Platform vs promotion for authors: What authors need to know

Sometimes authors come to me to ask for help promoting their books. They have written high-quality books, put up a website and yet, their books are not selling like the hotcakes they are. The reason: having a platform and promoting your book are two different aspects of being an author. Let’s dig into the difference between platform and promotion. The more you own it, the more it is a platform. The less you control it, the more it is a promotional avenue. I think of ownership at three levels.

Home - Full ownership

You own your website and your blog. It is yours. You bought the URL, you pay for the hosting and the development of the site. You decide on the content. It is yours.

Long-term lease - Feels like ownership

YouTube Channels are owned by someone else. You get to organize the content however you want and it looks like you own it. But if you violate their rules, you can lose all your work in an instant. So although it looks like yours from the outside, really you are renting or leasing that space. Someone else owns it and can decide to end your lease. Hopefully, the rules are stable and consistent so you know the dos and don’ts and can maintain it happily and have the channel serve you.

The Air BNB - Temporary Rental

We all *love* social media and some authors think all they need is a Facebook page, but this is a bad idea. First, you don’t own your Facebook page and the Facebook Gods can take it away at any time, all your work…. Gone. Secondly, things come and go quickly on Facebook, as it isn’t built for you to keep your articles organized in a way people can find them.

Build a website. Social media can be a lovely path to your website but it can’t replace it.

And those are the three levels. From your home/platform, you can rent space to promote, such as on social media. Next time you build something toward your author platform be aware of whether you own it, lease it, or if you are just popping in for a quick weekend away.

That is the difference between platform and promotion. Own your platform and promote it often.

– Keep writing

Melody Ann

Author Nation is your go-to resource for becoming a successful nonfiction author, from planning to promotion and everything in between. Download the resource for the stage you are in.

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