There's certainly no single correct way to build your author platform. My approach is based on adapting and repurposing best-practice techniques from trail-blazing internet digital marketers.
So, if you are considering following in some my footsteps to build or improve your own advanced author platform, then let's first make sure we're going in the same direction and that I'm at least a few steps ahead on our journey!
Here's where I'm up to . . .
Ian H Sutherland, Author
I am proud to be an indie author. I self-published my debut novel, a thriller called Invasion of Privacy, in August 2014. Not that long ago, really. With one eye on creating a marketing funnel, I also wrote and published a prequel novella called Social Engineer, which I've made permanently free in eBook form.
The two books are good, according to reviews. Invasion of Privacy averages 4.7 stars on Amazon, with over 50 five-star reviews. I mention this because if you put a lot of effort into building your author platform and drive a lot of traffic to your books, a low average review score will negatively impact your conversion from lead to sale.
With only two books, I have the absolute minimum required to build an effective author platform. If I had four or more books, especially in a series, then the returns for my sales and marketing efforts would be exponentially greater. If you have already published more books that me, then your author platform will give you an even greater return. If you are yet to publish or only have one book, then the platform you build now will become the foundation for your future success.
Before becoming an author, I enjoyed a long and successful career in sales and marketing, working for some of the worlds largest IT software companies. I also have a deep IT technology background, which comes across in the technically accurate cybercrime elements of my thriller novels. It also helps to explain why I've been able to research, test and work out the best components on which to build an advanced author platform.
Having published my two fiction books, I began the journey of building my author platform. I've tried most things and have had great success. I've also had some spectacular failures. Because of my prior experiences, I'm incredibly comfortable with using technology to market and sell.
Twitter was my first major conquest, where I figured out a series of techniques to massively grow my follower base and exploit it to market and sell my books. It remains one of the cornerstones of my author platform.
In April, 2015, I released my first non-fiction book called Advanced Twitter Strategies for Authors, describing in detail the techniques I had developed. Immediately, it took off, and at the time of writing this, it's average score is 5.0 stars from over thirty reviews on Amazon.
I plan to write further books in the 'Advanced Strategies for Authors' series. The next one will be on advanced email list building techniques, which I am currently making huge progress on.
This website is a very visible element of my non-fiction author platform. As well as being useful, it also showcases the advanced author strategies I employ and recommend. My fiction author website also employs similar techniques but focused around promoting my thriller novels.
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