O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Build Your Author Platform

Book Description


A great book is no longer enough. An author platform is the most powerful key to success in todays saturated market, and increasingly, publishers are demanding that new authors come to them with an existing audience of interested followers. Authors who are self-publishing have an even bigger need to build an engaged audience. Social media makes building the author platform easier than ever, but, unfortunately, most authors struggle to get it right. How can authors create their unique platform, connect with followers, write a manuscript, and grow their business? In Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules, top literary agent Carole Jelen and tech expert Michael McCallister apply their combined 35 years of expertise to outline 14 practical, hands-on steps to create a presence that will produce high book sales and expanded audience. From pre-publication through book launch and beyond, authors will learn how to:

Define goals and a unique brand

Employ successful website strategies, content, social presence, media authority, and training

Secure positive reviews

Attract viewers efficiently without cost

Filled with detailed lessons, examples, success stories, and techniques used by marketing departments at major publishers, Build Your Author Platform is an indispensable guide for anyone looking for insight into publishing, promoting, and marketing books.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Copyright
  3. Contents
  4. New Rules by Chapter Number
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Foreword
  7. Preface
  8. Introduction
  9. Chapter 1: Your Author Website: Home Central
    1. Why Your Author Website Is a Must
    2. Plan Your Author Website Strategy
      1. Define Your Audience
      2. Plan Your Website Self-Introduction
      3. Plan Your Site Landing Page to Keep Your Audience
      4. Plan Your Tabs and Component Parts of Each Page
      5. Plan the Static Text of Your Author Website
    3. Creating Your Author Website
      1. Plan Essential Author Website Pages
    4. Create Your Author Site with WordPress
      1. Select and Register a Domain Name
      2. Register Your Domain
      3. Find a Host
      4. Install Your WordPress Site
        1. Gather Software
        2. Set Up the Database
        3. Uploading WordPress
        4. The Famous 5-Minute WordPress Installation
      5. Choose a Design Theme
      6. Add Social Buttons
    5. Build Your Audience Through a Regular Newsletter
    6. Optimize Your Theme for the Mobile Web
    7. Adding Widgets and More Plugins
    8. Best Practices for Website Content
      1. Use Keywords and Tags and Measure Results
        1. Getting Hard Numbers: Google Analytics
    9. Checklist, Step 1: Author Website
    10. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client David Meerman Scott
  10. Chapter 2: Blog to Build Your Readership Community
    1. Your Blog Is About More Than Content
    2. Blogging Is Beyond an Advantage, It’s Essential
    3. Blog Strategy
      1. Blog Types
      2. Encourage Online Sharing with Your Blog
    4. Start with a Hosted Blog
      1. Blogger/Blogspot
      2. TypePad
      3. WordPress
    5. How to Create a Blog
      1. Naming Your Blog
      2. Defining Your Web Address
      3. Creating Your About Page
    6. Best Practices
    7. Writing Blog Posts
      1. Creating Content for Blog Posts
    8. Getting Comments on Blog Posts
      1. Regarding Trolls
      2. Blog Shortcuts
        1. WordPress Post Types
    9. Author Blog Promotion Strategies
    10. Measure Your Blog Results to Understand Your Audience
    11. Link Your Blog to Your Social Sites
    12. Checklist, Step 2: Blog
    13. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Andy Rathbone
  11. Chapter 3: Twitter: The Instant Handshake
    1. Why Twitter Is Important
    2. Best Practices
    3. Twitter Defined
    4. Twitter Strategy
      1. Before You Send Your First Tweet …
