So you’re a writer. Congratulations, what next?
If your desire is to get published then you need to start building and creating your own author brand. Whatever stage your writing is at you should start thinking about your ultimate audience and it doesn’t matter whether you are going down the traditional publishing route or independent publishing.
Your brand or platform is essentially the identity that you choose for your writing ‘self’. It is the ‘who you are’ that interacts with fans, with other authors, and the writing community as a whole. It is your brand and in some respects your identity.
Start your branding by creating a good bio. Something that can be shared across multiple sites. Something that sums up who you are and what your brand is. Use this a base to build on and as you work, know that it can be adapted and changed as you evolve as a writer.
Most writers and authors are aware that social media plays a huge part of their time and effort. It is the platform where you interact the most with others. It is advertising and networking. It is also where you will be visible the most.
Facebook: Here you can have author pages, groups and cultivate fans and author networks. If you have your own profile on the site along with your author brand then ensure that you share appropriate material on both.
Twitter: Create followers, retweet, link your other sites to it. You can set up various time release tweets so that you don’t have to continually check into your account.
Blogging: This is the place to release your voice. There are various blogging sites around from WordPress to Blogger. Get involved and use your blog to help other authors with takeovers, author interviews and book releases.
If you already have a social media presence, you know how it works, and are already making contacts and connections which will help when it comes to publishers working with you on marketing and that will increase sales.
Building an author platform is a slow, steady and ongoing process. It is labour intensive process which cannot be accomplished overnight and you will make mistakes. The most annoying of which is when you’ve published blog posts and you go back to them later you find a spelling mistake!
Research what works best for you. Are you a natural blogger? Do you want an author page? Are you better on Twitter or Facebook? There are also other sites out there that you could look into: Goodreads, Tumblr, LinkedIn for example. Most sites will let you post on one and link to the others. Investigate their usage and how they work to find the best way of working for you because the last thing you want is to devote yourself so much to marketing that you don’t have enough time to write.