Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Creating a Platform for Novices

Four weeks ago I'd never heard the term "Creating a Platform." For those novices reading this, it's what you do to have an online presence to be able to promote your work.
With e-publishing this is essential because you are your own marketing firm. E-publishing sites do some marketing for you; some more than others, but they all expect you to market yourself. Unless you're just publishing something for your friends, family and or colleagues, you'll want to find a way to get the word out there that your book exists; not enough readers are just going to happen to see your book listed and decide to buy it.
Ideally, you should have started self promoting from the minute you first set your hands on a computer. Waiting until your book has already been published is not the best idea, but better then than later.
There is so much to learn about the process. If you're already big on social networking you've got a good base to work from. The really great thing about all of this is every site I mention in this blog is free; it'll just cost your a bunch of your time.
I started blogging the day I first decided to e-publish my novel, "Love, Sex, and Understanding the Universe." I actually had no idea what I was doing. I'd liked the info I'd gotten about Smashwords and thought at the time I'd publish with them. Reading over all the great info they had, I read that all e-published author's should have a blog. I clicked on the link and within a minute or so I had this blog.
Blogger makes the process of starting a blog incredibly easy. Soon after, I started a website on Wordpress. This was rather confusing because I'd read that I could start a website on Wordpress but it's actually a blog site. However, after some fiddling around in the site I found out that it's a blog site that lends itself well to website hosting. You create a static page to be your home page and go on from there.
I also opened a Pinterest account, a Twitter account, an Facebook Author's page (I'd already had an active Facebook personal presence for years), breathed life into my long neglected  Linkedin account, and recently started up Tumblr and Aboutme accounts. And +Author Harrie Farrow - just created a google+ Author's page.
All these accounts have to be monitored. All of them need fresh information and interaction with other users frequently.
There's lots to learn in each of these sites about getting your page set up just right. Linking the pages, which apparently is essential, is like rocket science (just do as your told in each site's help pages and you'll be alright - if you try to stop and make sense of it all... well, good luck with that).
I may be spreading myself too thin; I'll see how it goes and keep you posted.
E-publishing my first novel, working on my second novel, and self promoting, is my full time job right now, but frankly this business of setting up self promoting (creating my platform) is currently taking up all my time. Soon though I'll be able to get back to my fiction?

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