Build Your Author Platform: “100 Small Fires To Make Your Book Sales BLAZE!”

100smallfireswithflamecover23One can learn a lot from this book. On the other hand, one can read a few chapters and say – “I knew all that already!”

The second was my original reaction after I’ve read the opening paragraphs. There are literally hundreds of “How-To” books for self-publishing on Amazon alone so, if you’ve read a few of them, you most likely already know some of the material included. Not to mention that some of the books cover the basic topics in much more detail.

However, as I kept reading, I realized that this book is not actually written by a typical writer. This is more of the “Ideas on how to increase sales of your book from a point of view of a professional marketer.”

Just a couple of examples – “Gamification” and “Antic Advertisement”, that are described in some detail in this book, are probably worth a price of admission here by themselves. The chapters on “Creating a marketing plan” for different budgets is also a dead giveaway that this book was written by a marketing pro.

This is like an “All-you can eat” buffet where the authors can pick and choose what strategies might work the best for them. Sometimes it’s not that difficult – a good friend of mine, a philosopher, translator of ancient texts, and a writer of a considerable talent, just emailed me today that one of his books became a “Bestseller” in its category. He concentrated on the basics – cover, description, editing, and submitted his book for reviews. He sounded somewhat surprised when he told me how many copies of his book he sells a day now.

But it’s not really a surprise. One needs to pick a strategy, persist in it, and with a bit of luck it is possible to move some units.

However, if that is a no go for you, this book might have some ideas not usually found in other “How-To’s” for authors. If you already read some of the more mainstream books on the topic and are looking for a fresh perspective, this book just might be it.

— Oleg Medvedkov (Sacremento, CA)

Build your Author Platform: Kindle Marketing Gold

51UD+rFB6dL._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_If you’re building an author platform, Kindle Marketing Gold: 5 Keys to Boost Your eBook Sales is a great book to read. It covers all the basics: Facebook, Twitter, review sites, book trailers, press releases, writing a blog, and Amazon categories and keywords.

This is a book for beginners, though. It goes over the basics, and it’s primary theme is: If you’re serious about becoming a serious author, you need to put theses five keys in place. It gives tips on getting started, and could benefit from a few visuals and real world examples. I also wish that it had introduced Good Reads. However, it succeeds in telling you what you need to do to start building your author platform.

To further develop any of these keys, you’ll have to find books that really delve into each specific subject.



Build Your Author Platform: “How I made $42,000 in 1 month selling my Kindle ebooks”

How-I-Made-Over-42k-Selling-My-Kindle-Books-by-Cheryl-Kaye-Tardif-200x300I downloaded this book over a year and a half ago, and not because I thought I’d really make $42,000 in one month. I was looking for direction on how to establish an author platform.

Since I was familiar with mystery author Cheryl Tardif I started with her book, How I Made Over $42,000 in 1 Month. There’s good advice here for launching an author platform. She touches on maintaining a blog, using Twitter and setting up a Facebook author page. However, the focus of the book is on Amazon’s KDP Select. She describes her experiences and successes with the system. The books excels at explaining how the program works and understanding how to utilize it.

Unfortunately, this is an established author with a following describing her experiences. I appreciate the candor that Tardif puts forth, describing her sales as “modest” until she used KDP Select back in 2012. Today, things have changed on Amazon. I wouldn’t expect authors just starting out to experience the same results.

I still believe it’s a great starting point though. And I also believe it would be worth a reread some 18 months later, as I’ve implemented many of the suggestions in her book. With some experience under my belt, I’ll probably discover some tips that went over my head when I was just starting out.

Your Author Platform: What is it? Do you really need one?

canstockphoto0897631I’ve heard a lot of buzz lately about creating an Author Platform. Professional writers need it; agents and publishers expect it. But what exactly is it?

Putting it simply: your platform is the strategy to reach your target market, i.e. the people who are interested in you, what you have to say and, of course, who will potentially buy your book.

I’ve just started constructing my platform.

The first step was setting up a blog and website. I’m still perfecting this site and finding my voice. But it’s a logical step one.

Step two has been broadening my reach with social media. I’ve set up a Facebook fan page and a YouTube channel. I’ve got a GoodReads page and an Amazon author page. But I know that’s just a tip of the iceberg. There are so many social media programs out there, that it can get a little intimidating. Most experts tell you to select two or three programs and use them regularly, rather than do very little across many sites.

The next step is to start compiling a mailing list. Some articles advise to set-up a newsletter or some reason for people to give you their email address, and want to receive information from you. In this day and age, I’m hard pressed to figure out what I could email people that they can’t just as easily Google on their own. And I don’t think this world needs another newsletter. :)

Somewhere down the line I’ll jump into the Twitter-verse. But that’s another day.

All in all, it’s going to take time to build a solid platform, setting up one component then the next. And, it’s going to take even longer for those components to grow  and build momentum. But you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Want to read some good articles about building an Author Platform? Check out: