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CONNECTING WITH YOUR READERS
There are a host of ever evolving offers, websites, organizations, blogs, widgets, gadgets, and magic wands an author can use to communicate with readers.
Okay, well maybe not magic wands. Not yet. But the concept of a way to engage readers, contact readers, get feedback from readers can be overwhelming. I’m not going to try and list every available way an author can interact with them. I am going to cover the basics and try to give you a few pointers.
What is an author platform?
An author platform can be as simple as your Amazon Central Author Profile. It could involve a website for you and your books. Social media could play a part. You might put your profile on a number of websites dedicated to books like BookBub, Goodreads, Online Book Club and more. It might be a landing page on an email provider like MailChimp, ConvertKit, or MailerLite. An author platform is any online tool used for the author to gather information from and give information to potential readers and current readers.
Why do I need an author platform?
What should I create for an author platform?
This depends on your budget and your goals. If you have limited funds to spend, I would suggest creating an author profile on Amazon, BookBub, and Goodreads. This doesn’t cost you and is a good start on getting your name out to the world. Also, set up an email provider which can give you a landing page to get your readers to sign up for your mailing list.
If you have the ability to design a website, set one up. There are a number of platforms that offer free web page services.
Of course, before you set up any of these, you want to write your bio and choose a picture of yourself to use. I would suggest choosing a few authors in your genre on Amazon, BookBub, or Goodreads and read their bios to get an idea of what authors are saying about themselves. Generally, most will write about their writing, how they came to write. They might also talk about where they are from, families, etc.
If you have an interesting bit, like one of your best friends is a famous person or you grew up in Alaska you might consider putting that in there.
Share what you are comfortable sharing. Readers just like to know a little about the person behind the story.
In order to attract readers you can offer them something of value such as
An entry into a raffle for a signed copy of your book
An invitation to a virtual meeting with the author
A chance to be a part of the author’s ‘street team’ (people who give you feedback and agree to reader review your book).
A workbook that goes with your book.
An entry into a raffle for an Amazon gift card
A map of the world if your book is set in a fantasy or alternate realm
Here’s a link to other ideas you can try optinmonster https://optinmonster.com/9-lead-magnets-to-increase-subscribers/
Getting the word out is a job. The more you do, the more there is to do. I suggest managing your time by setting aside an hour a week and dedicate it to finding places to get the word out about your writing. Here are a few places I’ve found that you can use mostly for free when doing public relations.
Radio Guest list https://www.radioguestlist.com/get-radio-interview-emails.html
You can sign up for a free email alert giving you one possible show (radio or podcast) looking for guests. I haven’t tried the paid service, but it will give you more possibilities. Worth checking out as it’s free!
These sites will promote your book to their lists for free. The reason they do this is they get an affiliate percentage on anything their followers purchase on Amazon. It costs you nothing, might increase your sales, and they get paid if someone buys your book. Win Win!