.org) has plugins that enhance your writing
These are some of the things you’re going to have to address if you want visitors to your website. I’m lucky in that I’m a website developer and create my own website(s) through my business TigerBites so I have no costs in that respect, but websites aren’t that expensive these days. Social Media is mostly free as are most of the things mentioned above. But what isn’t free is your time. It’s taken me six years and several attempts at blogging to get to a point where I regularly receive over 10k visits to my blog/website each month. And that’s despite having two hard drives and a blog database die on me in the last six months! So it is possible to create an inexpensive indie author platform and get people to not only read your work but also buy it. All you need is to be a good writer and steer as many people to your website as possible.
I’ll be writing about blogging in the near future and how a blog should be part of your website and how you can utilise free plugins like Yoast SEO and Pixabay to make your blogs reach more people.
Tom Kane © 2017
My Books on Kindle & Paperback
A Pat on his Back – Lifestyle humour
Living in Cyprus: 2013 to 2016 – An expat’s life in Cyprus
Diary of a Debt Collector – True life humour
Operation Werwolf – WW2 action adventure fiction
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb – The evidence for Hitler’s atomic weapon program
Ciao Roma – A guide to short stays in Rome
How to Start Your Own Embroidery Business – Home working
The Indie Author’s Toolbox – A guide to the best apps & resources for indie authors
The Brittle Sea – Drama
The Ragged Edge of Time – Science Fiction time travel
Ascension: Brave New World – Science Fiction
Welcome to Beyond: Science Fiction
See details on my website by clicking here.