by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Building an author platform takes time. Looking back, I now understand why my publisher wanted me online a year before the release of my first book. It took me a while to network, make friends, and build momentum.
Most authors grasp the efforts required before and during a book release. They do blog tours, appearances, interviews, giveaways, and start planning the next book. When the dust settles, they retreat back into the writing cave and out of the spotlight.
Call me clueless, but I missed that last part!
I slowed down while writing and ventured online just a little bit less, but I never ground to a halt. Hey, it took me a year to build that momentum! If I lost it, I’d have to do it all over again. I was determined that wouldn’t happen. (I’m ambitiously lazy.)
Now some writers maintain momentum by producing a lot of books in a short amount of time. I’m a slow writer though, so I knew that plan wouldn’t work for me. I had to keep promoting, which meant maintaining my online presence.
Of course, I don’t like promoting my own books, so did other things instead. I just kept building my blog and Twitter following, co-hosted the A to Z Challenge, participated in blogfests, and started the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. After all, I wasn’t online just to promote my book – I was there to support and encourage others.
Did it work? Well, eleven months after its release, my first book hit the Amazon Best Seller chart.
I also wrote my next book during that time, and when it was released, it also hit the Best Seller charts. Both books eventually soared to the top of the Amazon UK charts as well. And while I’m blessed with a publisher who promotes my work, even they said my online activity had a huge impact on sales.
Maintaining momentum is important. So is consistency. Together it’s like a heartbeat, one that keeps your platform alive.
I know every author is different, but if I’d pulled back and vanished, my chances of success would’ve also vanished. No Amazon Best Sellers. No Insecure Writer’s Support Group. No blog growth or opportunity to really make a difference in this community. And it would’ve been a great loss.
Guess there’s something to be said about being clueless!
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, his third book, CassaStorm, will be released September 17, 2013.