Building a Platform vs. Promoting a Book
You can’t promote your book without first having a platform. However…
A platform is not enough. To sell copies of your book, you have to actually promote the book.
You can have a huge platform — thousands of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and blog readers. Maybe you’re even a public speaker, have a popular newsletter, you’re a go-to expert on your topic, or you’re already a bestselling author.
But if you don’t actually put your latest book in front of people and make it easy and advantageous for them to immediately click-to-buy, nobody is going to buy it.
It seems obvious. Even bestselling authors and celebrities have major “launches” for each book—they don’t just sit back and assume people will find the book because they’re famous. But when you’ve been working hard at platform building, it can come as a surprise that once you have a book available, there is even more to be done.
So what’s the difference between platform and promotion?
Platform-building activities could include:
→ Having a blog and using proven strategies to increase your traffic.
→ Interacting effectively on Twitter and building up your follower count.
→ Having a Facebook fan page and growing your number of fans.
→ Establishing an author brand for yourself.
→ Building an email subscriber list and sending out regular newsletters
Book promotion activities could include:
→ Offering a free giveaway of something your readers would enjoy (a novella, a short non-fiction e-book, a collection of behind-the-scenes information about your book, books from your backlist, etc.) to anyone who buys your book within a specified time frame, and promoting the giveaway on all social media.
→ Creating contests on Goodreads, Pinterest, or Facebook in which readers buy your book or sign up for your newsletter for a chance to win something valuable.
→ Having a blog tour for your book, in which dozens of bloggers post about your book within a given week.
→ Running targeted advertising on Facebook
→ Reaching out to Book Clubs
→ Having a “street team” who can work social media on behalf of your book
It’s important to understand the difference between platform building and book promotion. You need both, they’re both ongoing, and they require separate activities. Don’t fall into the trap of doing only half!
Have you thought about this distinction between platform and promotion? Are you uncomfortable with either one? What are some platform or promotional activities that have worked for you?
A platform is not enough. To sell your book, you have to actually promote it. (Click to Tweet)
Put your book in front of people & make it easy for them to click-to-buy, or nobody will buy it. (Click to Tweet.)
It’s crucial to understand the difference between platform building and book promotion. (Click to Tweet.)