You’ve finished your book – your baby, your passion, and now you’re ready to publish and market.
But are you really? Do you have an engaged audience that is ready to buy it? What are your expectations for your launch day? 5 books sold? 5000 books sold? Do you know that statistically speaking, if you want to sell 5000 books during the first week of launch, you either have to invest HEAVILY in marketing and promo opportunities, OR you’re going to need an email list or engaged group of over 25,000?
If you don’t have an email list of 25,000 or a Facebook group – and I stick to group not Facebook fan page, (although it’s certainly helpful to have a fan base of at least 25,000), it doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful book launch. It just means you need to adjust your expectations accordingly.
Most first-time authors that do not have a significant author platform will sell less than 500 books in the lifetime of their book. In fact, most self-published authors will sell less than 100 books. This doesn’t have to be your story. While a good marketing strategy is definitely going to help you increase those numbers, the reality is, you need an author platform.
What is an Author Platform?
It’s your fan base. It’s your followers. It’s your people. They might be on your email list, follow you on Twitter, or be a member of your Facebook group. They like to read your blog posts, your books, your Facebook updates. But not even all of them will buy your book. However, statistically speaking, the ones who actually join your email list and open your emails are the best shot you have (beyond your family and best friends, who, realistically speaking aren’t even a ‘sure thing’) at buying your books.
A common misunderstanding among new and unpublished authors is that once you’ve published your book and made it available through Amazon, IngramSpark, and other places, people will just automatically be able to find and purchase your book. There are so many writers who just hit publish and assume that the sales will find them.
This is a huge misunderstanding that leads to high levels of disappointment. If you haven’t done the work in preparing the target audience and growing your author platform to create a group of people who are ready and willing to buy your book, launch day may be terribly anticlimactic.
How Do You Build This Author Platform?
- Start Early – as soon as you know you’re going to write a book, start building the structures to allow people to find and follow you. A website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account. You don’t have to be EVERYWHERE but you do need to put down some roots and start growing something.
- Identify WHO your book is written for. This is so key. You must know who your target audience is. If you don’t know who you are trying to reach with your book, story, advice, self-help, I assure you, marketing will be a nightmare for you. This is a step so many authors completely overlook, yet, it will make such a massive difference in your outcome. Spend some time thinking about WHO the ideal person is for your book. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, I have an entire video presentation on how to identify your target audience at http://writepublishsell.co/target-audience.
- Create content that is appealing to your target audience and encourage them to get on your email list with a fantastic lead magnet. Or invite them to join your Facebook group. Or both. But the email list (as long as it’s being used!) is still the #1 marketing tool. The key is – whatever you use to get them on the list, and whatever you send to them need to be relevant to the topic you’re writing your book about. Or at least not completely unrelated. If you’re building a list for people who love to talk about gardening, they probably are not going to be interested in a book about how to teach your children computer coding. They might… but it’s unlikely.
- Seek opportunities for visibility: podcasts, online summits, online conferences, newsletter exchanges, anything like that that will get you in front of someone else’s audience who has the same target audience. If you’re writing a book about vampires, it does no good to do a newsletter swap with somebody who’s writing a book about controlling diabetes. This goes back to knowing your target audience and choosing opportunities that are related. Fiction authors certainly have more flexibility in this area, but you still have to have a basic understanding of who generally reads the genre you’re writing.
#NaNoProMo Day 26: How To Effectively Grow Your Author Platform By Guest @KatBiggie - and be sure to comment to win a free consultation with Alexa (Value $125)!
There are many ways you can tackle the platform growth, and if you feel overwhelmed by the process, I’d love to help you brainstorm and come up with a plan. I leave you with one last thought. It does no good to spend money to build a massive platform that is not interested in what you’re trying to sell. So paying for page likes, paying for followers, and creating appealing lead magnets just for the sake of building an email list don’t make any sense. Take that time and energy and invest it in learning about YOUR target market and how you appeal to them.
1000 raving fans is better than 1,000,000 who don’t care anything about you or your book.
Day 26 Giveaway
Alexa is offering a 30 minute 1-on-1 consultation (Value: $125). Be sure to comment below for your chance to win!
…is a wife, mother, author, author coach, speaker, and publisher. Her writing career began after her infant daughter passed away at 2 days old.
She has published numerous books of her own and for many other writers and entrepreneurs through her author coaching and publishing business writepublishsell.co and hybrid-publishing company Kat Biggie Press (katbiggiepress.com). Kat Biggie Press is dedicated to sharing women’s works of inspiration, self-help, and books that make the world a better place. Join her 5-day Author Platform Growing Challenge at writepublishsell.co/grow.