Thursday, November 14, 2013

NW Bookfest '13 Workshop Review # 5: Author Platform 101--Baby Steps Count

(Image:  Implementing Ideas--Baby Steps by
After "passing my sanity check" from the previous workshop (maybe), it was back to the same small room for the last seminar of the day:  Author Platform 101.
This was a panel discussion hosted by:
Abigail Carter  and her partner,  Kelsye Nelson, along with
Amy Raby and Ksenia Anske, moderated by Mark Hennon, President of the Seattle Free Lances.
Mark ran the workshop as a Q&A session for the young ladies forming the panel.
How much time should an author spend on marketing and social media?
--Start marketing now because it's too much to do later.
--[But] If you spend too much time on social media and marketing, it will cut into your writing time.
--If you're not happy on social media, people will sense it and steer clear of you.
--The best way to make money is to write your next book.
What is the best way to turn followers into readers?
--Connect with folks without always promoting your work.  (No one likes pushy salespeople).
--Give your followers something (free book/download, etc.).
--You should take and give on at least a 1:3 ratio.  That is, every time you ask something of your followers, you should return three "gives" no related to your book.
--A personal touch seems to draw a larger crowd.
--Be sure to respond in some way to comments on a post or tweet.
What is the most important platform?
The panelists agreed these were, in rank order:
1. A website, which should have your books on your homepage.
2. Facebook, but this may not be true for everyone.
3 Google+.
4 Twitter.
5. Pintrest, which is the #3 ranking social media site, but #1 for converting views to sales.
The hottest commodity is time, not money, which is why posting pictures is important.  Otherwise, as mentioned in a previous NW Bookfest post, followers will pass by your site.
Focus on looking for and building your audience.  While connecting with other writers, especially in your genre, will help develop your craft, it won't build your readership.
What mistakes were made or what didn't work?
--Trying to "be someone else."  Each writer's voice is unique, don't try to mask yours by mimicking others. 
--Moderate your site.  Don't be afraid of deleting comments by internet trolls, or other denizens lurking in cyberspace.
--Keep personal and author accounts seperate.
--It's your on-line account(s), so there's no real wrong way of marketing yourself.
What are some of the social media sites you like?
YouTube and
And so I managed to keep my sanity on Day One of NW Bookfest
It was a good time to spend indoors because a wind advisory was in effect for most of the day.  Fortunately, the storm didn't affect the conference, especially since I heard of some localized power outages.


DeanM said...

Ted: I've kind of gone the lazy route - audio books - or as the library system calls them Talking Books :)! Best, Dean

Ted Henkle said...

Hey I was just reading an article in "The Writer" magazine today about audio books. It's big business. Almost as big as downloadable books and they're great for people on the go (driving, doing housework, etc). I like listening to them when I'm on a long trip.

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