Monday, June 25, 2012

The Importance of a Platform as an Author

Authors and Readers Need Each Other

Without my readers, my books are just a bunch of words on a page. ~ Red Phoenix

When I first looked into getting published, all I heard was, "You need a platform." I thought, Well, that's nice. How do I get one? I did a lot of research on the web and discovered the best way to develop one as a newbie like me was through social sites like Twitter and Facebook. I will admit that the thought of spending hours on different sites seemed like a waste of writing time. I was not thrilled.

I started writing my short "quickies" Sensual Erotica and published them on Smashwords. The author's page asked for my Twitter account, Facebook account, blog, etc. What's a girl to do?

So, I dutifully (and a little resentfully) created them. Let me tell you, it is embarrassing to have conversations with thin air. I felt like an idiot writing thoughts and announcing books to an audience of zero. I determined in my head to promote myself, but it wasn't Red Phoenix who was writing the announcements. No. It was RP, my dedicated and talented PR person! ;)

My very first fan (who was not a friend at the time) was a kindhearted woman named Donna. She loved all my Sensual Erotica books and remains a true-blue fan still. It was the most exciting thing in the world to get her comments and have an actual conversation with a real live reader. It has grown since then. I now have conversations with readers and authors on Twitter, FB, Goodreads and Shelfari. It is a gas! My peeps inspire me, encourage me, and make me laugh. 

Once upon a time, I thought creating a platform was purely to create readership. Now? I know that it is part of my lifeblood as an author. I would be less without a connection to my readers.

3 comments:

  1. In your case, I found your books first, loved them, and then looked for you online. There are some cases, though, where I find an author online first, connect with them, and I just know I'm going to like their books. I make a point of buying their books and I'm almost always right. I don't know if that happens for anyone else, but for me, connecting online with authors works. (Unless they end up being one of those who only posts links to their books all day long and nothing else.)

    Michelle V

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    1. Yeah, I can totally see how that is possible. Pretty much an author's "voice" is identifiable in their everyday responses. Very interesting...

      BTW, so glad you found me! It has been fun chatting with your and reading your awes reviews.

      Awes - my take on awesome. ;)

      ~Red

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  2. Me too Michelle! BTW Red, I did see where you worked up some discussion questions for I believe, your Shelfari page, and it seemed to me you put some effort into that, but I read for fun, and that seemed too much like school/work. Sorry!! (Use your energy on telling us more about Brie's activities!):)

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