If you are an aspiring author like me, you’ve probably read, or been told, that the first thing you need to do (even before you’ve completed your book) is develop a marketing platform. Whether you self-publish or go traditional, you will be doing all of your own marketing. What does this mean? It means you need a website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter account, at a minimum. And not only do you need to get all of this up and running, but you need to keep it going, frequently adding content, blog posts, Facebook updates, Twitter posts, and on and on.
This didn’t sound so bad at first. Plenty of ordinary folks have websites and blogs. Millions more have Twitter accounts, and a billion or so have Facebook pages. How hard can it be? Well, building the platform isn’t that hard, but getting “them” to come, that’s the hard part. As of this writing, the only comments I’ve had on my blog posts are from my wife, and from brain-dead spammers selling purses and shoes. And nobody has yet signed up for my e-newsletter. I do have two Facebook “likes” and two Twitter followers, but these are from the designer who built the website, and my wife.
As I’ve scoured the web for book-marketing resources, I’ve been inundated with tutorials, ebooks, webinars, blog posts, etc. But this is a good thing. There is a plethora of information just clicks away, but it can be daunting to assimilate. In light of this, I’ll try to cull some of this information for you and point you towards the pearls.
First, if you like what I’ve done with my platform, get a hold of the team at Visual Quill. They’ll build the platform, brand it for you (give it a distinctive appearance), design book covers, business cards and bookmarks consistent with your brand, and then they’ll produce a kick-ass book trailer (like mine). Once the platform is built, go to the The Savvy Book Marketer to learn how to drive traffic to your website and blog. The Savvy Book Marketer offers a ton of basic information in the form of blog posts and e-newsletters, but there are also many useful links. I also recommend forking over the $97.00 for the The Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Workshop.
These are good places to start, and as I wade though the morass of online marketing information, I’ll pass along any pearls I discover. If any of you have useful info to share, please leave a comment below.