Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agent's Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps

Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agent's Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps

Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agent's Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps

Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agent's Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps


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A great book is no longer enough. An author platform is the most powerful key to success in today's saturated market, and increasingly, publishers are demanding that new authors come to them with an existing audience of interested followers. Authors who are self-publishing have an even bigger need to build an engaged audience.

Social media makes building the author platform easier than ever, but, unfortunately, most authors struggle to get it right. How can authors create their unique platform, connect with followers, write a manuscript, and grow their business?

In Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules, top literary agent Carole Jelen and tech expert Michael McCallister apply their combined 35 years of expertise to outline 14 practical, hands-on steps to create a presence that will produce high book sales and expanded audience.

From pre-publication through book launch and beyond, authors will learn how to:
• Define goals and a unique brand
• Employ successful website strategies, content, social presence, media authority, and training
• Secure positive reviews
• Attract viewers efficiently without cost

Filled with detailed lessons, examples, success stories, and techniques used by marketing departments at major publishers, Build Your Author Platform is an indispensable guide for anyone looking for insight into publishing, promoting, and marketing books.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939529251
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 05/13/2014
Pages: 392
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Carole Jelen, founder of Jelen Publishing and vice president of Waterside Productions, has been representing authors as a top-producing agent for over two decades. She specializes in areas of tech, business, and self-help. Jelen holds a master's degree in English/Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Carole also speaks at writing/publishing conferences and works as a publishing consultant, aiding authors and companies in the publishing process.

Mike McCallister is a writer, programmer, web designer, and software tester with an in-depth understanding of the digital world. He is the author of openSUSE Linux Unleashed and co-author (with Bud Smith) of WordPress in Depth. McCallister is committed to helping people make the most of "tech tools" and was named one of the Mindtouch Most Influential in Technical Communication and Content Strategy. McCallister is president of his local Society for Technical Communication chapter and works as the Senior Document Architect at PKWARE.

Table of Contents

New Rules by Chapter Number xvii

Acknowledgments xxi

Foreword xxv

Preface xxxv

Introduction xxxix

Chapter 1 Your Author Website: Home Central 1

Why Your Author Website Is a Must 2

Plan Your Author Website Strategy 3

Creating Your Author Website 7

Create Your Author Site with WordPress 10

Build Your Audience Through a Regular Newsletter 19

Optimize Your Theme for the Mobile Web 20

Adding Widgets and More Plugins 21

Best Practices for Website Content 22

Checklist, Step 1: Author Website 26

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client David Meerman Scott 27

