I want to start this post about growth hacking the author platform with a confession and end with an open challenge for any authors out there brave enough to accept.
First, my confession: I’ve been in the literary industry for nearly 9 years now, but my focus has been entirely on writing, publishing and marketing. I haven’t spent any time engaging with readers, and as a result, I don’t have many readers, reviews, subscribers, or followers.
This has taught me one very important piece of information about building up one’s author platform that I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t learn until 9 years into my self-publishing career:
Authors cannot sell books in a vacuum. Human connection is the cornerstone of building a successful author platform. #authorplatformTweet
No amount of marketing or advertising can change this golden rule – Believe me, I’ve tried!
Now that I’ve accepted this fact, it sounds face-palmingly obvious to me. But not too long ago I was among the countless authors who were convinced that I could sell my books based purely on my 15 years of marketing experience and that my author platform would subsequently materialize along the way. It’s really kind of crazy the things we authors are able to convince ourselves of, isn’t it?
My experience since then has taught me the unfortunate truth about building up an author platform:
For new authors just starting to build an author platform, readers and book reviews are acquired on a one-by-one basis by engaging with them individually. #authorplatform #bookreviewsTweet
I understand that new authors do not want to hear this, but unless you’re someone who is pivoting from another industry where you already have a sizable following or celebrity-status credentials, it’s a simple fact that we all must accept.
So, to make up for lost time, one of the things I’ve decided to do is give back to the author community by hosting 1 author Interview and 1 guest post each week for the next 3 months.
I believe that authors helping other authors build their author platform is a cornerstone of the self-publishing community. This is phase one of a growth hacking author platform challenge I created for myself (although I secretly hope it catches on)! I’ll also be adopting a rigorous social media routine in hopes of connecting with as many other authors as possible.
I’ve decided to get a jumpstart on the holiday season with a gift to the author community. As mentioned, I’ll be conducting 1 author interview and 1 guest post each week until 2022. If this gets a warm reception then I’ll even continue posting 1 author interview every week well into 2022.
If you’re an indie author and would like some free publicity love, please let me know by emailing me by filling out the contact form. I promise I’ll get back to you.
In addition to posting other author’s content to my own website, I also operate a separate website dedicated to showcasing prominent new books and authors where I will be posting author interviews. Also, don’t forget about all of my free author tools & resources
Sidenote: I’ve got about 40 published books between my two pen names: Ryan Stable (Fiction series and business books) and Steven Matthews (non-fiction, self-help books). Not many of them have reviews, so if you feel like supporting another author (me) feel free to show me some book review love. <3
Growth Hacking the Author Platform Social Media Challenge
Complete all tasks on the list over a period of 7 days, then start over the following week.
HOW TO COMPLETE THE CHALLENGE?
Complete every task on the list each week for a total of 12 weeks.
- Showcasing other authors and their books
- New social media followers
- Post Likes, Retweets, and engagement
- Comments from other authors and readers
- Helping as many authors as possible while expecting nothing in return
AUTHOR PLATFORM SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE TASKS
- Request to interview 1 other indie author + post interview to site.
- Invite 1 authors to write guest posts + post to site.
- Post at least 1 New fully SEO’d blog posts of 1,000 words or greater to RS.com
- Post at least 1 New fully SEO’d blog posts of 1,000 words or greater to WASP.com
- Pitch yourself as a guest on author podcasts.
- Pitch your guest post on any book blogs.
- Post at least 1 new video to YouTube or TikTok.
- Create at least 1 new post in any FB author group.
- Make at least 5 comments in any FB author group.
- Create at least 1 new thread in any Goodreads author groups.
- Reply to at least 5 different Goodreads threads.
- Offer advice to any 3 new indie authors anywhere.
- Post at least 1 time on Instagram.
- Post at least 5 times on Facebook.
- Post at least 5 times on Twitter.
- Post at least 5 times on Pinterest.
Author Community Questions
Although this was a personal challenge that I developed for myself, I would love to hear what other authors think about the tasks included in the challenge or ways to make it better or more effective. Comment below and let me know!
Do you think you could complete the author platform challenge? Try it, just for a few weeks to see how you do then report back by leaving a comment!