    5. Getting Started on Twitter
      1. Customize Your Profile Page
      2. Plan, Write, and Automate Your Twitter Posts
      3. Start Posting on Twitter
        1. Tweet Types
    6. Automating Your Posts with HootSuite
    7. First Steps on Twitter
      1. Posting
      2. Hosting Twitter Chats
        1. Organizing Your Twitter Chats
    8. Checklist, Step 3: Twitter
    9. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Susie Cox
  12. Chapter 4: Google+: More Than a Social Network
    1. Why Google Is Important to Authors
      1. Keeping Control of Your Blog and Social Identity
      2. Use Google+ and Google Authorship
      3. Join Google+
      4. Craft Your Google+ Profile
      5. Set Up Your Profile
      6. Add Your Profile and Cover Photos
      7. Link Google+ to Your Author Website
    2. Use Google+ Circles
      1. Circle People in Google+
        1. Who to Circle
        2. Others Who Circle You in Google+
      2. Join Communities
        1. Creating a Community
    3. Best Practices for Interacting on Google+
      1. Show Approval: Three Levels of Enthusiasm
        1. (+1) a Post or Comment
        2. Comment on Others’ Posts
        3. Share Others’ Posts
    4. Strategy for Posting on Google+
    5. Automate Your Google+ Posts
    6. Connect Your Content Through Google Authorship
      1. Google Author Rank
      2. Setting Up Google Authorship
    7. More Google+ Features
      1. Reading and Posting Tools
      2. Google Events
      3. Google Hangouts
      4. Mobile App for Google+
    8. Google Services Beyond Google+
      1. Google AdWords
      2. Google Alerts
      3. Google Analytics
    9. Connecting Your Google+ Account to Your Website
    10. Checklist, Step 4: Google
    11. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Dave Taylor
  13. Chapter 5: Your Author Brand and Book on Facebook
    1. Along Comes Facebook
    2. Why Facebook Is Necessary for Authors
    3. Your Facebook Profile
    4. Your Facebook Pages
      1. Set Up Your Author Page
        1. Add a Profile Picture and Description to Your Author Page
        2. Adding Content to Your Author Page
        3. Buying Ads on Your Author Page
      2. Set Up Your Facebook Book Page
        1. Book Page Photo and Banner
        2. Postings on Your Book Page
        3. Book Page Description
        4. Book Page Links
      3. Book Page Connections
    5. Developing Your Facebook Strategy
      1. Posting to Your Pages
        1. Embedding Facebook Posts in Your Blog
    6. Facebook Best Practices
    7. Join Facebook Groups
    8. Create a Facebook Group
      1. Set Up Your Group
      2. Share with Your Group
      3. How to Be a Group Administrator
      4. Planning an Event
    9. Mobile Apps
    10. Checklist, Step 5: Facebook
    11. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Kellyann Petrucci
  14. Chapter 6: Using LinkedIn: Not Only an Online Résumé
    1. Definition of LinkedIn
    2. Why LinkedIn Is Important to Authors
    3. Creating and Optimizing Your LinkedIn Author Profile
      1. Getting Started
    4. How to Increase LinkedIn Connections
      1. Finding People on LinkedIn
      2. How to Join LinkedIn Groups
    5. Update Your LinkedIn Profile Regularly
    6. Articles to Repost
    7. LinkedIn Strategies
    8. LinkedIn Ads
    9. Best Practices of LinkedIn Networking
    10. Benefits of LinkedIn Premium Accounts
    11. Checklist, Step 6: LinkedIn
    12. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Ed Tittel
  15. Chapter 7: Inform, Educate, and Entertain: The Power of Personal Appearances
    1. Short Talk vs. Long Speech
    2. Personal Appearance Options
    3. Advantages of Live Personal Appearances
    4. Personal Appearances Strategy
      1. Personal Appearance Opportunities
      2. TV and Internet Interview Opportunities
    5. Best Practices for Teaching and Training
    6. The Simple Course Format
    7. Teaching and Training Strategy
      1. Get Speaking Practice
    8. Types of Online Teaching and Training