Chapter 2 Blog to Build Your Readership Community 29

Your Blog Is About More Than Content 30

Blogging Is Beyond an Advantage, It's Essential 32

Blog Strategy 32

Start with a Hosted Blog 37

How to Create a Blog 40

Best Practices 41

Writing Blog Posts 43

Getting Comments on Blog Posts 46

Author Blog Promotion Strategies 50

Measure Your Blog Results to Understand Your Audience 51

Link Your Blog to Your Social Sites 54

Checklist, Step 2: Blog 55

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Andy Rathbone 56

Chapter 3 Twitter: The Instant Handshake 59

Why Twitter Is Important 62

Best Practices 63

Twitter Defined 64

Twitter Strategy 64

Getting Started on Twitter 66

Automating Your Posts with HootSuite 70

First Steps on Twitter 72

Checklist, Step 3: Twitter 77

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Susie Cox 78

Chapter 4 Google+: More Than a Social Network 81

Why Google Is Important to Authors 82

Use Google+ Circles 90

Best Practices for Interacting on Google+ 95

Strategy for Posting on Google+ 97

Automate Your Google+ Posts 98

Connect Your Content Through Google Authorship 98

More Google+ Features 101

Google Services Beyond Google+ 105

Connecting Your Google+ Account to Your Website 105

Checklist, Step 4: Google 106

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Dave Taylor 107

Chapter 5 Your Author Brand and Book on Facebook 109

Along Comes Facebook 110

Why Facebook Is Necessary for Authors 111

Your Facebook Profile 112

Your Facebook Pages 113

Developing Your Facebook Strategy 120

Facebook Best Practices 122

Join Facebook Groups 123

Create a Facebook Group 123

Mobile Apps 126

Checklist, Step 5: Facebook 127

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Kellyann Petrucci 128

Chapter 6 Using LinkedIn: Not Only an Online Resume 131

Definition of LinkedIn 132

Why LinkedIn Is Important to Authors 132

Creating and Optimizing Your LinkedIn Author Profile 134

How to Increase LinkedIn Connections 137

Update Your LinkedIn Profile Regularly 142

Articles to Repost 143

LinkedIn Strategies 144

LinkedIn Ads 145

Best Practices of LinkedIn Networking 146

Benefits of LinkedIn Premium Accounts 147

Checklist, Step 6: LinkedIn 148

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Ed Tittel 149

Chapter 7 Inform, Educate, and Entertain: The Power of Personal Appearances 151

Short Talk vs. Long Speech 152

Personal Appearance Options 154

Advantages of Live Personal Appearances 155

Personal Appearances Strategy 156

Best Practices for Teaching and Training 159

The Simple Course Format 161

Teaching and Training Strategy 162

Types of Online Teaching and Training 163

Types of Live Teaching 165

Live Speaking Strategy 167

Checklist, Step 7: Personal Appearances 168

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Jay Elliot 169

Chapter 8 Create Your Article Bank: Original, Excerpted, Repurposed Variations 171

Everyone Is Now a Journal Publisher on the Web 172

Advantages to Writing Articles 173

Choosing Topics for Original Articles 175

Types of Articles 176

Article- Writing Strategy 177

Generating Content for Articles 179

First Stop for Publishing Articles: Blogs 181

Second Stop for Publishing Articles: Publications Seeking Content 182

Additional Online Tools 187

Checklist, Step 8: Article Bank 187

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Bob LeVitus 188

Chapter 9 Finding Your Voice: Radio, Podcasts, and More Audio Adventures 191

Your First Audio: Record a Sound Clip for Your Author Website 193

Pitching Local Talk Shows 195

Pitching Larger Radio Stations 199

Finding Online Podcast Interview Opportunities 200

Making Your Own Online Radio Station (Podcast) 203

Getting Your Podcast in the Directories 208

How to Use Your Book Cover as Your Podcast Logo 210

Checklist, Step 9: Audio 211

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Thorn Hartmann 212

Chapter 10 Video: Book Trailers, YouTube, Linking, and More 215

The Rise of YouTube 216

More Reasons to Make Video Part of Your Platform 217

Author Video Strategy 218

Making a Book Trailer 219

Uploading Your Videos 225

Uploading Your Videos to Vimeo 228

Video Blogging 231

Video Interviews 232

Checklist, Step 10: Video 234

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Dr. Brian Alman 235

Chapter 11 Publish a Book Website to Attract More Audience 237

Think Like a Publisher 238

Create a Website for Each Book 239

Book Clubs, Booksellers, and Your Book Site 241

Choose a Model Book Site 243

A Simple Format for Your Book Website 244

Book Website Content Strategy 246

Create Your Book Site in WordPress 248

Linking to Booksellers 251

Checklist Step 11: Book Website 252

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Tee Morris 253

Chapter 12 Author Toolbox and World's Largest Online Bookstore 255

Reasons Readers Flock to Amazon 256

Reasons to Use Amazon Author Central 256

Create Your Author Central Page 258

Amazon Book Reviews 262

Connecting Your Site to Amazon 265

Amazon Strategy #1: Connect with Your Readers on Your Author Page 267

Amazon Strategy #2: Create Listmania Lists 268

Look Into Your Sales 270

More Tools 272

Checklist, Step 12: Amazon's Author Toolbox 273

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client John C. Havens 274

Chapter 13 Motivate Your Audience to Talk About You: Book Reviews 277

Why Reviews Are Critical 279

How to Ensure Reviews: Build Your Audience in Advance 280

Strategy for Managing Negative Reviews 282

Best Practices for Getting Reviews 282

Other Online Book Review Sites 287

Review Others' Books 298

Incorporate Reviews Into Your Author Platform 298

Checklist, Step 13: Reviews 299

Success Spotlight: Waterside Client David Busch 300

Chapter 14 The Celebration Announcement: Launch Parties and Virtual Tours 303

Advantages to Holding Your Book Launch Party 304

Live Book Launch Party Strategy 305

Steps to Prepare Your Live Book Launch Party 307

A Simple One-Hour Book Launch Party Format 308

The Virtual Book Launch Tour 310

Strategy for Virtual Book Launch 311

Steps to Creating Your Virtual Book Launch Tour 312

Virtual Tour Stops 315

Checklist, Step 14: Launch 318

Further Reading 319

Tear-Out Sheets: Author Platform Publicity Plan 321

About the Authors 327

Index 329

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