The Best Resource to Build Your Author Platform

Are you so sick of the word platform you want to throw all wooden boxes into a huge bonfire?

Everywhere authors turn we hear about the importance of author platform. Many pre-published authors have no idea how to go about building a successful author platform. You just know that you need one.

Even seasoned authors know we need to keep adding planks to our platform, making it larger every day.

I was one of 100 people recently chosen to participate in the launch of Michael Hyatt’s new book, Platform: Get Noticed in A Noisy World.

This in itself was pure genius. Every one wants the invitation to the private party, we want the behind the scenes all access pass. To read the call out, here’s the link to Michael’s invite. Did you notice it’s not just about what you can do for him, but what it will do for you?

That is the number one lesson from this book. Everything you put in front of your readers, from blog posts to social media updates, must provide value to them!

Michael really knows how to take this to the next level. Here’s the link to his Platform book page. He breaks down the benefits his book provides to the reader. Many books, or book pages, fail to spell out what the purchaser will get from reading them.

This book doesn’t just tell you a few key points or things to do, it teaches you. Michael provides numerous links to extra info and also gives tons of examples. I’m a visual learner, so this is key for me.

God has been reminding me that it’s not about me. And the same is true in all aspects of our lives, as both authors and human beings. I ultimately write for God’s glory, and adding glory for Him is what’s all about. Remember to always add value, in everything we do.

What are ways you can add value to your book? How can you add value to the readers of your blog? How has an author added extra value for you?

Here’s an added value if you haven’t already read 7 Tips for Self-Editing Your Novel with Promotional USB Drives Before we can create a platform, our content must be amazing.

Celebrate Your Book With a Party!

November 4, 2011 was starred, circled, highlighted and otherwise bolded on my wall calendar, computer calendar, and represented in a countdown ticker on my desktop.

What’s so special about that date, you ask? My book launch party for Lakeside Reunion, my debut novel, which released in November by Love Inspired.

After receiving the call from Rachelle that launched me from an unpublished author into the publishing world, I envisioned hosting a book launch party to celebrate this dream-turned-reality with family and friends.

I set the date, searched online for book launch information, and came across articles by Deborah Vogts and Ava Pennington on the CAN site. Their articles are very informative, so if you’re in the planning stages, check out their great advice.

Following their leads, I created a budget, then enlisted family and friends to help. I chose to host the party at my church because it wouldn’t cost me anything and it would be a good marketing opportunity for our church.

Once I saw my cover, I decided to keep a simple, yet classic theme of leaves. What better symbolizes autumn?

As silly as it may sound, I compared myself to a bride-to-be preparing for her wedding day. If you’ve planned a wedding or helped with one, you know what I’m talking about—budgets, food, décor, and we can’t forget the dress.

I sent out almost 100 invitations to family and friends across the country. I wanted them to celebrate with me (and buy my book)!

I kept the menu simple–cinnamon roll mini pancakes to go with the breakfast theme in the book, apples & caramel dip, candy corn M & Ms, cake, cider, coffee and tea. We had plenty of food leftover so people don’t attend to eat.

The building anticipation created a roller coaster of emotions—would anyone show up, would I sell any books, would I run out of food, what if they hate the book? The day couldn’t arrive fast enough—the day was approaching too quickly. I still had too much to do! What was I thinking having a book launch party anyway?

The weekend of my party, my prayer partner and close friend Reba J. Hoffman flew up from Florida to attend. My friend Carolyn, who was one of the first to read Lakeside Reunion in its infancy ten years ago, drove up from Virginia to share in my special day. My family rallied around me. My Coffee Girls surprised me with a large keepsake box. What I pictured in my head was nothing compared to what played out on that gorgeous autumn afternoon.

Tears flowed. Cameras flashed. I laughed. I hugged. I signed. God used little ole me to write a story that touched hearts. One of my mother’s friends shared how Lindsey’s story helped her cope with her husband’s recent death. As family members and friends celebrated this milestone in my life, I gave God the glory. After all, had it not been for Him, none of that day would have been possible.

What about you? Did you have a book launch party? What special moment stood out to you? If you haven’t had one yet, are you planning one for your book? What expectations do you have?