Why PRODUCT Is The Most Important Part Of Your Platform

By Rachel Thompson | Author Marketing

Mar 13

Why Product Is The Most Important Part Of Your Platform someecard finishing

 

In my last article, I discussed an overview of the four Ps of marketing and how this applies to authors: product, place, promotion, and pricing.

 

Today, I’m going to focus solely on the most important component: product.

 

Your book is your product.

 

You are your product.

 

Do we brand the book or the author? Always brand the author. However, you must create a spectacular product first!

 

What came first: the author or the book?

 

Let’s look at these two components in detail.

 

BRANDING THE AUTHOR

 

Do people walk into a bookstore or browse online for the latest release from We’re AllThat Publishing? NO. They look for a specific author they favor, a book they’ve heard about by a specific author, or let’s face it, what’s free or on sale.

 

1)    Authors. You need to own who you are and what you write about as an author, in every way, across every channel.  Crucial to branding the author is understanding, yet again, your keywords and using them consistently.

 

I myself chose my keywords early on based on what interested me and what I write about consistently: men and women, love and loss, relationships and sex and well as social media and author marketing for my business.

 

This is not a difficult formula to figure out: what do you write about? Start there.

 

What interests you? What excites you? What are you passionate about? Add that.

 

Boom. Done, baby.

 

2)         Platform. Once you have that figured out, start sharing blog posts (use #MondayBlogs to share your latest post and retweet others), information, pictures, resources, guest posts, books and posts written by others…whatever – about those topics.

 

Here’s the main reason you want to brand you and not your book: you will write more books. Many authors write about the same subjects or create a series; however, what if that’s not the case?

Here you’ve created a whole social media, site, blog, etc., platform for a specific book and then, when you release the next one, what then?

 

No. Save yourself this newbie mistake and brand yourself. Your Twitter name, Facebook page, website (buy the domain!), email newsletter – everywhere – should be consistent.

 

 

 

BOOK

 

I’ve pretty much talked ad nauseum about making sure you hire a professional editor, proofreader, formatter, and graphic artist to create the best possible product you can.

 

Of course, it starts with the writing. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, you must be realistic about your talent and figure out where you need improvement. Because let’s face it: if your work is weak, the cracks will show and you won’t sell.

 

How do we go about this?

 

1)    Critique Group. Many authors sit in their little bubble and never reach out to others – for fear of criticism. Well. What do you think happens when you release your book and people start reviewing it?

 

Get over yourself. This is the real world. Truth can hurt but it can also make you a much better writer. Share your stuff with other writers you trust, join a Google or Facebook group of authors in your genre, share excerpts on your blog and ask for honest feedback.

 

2)    Just write. You don’t need an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) to write a book. But I do suggest taking some classes in creative writing if you can (online or live), or at the very least, read some books about it (or participate in a prompt – Scintilla is happening right now! or check out Becky Tsaros Dickson’s weekly prompt) and start practicing the suggested tasks. Start writing every day – no matter if it’s on your book, a blog post, a guest post, for a business site, a story for your kids – whatever!

 

Why is this helpful? Besides the obvious reasons of ‘practice makes perfect,’ you are learning about your own style, what you’re good at, and developing your own vision and creative process. You will need to know this as you navigate the murky publishing waters when you do publish.

 

It took me over fifteen years of corporate sales and marketing for me to stop making excuses not to write. I’d always wanted to make a living at it – but all the planning and classes and chatting on Twitter with other authors did not a book make. I didn’t know exactly where to start, so I took classes, did assignments, and learned what I did well — and not so great.

 

3)         Blogging. If blogging is your entre into the writing world, don’t dismiss it. My first book (and thousands of others), started with our blogs. It’s a great exercise in learning what you’re good it – and what you’re not so good at.

 

 

And here’s a neat little trick: you can brand yourself now as an author even if your book isn’t out yet. Work with your keywords: write about the topics you know or are passionate about. Brand yourself in social media, on your site, as a blogger. Get your name out there.

 

If you’re not sure where to start, read more of my blog or others who write about author marketing. I recommend Lori Culwell or Stephanie Chandler. Both are fabulous and have books out about how to market yourself and your book. And they know: they are both successful authors and businesspeople.

 

Branding works hand in hand with your book or product. No question. That’s one of the basic tenets of author marketing.

 

There truly is no ‘either/or,’ but a matter of both.

 

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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month – created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed.

She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs,  #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

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(62) comments

Why PRODUCT Is The Most Important Part Of Your Platform http://t.co/HyBii7GCVM by @BadRedheadMedia

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Dennis Sharpe March 13, 2013

Not that I’ve come to expect any less from you Rachel… and not that it needs to be said… but… Genius. (applauds)

Thank you.

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    Rachel Thompson March 13, 2013

    Aw, thank you, Dennis.

    I asked my Twitter and Facebook following which they felt was most important, and most agreed on ‘product,’ though a few mention ‘place,’ which will be the focus of next week’s article. 🙂

    This is my personal opinion, but I just can’t see how selling something that’s subpar can benefit anyone.

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Marie Walker Riddle March 16, 2013

Great information! Thank you for sharing.

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Why PRODUCT Is The Most Important Part Of Your Platform http://t.co/INkppfiRE2 The 4 Ps: product, place, promotion & pricing. #agree?

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[…] « Why PRODUCT Is The Most Important Part Of Your Platform […]

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Why PRODUCT Is The Most Important Part Of Your Platform http://t.co/XI9DRwVWBI The 4 Ps: product, place, promotion & pricing. #agree?

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Why PRODUCT Is The Most Important Part Of Your Platform http://t.co/RKWsRBapAi The 4 Ps: product, place, promotion & pricing. #agree?

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And honestly, this is a great advantage for authors in the overall internet marketing game. I tried my hand at various internet marketing strategies in it becomes clear real fast that unless you have an amazing, quality product that you aren’t going to make any money. Product is the hub on the old wagon wheel.

Great article as always.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson April 12, 2013

    Thanks Shawn. There’s no question, the product (whatever it is) must be amazing in all aspects or it will not sell. Just because someone wants to write a book does not mean it will sell. That’s a well-known fact. And that’s how it should be — it’s a lot of work to sell a book. Getting visibility and exposure is a critical component but again, it’s up to us as product creators to make sure people have nothing to pick on.

    Well, almost nothing. People always find something!

    Reply

[…] we do all the hard, icky stuff ourselves. We’re not only writers, we’re project managers. I’ve written previously about product being the most important part of any author’s platform. If your book sucks, […]

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[…] kind of blogs, but a reader suggested I address this so I am. I’ve written before how product is the most important part of your platform, but I’d like to break it down […]

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[…] Why PRODUCT Is The Most Important Part Of Your Platform […]

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Why PRODUCT Is The Most Important Part Of Your Platform http://t.co/2wQKFPEsAE Do you agree? Read, then comment. Thx!

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@ghodgkins May 18, 2013

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[…] your book, there are far more effective options. And it’s only one small part of your author platform. Next post, I’ll break down the platform […]

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[…] Why PRODUCT Is The Most Important Part Of Your Platform […]

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