      1. Creating a Webcast
      2. How to Create a Teleseminar
      3. How to Create a Webinar
    9. Types of Live Teaching
    10. Live Speaking Strategy
      1. The Simple Author Short Speech Format
    11. Checklist, Step 7: Personal Appearances
    12. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Jay Elliot
  16. Chapter 8: Create Your Article Bank: Original, Excerpted, Repurposed Variations
    1. Everyone Is Now a Journal Publisher on the Web
    2. Advantages to Writing Articles
    3. Choosing Topics for Original Articles
    4. Types of Articles
    5. Article-Writing Strategy
      1. Always Include Your Byline
      2. Best Practices for Web Article Style
    6. Generating Content for Articles
      1. Reprinting Original Content
      2. Repurposing Original Content
      3. Spinning Off Content for Different Audiences
    7. First Stop for Publishing Articles: Blogs
      1. Guest Blogging
    8. Second Stop for Publishing Articles: Publications Seeking Content
      1. Magazines
      2. Newspapers
      3. Huffington Post
      4. Helium
      5. Need to Get Your First Byline? A Few Ideas
        1. Article Directories
        2. eHow and Other Demand Media Sites
    9. Additional Online Tools
    10. Checklist, Step 8: Article Bank
    11. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Bob LeVitus
  17. Chapter 9: Finding Your Voice: Radio, Podcasts, and More Audio Adventures
    1. Your First Audio: Record a Sound Clip for Your Author Website
      1. Planning Your First Recording
      2. Record with Free Software
      3. Upload Your File to Your Site
    2. Pitching Local Talk Shows
      1. The Pitch
      2. When You’re Booked
    3. Pitching Larger Radio Stations
      1. The Top Book Radio Programmer: NPR
      2. Finding Other National Radio Shows
    4. Finding Online Podcast Interview Opportunities
      1. iTunes Store Podcasts
      2. Other Podcast Directories
      3. Live Podcast Radio at BlogTalkRadio
      4. Linking Up with Podcast Hosts
    5. Making Your Own Online Radio Station (Podcast)
      1. Finding Podcast Guests
      2. Using BlogTalkRadio
        1. Making a BTR Test Show
        2. Going Live on BTR
      3. Using Spreaker.com to Create and Broadcast Your Show
        1. Making a Spreaker Test Broadcast
        2. Going Live on Spreaker
      4. Posting your Podcast Episodes to Your Website
    6. Getting Your Podcast in the Directories
      1. iTunes
      2. Stitcher SmartRadio
    7. How to Use Your Book Cover as Your Podcast Logo
    8. Checklist, Step 9: Audio
    9. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Thom Hartmann
  18. Chapter 10: Video: Book Trailers, YouTube, Linking, and More
    1. The Rise of YouTube
    2. More Reasons to Make Video Part of Your Platform
    3. Author Video Strategy
    4. Making a Book Trailer
      1. Find Models
      2. The Simple Interview Book Trailer Format
      3. Make a Simple “Storyboard” on Paper
      4. Prepare the Media Types That Fit Your Book
      5. Choose Your Software
        1. Importing Sound and Images to Movie Maker
        2. Importing Sound and Images to iMovie
      6. Record Video Clips of Yourself with your (Web) Camera
      7. Combining All the Parts: Edit Your Video
    5. Uploading Your Videos
      1. Tagging Your Videos
      2. Creating Your Own Connected YouTube Channel
      3. Uploading your Videos to YouTube
        1. Embedding Your Site Information on Your Uploaded Videos
    6. Uploading Your Videos to Vimeo
      1. Setting Up Your Vimeo Account
      2. Vimeo Helps Make Your Video
      3. Finding Community: Vimeo Groups
      4. Linking Your Vimeo Videos
    7. Video Blogging
    8. Video Interviews
    9. Checklist, Step 10: Video
    10. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Dr. Brian Alman
  19. Chapter 11: Publish a Book Website to Attract More Audience
    1. Think Like a Publisher
    2. Create a Website for Each Book
      1. Reason # 1: Multiple Sites Enable Readers to Find Your Book by Its Title and by Keywords
