What an Author Platform REALLY Is (and why some “experts” get it wrong)

What an Author Platform REALLY Is (and why some “experts” get it wrong)

Hello Rebels and welcome back to my life!

So today is Writer Wednesday, the day when I talk about tips and tricks for indie authors. Today I want to talk not about writing, but about part of the self-publishing process: building your author platform.

The Author Platform is a very hot buzzword in self-publishing. Everyone knows you need one. Lots of people offer advice on how to build one. Some of that advice is bad, but some of it is very, very good.

But a lot of people misunderstand WHAT a platform is—even platform building experts. And what’s REALLY weird is that I’ve seen advice from some platform-building experts that’s GOOD advice, and WORKS—but almost on accident.

May I Have Your Attention Please?

May I Have Your Attention Please?

Good morning, Rebels, and welcome back to my life. May I have your attention, please? If you’re reading this, that means that for these brief moments, these eight hundred words or less, I have your attention. But odds are pretty good I don’t have your undivided attention. Many of you are probably checking your phones while you watch this. Or else you’re checking your computer screens while you read this on your phones. And if you weren’t doing that before, mentioning it makes you about three times more likely to do so. I wonder how much more likely you are to do so when I tell you you’re statistically more likely to do so? I fell like this is a rabbit hole that could lead to madness. So I’ve never told you this before, but I write books for a living. (I’ve told you that before. Too often. You’re probably sick of it). But as much attention as I am able to gain from you to read this blog post — five, ten minutes out of your day, five days a week. Most times. Not most times. Sometimes. Lots of times it’s days or weeks between posts. BUT WHATEVER that time investment you’re willing to give my blogs or YouTube videos … books are a whole ‘nother ball game. Reading a book is a time commitment like no other. And that’s why so many new authors struggle to make it. Why would you invest twelve hours reading a book when you’ve never even heard of the author before? The only reason you might is if someone you trust tells you,...
MORE ON DIRECT SALES

MORE ON DIRECT SALES

You may hear a lot of “big self-publishers” talk about direct sales. What are they? How are they different from selling on Amazon or the other big book retailers? ACTUALLY, TECHNICALLY, there is very little difference between selling direct and selling on Amazon. From your end, you are ALWAYS uploading content to a sale site, and they are ALWAYS handling the financial transaction, and they are ALWAYS passing the money on to you. Those elements are identical whether you sell through Amazon or a direct sale site like Gumroad (my personal choice for direct sales). The differences between “Ebook Retailers” and “Direct Sale Sites” are in EXPOSURE, TRANSPARENCY and INDEPENDENCE. Amazon offers benefits in terms of EXPOSURE. When your book sells a number of copies, Amazon will start to promote it in relation to other books. If 10,000 people have downloaded your book that have ALSO BOUGHT The Great Gatsby, then on the Gatsby sales page, Amazon will put a little link saying, “Customers who bought Gatsby also bought: [YOUR BOOK].” We call these links “also boughts.” Want to see how they work? Check out this fantastic link to a new tool I’ve discovered thanks to indie author Scott Richards (buy that guy’s books, by the way, they’re awesome). It shows all the books that are related to my book. It shows books that appear as also boughts on MY page, and then books upon whose pages MY book shows up as an also bought. With also boughts, and with a high sales rank and numerous excellent reviews, you can expect your book to do quite well on Amazon. Many people...