Guest blogger Joan Lane on an author’s platform.
I'm no expert on writing and getting published, but having gone through the process I have a few thoughts. The first is, it's mandatory for a writer to start building a platform of followers before their book is published. When I was writing The Tangled Web, this was the last thing on my mind. I felt like writing a book and that was my only focus. It wasn't until my book was actually in print that it dawned on me, OMG I have a book to sell. When The Tangled Web was published, I think I had something like 17 Facebook friends and I was completely in the dark about promotion. Since then, I've learned a lot, though I still don't know half of it and I certainly don't do half the things I need to do. According to statistics, more books sell by word of mouth than any other form of promotion.
If you go by the traditional marketing model, about 2% of people who have heard about a book are likely to purchase it. It's daunting when you think of how many people you have to reach in order to have half decent sales. So my advice to anyone embarking on the journey of being an author would be to start developing a sound marketing plan from the get-go, because it can be a year before you start seeing any results.
To learn more about Joan, check out http://jplanewrites.blogspot.com/