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As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences. Today let’s talk about your author platform and why it needs to include online and offline activities.
The author platform is the nexus of your online and offline book marketing efforts. When done well, your online book marketing efforts work in conjunction with your offline activities to make your book more visible and your sales soar.
Those who use search engines and social media will most likely find you and/or your book through a simple Internet search they are conducting. They might seek you out by name or perhaps they might be looking for something related to your book and topic, whether it is fiction or nonfiction.
When you combine your online efforts with offline activities such as speaking engagements, readings, appearances with book clubs and other organizations, a day out with a charitable organization to support their efforts, contributing your book to a charitable auction and being present to sign it for the winner (and take a picture with him or her!), you are providing a unique way to further engage readers and fans in your books.
Many readers love to get to know more about the writers whose books they enjoy. Oftentimes, they want to come out to meet you when you are accessible to them in their area.
This is where online meets offline, as most readers will find out about your offline appearances through their online connections with you – through your social media posts, the pins you post on Pinterest, the newsletters you send out to followers, and through video posts you make to your YouTube channel. The more you can engage readers online, the more of an audience you’ll generate offline.
A full-fledged platform synchronizes both approaches so they work together to serve your readers. Make it easy for them to find you – on and offline.
A great example of this for those of you with a cookbook in mind is to build your following and reading audience online while making appearances as a chef at other people’s events, using your video camera to show followers and fans how you are making a delicious meal – and then posting clips to your YouTube channel, and posting pictures of your event appearances to your Instagram account, your blog, and other social media accounts that show what you do during an offline activity. If you don’t have a cookbook, do the same activities for your speaking appearances, charitable event activities, and any other offline opportunities you have that include your book.
This is important to invest your time in since this is how most people who want you to do an appearance for them get a feel for what you do when you show up in person.
Let’s face it: when the appearance is over, it’s over! You cannot recapture it. It’s the difference between simply telling people what you will do if they include you in their event activities versus you showing them what you can do for them and their participants.
Nothing says more than a picture or a video that shows the event producer/director what you’re capable of.
Be sure to not only promote your offline appearances and activities before you do them, but also post out highlight pictures and video clips of them after you’ve done them. This includes posts out to your social media accounts and including them in your next newsletter after the event.
If you are not getting the appearances you desire, start making some happen on your own! Contact the places you’d like to work with offline, be it your local bookseller, a particular store you are a patron of, a PTA meeting or another organization you are a part of, or volunteer to provide your book to a silent auction to support a cause you love and offer to be there in person to sign it for the winner. Many of the offline appearances you do will most likely occur because you cultivated them. Don’t wait for someone to invite you; get out there and ask for the opportunity!
If you truly want to master the art of using your book as your hook, take the plunge on and offline so you can make the most out of your career as a writer and give your fans and followers so much more than just a book.
For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.