This is the first of several Tips regarding internet marketing. In coming weeks we'll look at a number of aspects of internet marketing, but today we're talking broad strokes. We're talking about your platform.
I don't mean what software package you use. I'm talking your public image. How many people know who you are, and are they likely to buy a copy of your book? How quickly and easily can you get the word out to your fan base? If your book goes gangbusters, are people going to be able to find you on the internet? And what are people saying about you?
With more and more of a publisher's marketing budget going into fewer and fewer authors, it has become necessary for authors to learn to market themselves. Not only does it help an author once they have a book published (and, preferably, about-to-be-published), but it may actually help an author get published in the first place. While I haven't seen much hard data on the subject, the current thought is that a publisher considering taking on a new author may be more inclined to do so if that author can demonstrate that they already have a platform – fans on social networking sites, followers on their blog, high traffic numbers on their website, etc. Not only does that author already have potential buyers to bring to the table, but their platform reflects their work ethic; they are ready and willing to work to make their project a success.
But don't just take my word for it.
For people like me who prefer not to socialize online, this can be a daunting prospect. But never fear! If I can do this, anyone can. Follow me through my internet marketing adventures as I discuss what I've done so far, what has worked, and what hasn't.
And the great part is, you already are!
Next week: the ins and outs, dos and don'ts, and ups and downs of author blogging!