So you’ve been writing your book. Maybe you’ve had it edited already and you’ve set your release date. But you’ve held off on building any platform at all. Marketing will take care of itself once your well-polished book is ready. Maybe you’re hesitant to put effort and money into marketing when you’re not even finished with your book.
Most every writer today has had these same thoughts at least in varying combinations. I know I was reluctant to put effort and money into an author platform when I didn’t even know whether I would make it or not.
However, every new author should consider establishing their brand as early as possible. That’s right, don’t wait, start with something. Here are four reasons why you should begin branding yourself and your content today with at least plans and keep working at it as much as you work on your book(s).
1. If first books usually don’t sell, having little or no foundation for it definitely won’t sell your book. Ads to not sell books and never have. Word of mouth sells books. Reader discovery is important and without something to begin building a following you won’t discover readers and sell books. In fact you may not sell much until around the third to fifth book you release.
2. It takes time to build a following large enough to sustain sales. That’s right, people are not waiting to flock to the next big book. You have to cultivate an online tribe of followers and it takes time. It may take a minimum of two years to gain enough of a following to have a foundation for sustainable sales.
3. You can’t go live with the platform and a book and expect to present a good brand to readers. There is so much to do that you won’t have time to do it all and release a book at the same time. If you think you just need a webpage and some social media accounts and people will just notice you then you’ll be in for a rude awakening. The internet is busy with a lot of writing voices and there are thousands of new books released each month. How will you differentiate yourself? You won’t without word of mouth and that takes building a following.
4. If readers don’t begin to hear your name now, they won’t find you when your book is out. Again, it’s a busy internet with lots of books for readers to choose. You’ll need a solid foundation in addition to a solid product and solid reviews as well as some people who like you enough to influence others to read your book.
I’m sure other writers can add more reasons than I’ve listed here (feel free to comment with these). Take your time, build the platform sooner rather than later. While your building, take the time make your content worthwhile and prepare to release several books – even small ones – to build a base of readers. With lots of followers, once your several books into writing, you’ll find reader discovery is much easier. Lots of people start with optimism only to meet harsh reality but it’s a long race that’s largely uphill so start now.
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