Build Your Author Platform as You Write Your Book

Platform: A Place to be Heard

One thing has stayed the same in the tumultuous changes of the publishing industry: An author needs a platform. If you plan to get a traditional publisher, being able to say, "I have this many social media followers, this many on my mailing list, this many hits on my website every day," will count heavily on your behalf. On the other hand, if you're planning to self-publish, "getting published" doesn't require a platform, but selling books still does. What Is an Author Platform? The … [Read more...]

Amazon’s April Fool Screen

Amazon April Fool

For a minute I wasn't sure I was at the right place. But then, oh, yeah. April Fool's. I wouldn't comment on it except for the glance back at 1999, five years after Amazon's first iteration (as Cadabra) in 1994. Amazon.com went live in 1995, right around the time Stanford University Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin were working on their project that would become Google (originally dubbed "BackRub"). It's hard to remember a world where Amazon.com was a spunky little startup. … [Read more...]

Your Author’s Website: Do You Really Need One?

Question

I read somewhere that it goes without saying how important a writer's website is. But maybe it doesn't go without saying. Your website is the center of your online platform. It's the repository of your content that you post online. Even if you post to social media, it's important to have it on your website, because the Facebook and Twitter feeds will scroll your great stuff down into the great ocean of content that burbles at our feet all the time. If your post, image, video, whatever, is … [Read more...]

Build Your Author’s Website in Just One Day

Creating a beautiful and functional author's website is something you can do in less than a day.

If you've been promising yourself an author's website for a while, I have an event coming up that will help you check that off your to-do list. It's a workshop sponsored by Oregon Writers Colony, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 28, in Portland, Oregon. We'll spend some time talking about writing goals and web strategies to achieve them, and then we'll create a WordPress website. By the time the day is finished, you'll be able to start sending traffic to it. The course doesn't … [Read more...]

Book Marketing Lessons from Charles Dickens

Letter slot

Do you ever get mail from readers? How do you respond to their questions, comments, suggestions for future books? Charles Dickens revolutionized all kinds of marketing, including book marketing. Techniques he introduced are still upsetting the publishing establishment as authors find ways to amplify them with new technologies. One technique he pioneered was making use of "white mail" -- industry jargon for listening to his readers' unsolicited advice and comments. When the young … [Read more...]