I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “building an author platform” before, but what does it mean? What is an author platform? Why do you need one? We’re going to get into all of that and so much more.
What the Heck is an Author Platform?
It sounds like jargon, and it kind of is. To put it simply, your author platform is all the assets you’ve built online to promote yourself as an author, along with your books. Your platform includes, but is not limited to:
- Your website
- Your social media pages and profiles
- Your Amazon Author Central page
- Your book sales pages on various online retailers
- Your email list
Why Do You Need One?
One thing that you’re going to hear over and over as you pursue being an independent author and self-publisher is that you need an author platform. You must build a brand to make it in self-publishing these days. That’s accurate. By building an author platform, you are securing your brand.
It’s important for you to establish your brand and platform because as long as you rely on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Vella, those customers aren’t yours. They belong to those respective platforms.
By building a website and opt-in page for your email list, you are capturing your readers and turning them into your customers.
Think about it, would you have more trust for an author with a free Wix website and a Gmail account or one with their own website and email on theirname.com? Exactly.
Enter Author Brand Kits
Just as often as you’ll hear that you need one in courses and videos for authors, you’ll see creators drop the ball when it comes to building an author platform.
They focus on all aspects of self-publishing, but building a website, email marketing, and all of that stuff is so complex that they hardly ever attempt to help you with this important step.
That’s where Author Brand Kits comes in.
I make it no secret that my assistant, Ava, runs this service, and I’ve got to tell you it just gets better all the time.
She’s filling in a gap that allows her to complement other self-publishing services, including courses, companies like Book Award Pro, and content like mine, Kindlepreneur, services like Publisher Rocket, and so much more.
That’s A LOT of networking opportunities!
Author Brand Kits provides a done-for-you author platform, and I have to tell you it’s second to none. Here’s what you get:
- 1 year domain and Siteground hosting
- A complete WordPress website showcasing you and your books
- A custom email account on your domain
- MailerLite email marketing all set up
- Your brand secured on up to 15 sites across the web
- TONS of mockups for book marketing
Full disclosure: It’s $499. You won’t find a better deal. (I know, I know, I say in the video that it’s worth $1,000, and it TOTALLY is, but Ava recently bottomed out her price to make the service more affordable for independent authors!)
Building an Author Platform for Robert
Since Episode 1, we’ve been laying the groundwork for Robert, including:
- Keywords and categories – Without the right combination, it’s nearly impossible to get discovered on the major platforms
- Book description – It’s not enough to tell, but you have to show potential readers what they stand to gain by buying your book
- Book covers – This where many cash-strapped authors fall short
Episode 4 is where everything comes together for Robert. Everything we’ve helped him accomplish now has a home online on his website as a part of his author platform.
It’s time for the big reveal.
When someone signs up for an Author Brand Kit, they receive a questionnaire as a part of the onboarding package.
This helps Ava get acquainted with the brand that individual wants to build.
Next, she sets up the custom email account. There’s nothing super exciting about this. It’s an email account, but there are two important things about it:
- It’s a custom email set up on the author brand domain name so it doesn’t get more professional than that.
- She uses it to create all the rest of the assets included in the Author Brand Kit.
One thing she does extra with the email account is order a custom signature from RSThemes on Fiverr. This may not sound like much, but RSThemes makes great-looking, clickable, HTML email signatures you’ll be proud to include in your correspondence.
Now it’s time to get to work on the website. Ava creates 4 or 5-page websites depending on if the author wants a blog included or not. She just knocks these things out of the park. I always find little areas where she’s paid a lot of attention to detail in delivering a nice-looking, functional website. That’s why I use her services for Book Rescue (and my own websites too, including this one)!
In the video, you can see what she did with Robert’s site. His homepage is basically a one-stop shop for his email list opt-in, contact form, and more. Check it out – https://robertgculp.com.
Once MailerLite and Robert’s email marketing were all set up, it was time to secure his brand on multiple sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Medium, Google, and Reddit, just to name a few.
The purpose of this portion of the Author Brand Kit is just so people can’t sign up as Robert and hold his username hostage later or pretend to be him. Ava simply wants to secure his brand for his use. It certainly doesn’t mean Robert has to use all the accounts created for him. Trying to be everywhere can be really overwhelming. It just means that if Robert isn’t using the account, neither can anyone else.
Finally, Ava creates an insane amount of mockups for use on social media and other aspects of book promotion. Because Robert had 5 books, this ended up being HUNDREDS of images.
Author Brand Kits takes the learning curve and guesswork out of building an author platform.
Affording an Author Platform
Honestly, it doesn’t get much more affordable than $499, but I realize that’s a chunk of change many self-publishers just don’t have. I sure didn’t when I first started out.
Consider some of the more cost-effective aspects we handled for Robert using Fiverr services:
- Email signature from RSThemes – $5
- eBook cover from OliviaProDesign – $5
- Blog post to promote your book – $35
Be sure to check out my curated list of vetted providers!
What’s Next for Robert
There are 2 episodes left in the first season of Book Rescue! What a ride it’s been. I have a lot more in store for our friend, Robert. You will not want to miss these last two episodes!
Coming up, we’ll get to see what Robert makes of doing some work with Book Award Pro and Story Origin. He’ll also be working one of one with Jonny Andrews.
Consider becoming a member of my channel to get access to all behind-the-scenes footage! Visit this link and click JOIN for more details.
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Until next time and in between time…