It’s only taken me four years to figure out how to tighten up my author platform so I have time to write.
I admit it, I’m a trusting soul who tends to buy other people’s bullshit until the stink finally gets to be too much. I was one of those who read every article I could find on indie publishing and finding success as an indie author. There are more writing and publishing experts than there are books on the topic Right there, I should have seen a red flag but no. I’m a sucker for a pretty face—always have been—especially when it is coupled to kind words about my work and authoritative assertions about the publishing industry.
EXPERTS SAY MORE IS BETTER!
And when that doesn’t work. . .
SPEND! SPEND! SPEND!
There is an indie-author illusion in play which will become a full-time job just to maintain the massive platform unless you are careful with both your time and money investments.
I’m going to lay my truth on you here:
- I publish the best books I can with the budget, knowledge, and talent I have.
- If they are good enough, I won’t need an author platform.
Sure I want readers, reviews, and sales because they are indicators of where I am in my journey as a writer. If I cannot find readers; receive three-star mercy reviews; and/or have a hard time giving my work away. . . then I suck, and need to go back to the drawing board to learn to write better. So far this has not been the case, but it could happen. I could get cockier and really eff up one of the next ones.
A launch platform is a reinforced concrete foundation.
Here is my thrust-optimized indie-publishing book platform to reach readers:
- Twitter: I thought it was different from the other social media platforms, but I was wrong. My life expectancy on twitter is the remainder of 2020 at best as they took down my @EABarker1 nonfiction page for what I suspect was a tweet pointing out systemic racism in the Canadian government. Although. . . it might also be for my anti-Nazi “hate speech”; my continually sharing documentaries which question the “stories” being told by the funded talking heads of academia; or my lifting the curtain on who actually runs things on this planet. It’s okay to fire obscenities at world leaders in a tweet, but don’t talk about how they were installed, by whom, or why. Initially twitter was fun, not overly regulated, and a great place to find ARC reviewers. Best of all, Zuckerberg can’t see the selfies you’ve been messaging like he can on fakebook and Instaslam. However, you can cultivate readers on any platform, if you show up regularly.
Here is where I’m headed. I hope to see you there.
LinkedIn: It’s business casual, but I can behave (sort of) when the need arises.
books2read is the sister company to Draft2Digital which creates UBL’s (Universal Book Links) and turns them into an Author Page for all your e-books. Now that D2D is getting into physical books, maybe they will add a paperback UBL option.
Author Central: Most of you know, putting it mildly, I’m not a fan of Amazon or the companies under their umbrella, but I do like their readers, and reaching readers is why we are here. Until Ingram gives authors the option to choose our distribution channels, I will continue to update Author Central with each new release.
- Goodreads: While owned by amazon, I feel like this site is not as amazon-centric as it was four years ago. I was able to put my e-books on the site without a Kindle offering. Just as with Author Central, it’s worthwhile to visit with each new release and their promotions are not crazy expensive.
- BookLife: Credit where credit is due, as soon as I uploaded each book, they were circulated on the main page under Project News. This is the indie side of Publishers Weekly so if you are considering agent representation in traditional publishing, you should probably be on this site.
- AllAuthor: I’m not sure how many readers visit this site, but where else can you follow hundreds of authors in one visit without getting locked out of your account? People talk, and some of these authors might just talk about your book.
- BookBub: A no or low cost e-book site with arguably the largest number of readers for any site of its kind. It doesn’t cost anything to be there even if you do not plan to reduce your price to promote. You will still benefit from listing your new release.
For me, it’s all about having time to work on the next book without becoming bogged down in the last ones. By streamlining the entire publishing process, I probably could publish twice in a year, but most years I won’t. My future works, after 2020, will be longer and in different fiction genres. I might even take a swing at traditional publishing again where querying eats up a ton of time.
Getting eyes on your book in the most efficient way possible will leave you time to face the blank page.