Before personal computers, word processing programs, and Internet access, writers toiled away on typewriters, bought white correction fluid by the gallon, and interacted with fans and other writers at in-person events. Today, authors can write their short stories, poetry, or even a novel on a cell phone, make submissions online, and interact with writers and fans via social media and video conferencing. The experts at Web Design Relief stay ahead of the curve and track all the latest developments for our clients and readers. Here’s how the author platform has evolved—and why it matters to writers.
The Author Platform Has Evolved. Use It To Your Advantage!
Your author platform is your online business card: It’s how readers find you and how you stay connected to your fans, editors, literary agents, and potential new followers. All the elements of your author platform should work together seamlessly to build your brand and boost your readership. Instead of being staid and static, the evolved author platform model engages and interacts with your community.
Social Media: In ye olden times, if writers wanted to talk to many fans at once, they’d have to get the word out about an in-person book signing or conference event—and hope people showed up. Now, you can reach hundreds of fans with one social media post. And new social media platforms like Mastodon are creating new opportunities to reach out and connect! You’ll find many free ways to use social media to effectively interact with your audience and promote your work.
If you don’t have your social media accounts linked to your author website, you are missing out on one of the easiest ways to build brand consistency and cross-promote.
Author Website: When was the last time you updated your author website? If the ’80s called and wants its permed hair, Members Only jacket, and leg warmers back, it’s time for your website to get a makeover and new technology! Older sites that haven’t been kept current with safety updates will be easier targets for hackers. And forget about a boring headshot and bland bio: You can add videos of yourself at a reading event or just chatting and answering questions. Be sure to include links to your published work.
Of course, your author website should be optimized for mobile devices and compatible with assistive software, like screen-readers for users with visual impairments or mouse-free devices for your fans who have mobility issues.
Email Newsletters: Nowadays no one has to trek outdoors in the rain to rescue the newspaper out of the hedges. Instead, readers learn what’s new with a few simple taps on a smart screen. Sending an email newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with your followers. Whether you want to send a newsletter once a week or once a month, there are email newsletter platforms to suit your style and your budget.
Bonus: Unlike your list of social media followers, which exists at the whims of the social media platform, your list of email newsletter subscribers is yours alone.
Blog: You can stand in the town square with a bullhorn to share your ideas, but at best you’ll reach a few dozen people and receive a summons for disturbing the peace. Fortunately, your blog offers you a better way to reach countless visitors with your content. Consistently posting fresh content and smart SEO on your blog will grab more attention and help you rank higher with search engines. You can also use your blog—or be a guest writer for another blog—to cross-promote with other authors or websites.
The latest innovations will keep your author platform running smoothly and securely while making it easier for you to interact with your followers and other writers. Make sure you have an author website that integrates the most up-to-date technology and options by trusting the design experts at Web Design Relief. Schedule a free consultation call to learn how we can create a website and author platform that will continue to evolve and enchant your audience!
Question: What is your favorite author platform innovation?