Author Platform

Starting an Author Platform Pt. 7: Why an Author Book Club Can Help

It’s been several weeks since I wrote about this series. However, I’ve had this topic on my mind for a while so I thought I’d address it today.

A book club for authors (as well as readers) can be a valuable piece of a writing platform that is often over-looked. The club can provide many resources for a writer. First I’ll share from the experiences I’ve had with my own club membership with Rave Reviews Book Club and then I’ll address things which you should consider before joining any such club/organization.

Here are a number of benefits AgreementI’ve found important as a member of a book club:

1. It’s largely a community of supportive authors interested in promoting each other from the strength of a group. This is very important since Rave Reviews Book Club now has over six hundred member. What I share over social media is vastly amplified. One of the upcoming changes with RRBC is an internet radio network which is important for learning to interview (you can learn from listening as well as being a guest). But also, your writing brand can be amplified in another venue that can generate sales for authors.

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2. Reviews can be tough to find, especially for new authors who are self-published. With my group membership, I’ve received a number of helpful, honest reviews that I likely wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

3. Information is readily shared about a number of topics. I can ask for thoughts on anything from marketing/promotions to writing technique and get willing answers that are helpful and timely.

RRBC Logo4. Perhaps this goes with number one, but the encouragement is invaluable. I now have relationships with other authors who offer cheerful words, inspiration and gracious assistance. Also, accomplishments are celebrated which is keeps are lonely writer’s spirits afloat when writing gets tough.

5. I get to help other writers which is far more important than it seems. In this digital age, tooting someone else’s horn is important to networking and spreading your writing brand further.

Those are just a few of the useful benefits I’ve received from my book club membership as an author. But what are some of the caveats? Know what the club expectations are. I have to do 4 reviews from the club catalog per year (and I still have a few left to do). There are other club rules about the usage of the club’s monikers on the internet. You should be prepared to spend some time participating in some sort of support for fellow authors so your efforts will be reciprocated. Be aware of expected behavior with other club members – it’s good to hone your professionalism for when you are dealing with the public. You need to learn to give thoughtful, honest reviews. Lastly, be aware that there’s a monetary cost for membership and what you put into your membership with your actions is what you get out of it.

I’ve put as much as I can into my own membership and received a great deal back from my very helpful fellow members. So take some time and consider being a member of an author’s book club. Be careful with your choice and gauge whether any club is valid as well as what time you can commit to the requirements. Take time to understand what benefits you can expect from the club. There are any number of clubs and organizations that legitimately helpful to authors so investigate them and choose based on your needs.

The Black Bag by P H SolomonHave you considered joining some sort of an author’s organization? What benefits would you look for in a club? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Starting an Author Platform Pt. 6: Why You Should Start Now

Starting LineSo 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 Back View of Man Running on Stairslot 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.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyPlease share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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