      2. Reason #2: Your Book Website Doubles as an Online Bookstore
      3. Reason #3: Your Book Website Is an Information Kiosk for Booksellers
    3. Book Clubs, Booksellers, and Your Book Site
    4. Choose a Model Book Site
      1. Solve Needs to Attract Audience
    5. A Simple Format for Your Book Website
    6. Book Website Content Strategy
      1. Best Practices in Creating Book Website Content
    7. Create Your Book Site in WordPress
      1. How to Create Your Press Room and Other Pages
      2. Adding a Navigation Menu
    8. Linking to Booksellers
    9. Checklist, Step 11: Book Website
    10. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client Tee Morris
  20. Chapter 12: Amazon.com—Your Author Toolbox and World’s Largest Online Bookstore
    1. Reasons Readers Flock to Amazon
    2. Reasons to Use Amazon Author Central
    3. Create Your Author Central Page
      1. Adding Site Updates and Twitter Feeds to Your Author Page
      2. Maintaining Your Author Page
        1. Editing Book Details and Adding New Books
      3. Link Your Author Website to Author Central
    4. Amazon Book Reviews
      1. Managing Amazon Reviews
    5. Connecting Your Site to Amazon
      1. Signing Up with Amazon Associates
      2. Adding Associate Links on Your Site
    6. Amazon Strategy #1: Connect with Your Readers on Your Author Page
      1. Author Page Discussions
      2. Join Amazon Customer Communities
    7. Amazon Strategy #2: Create Listmania Lists
      1. How to Create a Listmania List
    8. Look Into Your Sales
      1. Amazon Sales Rank
      2. Join Search Inside the Book
      3. Amazon Bestseller Campaign
    9. More Tools
    10. Checklist, Step 12: Amazon’s Author Toolbox
    11. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client John C. Havens
  21. Chapter 13: Motivate Your Audience to Talk About You: Book Reviews
    1. Why Reviews Are Critical
    2. How to Ensure Reviews: Build Your Audience in Advance
      1. Motivating Readers to Talk About Your Book
    3. Strategy for Managing Negative Reviews
    4. Best Practices for Getting Reviews
      1. Avoid Fake Reviews
      2. Send Out Free Copies
        1. Contact Everyone Who Is a Potential Reviewer for Your Book
    5. Other Online Book Review Sites
      1. Goodreads
        1. Signing Up for the Goodreads Author Program
        2. Your Author Dashboard
        3. Adding Images and Videos
        4. Connecting with Your Website and Blog
        5. Connecting with Facebook
        6. Participating in Groups
        7. Giveaways
      2. Shelfari
        1. Connecting Shelfari to Amazon
        2. Your Shelfari Author Page
        3. Connecting with Your Website and Other Networks
        4. Participating in Groups and Other Community Activities
      3. LibraryThing
        1. Becoming a LibraryThing Author
        2. Connecting with Your Website and Other Networks
        3. Groups on LibraryThing
        4. Giveaways
      4. Red Room
        1. Becoming a Red Room Author
        2. Completing Your Red Room Profile
        3. Connect with Your Website and Blog
        4. Connect with Facebook and Twitter
        5. Create and Manage Content on Red Room
    6. Review Others’ Books
    7. Incorporate Reviews Into Your Author Platform
    8. Checklist, Step 13: Reviews
    9. Success Spotlight: Waterside Client David Busch
  22. Chapter 14: The Celebration Announcement: Launch Parties and Virtual Tours
    1. Advantages to Holding Your Book Launch Party
    2. Live Book Launch Party Strategy
    3. Steps to Prepare Your Live Book Launch Party
    4. A Simple One-Hour Book Launch Party Format
    5. The Virtual Book Launch Tour
      1. Advantages of a Virtual Book Launch “Tour”
    6. Strategy for Virtual Book Launch
    7. Steps to Creating Your Virtual Book Launch Tour
    8. Virtual Tour Stops
    9. Checklist, Step 14: Launch
  23. Further Reading
  24. Tear-Out Sheets: Author Platform Publicity Plan
  25. About the Authors
  26. Index