When you create your book platform, you are defining a forum and following for your book in its first year of life. This statement may include everything you want to do with the book, everywhere you want to tour it, and everyone you want enrolled in its message.
Platform is more than your tagline or elevator pitch. It can include the endorsements, reviews, and listings you’re after and the various elements of your online media kit. Platform also includes which forms of media are appropriate for your material and specific outlets you intend to target. Virtual tours and ground tours are part of this statement, as well as third party opportunities, like genre conferences, book festivals and signing locations.
This article focuses on just four elements of platform that are critical to an author’s success in marketing his book.
Four platform pointers:
1. List the issues & topics in your book.
Exploring the subject matter in your book could give it more universal appeal. Make note of topics that may appeal to groups that you could market or present to. Document any date tie-ins and anything the book references that may have media appeal. Convert your list of issues and topics to keywords to maximize page rank and traffic to your website, blog and social presences.
2. Target endorsers and reviewers.
Make a list of people whose remarks would help sell your book. Cut this list down those you can contact. After making your appeal, follow-up if remarks are not received in 30 days. Target top Amazon reviewers for your genre. Never pay for a review.
3. Initialize social media profiles.
Successful marketing today takes both blogging and social media. Use Klout to discover your social rank and how to improve it on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, GoodReads and Library Thing.
4. Organize your personal list.
Identify and quantify your following. Create groups of actionable email and social lists. Learn how your following prefers to be communicated with and find a way to deliver that communication format.
In summary, know the issues and topics in your book. Gather endorsers and reviewers so that you are demonstrating independent evaluations of your work. Maintain both a blog and social presences to establish your marketing effectiveness. And mobilize your list.
Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist, was voted Best Book Promotion Service by Preditors & Editors’ Readers Poll in 2011. Her nonfiction successes include anIndieReader Best Book of 2011, a 2011 IPPY and a 2011 International Book Award Winner. Read what clients are saying about her on LinkedIn, and follow her on Facebook.