I recently received an email from one of my authors that just returned from The Indianapolis Christian Writers Conference. While there she said she heard of two ratios given as to the amount of time an author needs to devote to platform building and asked me my opinion as to which I felt was most realistic. 90/10 or 50/50.
This question came to me just as I was considering what I would blog about.
I'm leaning toward 50/50.
It is extremely important for an author to actively pursue marketing and promotion of their titles before and after publication. The days of a publisher underwriting the whole of the marketing and selling of the titles they represent are long gone. Author websites, Face book, My Space, Shoutlife, Twitter and blogging take a huge amount of time, but the law of averages definitely improves as you promote yourself through these avenues. One person shares your blog with another who shares it with one who FB’s and he/she tells his/her friends what a great read your book was which prompts a book club in Kalamazoo to chose your title which they order from a local bookstore who buys a ‘few extra’ copies to have on hand and displays it cover forward which a church secretary spots while picking up a sound track CD of worship songs and recommends it to a small group leader… See the possibilities here? They are endless.
And how about YouTube, Tangle.com, xianz.com/watch/, www.101christianspaces.com/
Book trailers are another promotional tool that can be placed and shared on the above mentioned sites. Web TV, radio blogs, and email blasts are additional ways to get the word out when your title is about to be or recently released.
As Christians we are not used to the shameless promotion of ourselves, yet as an author you must put your best foot forward and go for it or you will be eating another authors dust. Brag about every contest won, great book review and blog interview. Be sure to promote others as well and it will come back to you.
One thing we know as agents. Everyone it seems is writing a book. Besides great writing, what is going to make your book be chosen over another? PLATFORM.
Because this is my day to blog, I am going to shamelessly promote a few of my authors blogs, websites and YouTube’s as well as an event I am looking forward to attending that I heard about on FB, which I mentioned to my book club and resulted in us reserving a 14 passenger church van to make the trip.
Facebook video: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1223043745623
Enjoy and may you be inspired in your platform building. May this New Year that is peeking round the corner be the year you find a book contract in your email boxJ
From my heart to yours,