Key Elements You Need To Create Your Platform

If you think that having a stellar idea and creating the copy for your book will drive its success, there is a major piece missing from your equation.  Developing a platform, understanding your budget, and having a marketing plan for the launch of your book are just as important as your content. For many people, just writing their book was difficult enough; marketing it seems truly overwhelming. But there are several things that you can do to work on your marketing while you are still in the process of writing and publishing your book. We call this developing your platform, and marketing experts suggest that you plan on at least a year or two for this process, so start now – at the same time that you are working on your manuscript. Here are several ideas you can use to develop your platform.

  1. Develop a visual for your book.  While you are working on the content, also consider its look and feel.  Should it feel fun, serious, sophisticated?  What voice and tone are you trying to develop?
  2. Become tech savvy!  While you continue to network and develop relationships in old school methods, nothing beats having the ability to connect quickly over programs such as a blog, Twitter, e-newsletter, etc.
  3. Develop a presence. The Internet is the fastest way to develop your brand. Don’t wait until after your book is finished; start a website for it now. Even if you already have a website for your business, consider a second site just for your book. At the very least add a page specifically for it. Post excerpts to generate some interest. This is a good way to begin to develop not only your credibility, but an audience who is looking forward to purchasing your book.
  4. Develop a database. Collect the names of clients, prospects and visitors to your website and blog. They are all potential buyers for your book.
  5. Start a Social Media Campaign. Get into the habit of writing and touching your audience at least once or twice a week – most social media gurus say this is the least amount you can blog or tweet to be effective.
  6. Prove that your book is marketable.  When publishers are considering a manuscript they want to make sure there are a group of people who are willing to purchase it. Use online services such as Survey Monkey, Zoomerang, or iContact to survey your audience, and keep the data on file.
  7. Learn how to pitch your book. What differentiates your book from others in your field? Work with a marketing expert to craft the perfect pitch.
  8. Create a teaser on your website.  When will the book come out?  Will you be giving any seminars prior to the launch?  What other launch events are planned?  Can your clients pre-order the book?  Post a small excerpt as an e-book on your website.

The most important thing to remember about developing your platform is to simply start.  You can always make changes and additions as you go along, but spending some time on a weekly basis will make it easier to market your book once it is completed.

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