The number one question I get from non-fiction authors is, “How do I sell more books?”
It’s not about how well you sell your book, but how well your book sells YOU.
Marketing your book begins before your book is ever published, and begins with developing your Author Platform. Your Author Platform becomes your foundation – not only for your book, but for your entire business.
The Dreamcatcher, as explained in a variety of Native American traditions, exists as a safety net – a way to let the bad dreams flow on past us, while attracting and retaining the good. Much like the traditional elements of a Dreamcatcher, your author platform consists of three primary elements:
- The HOOP represents the foundation of WHO you are, your essence, your unique sense of self. Who are you? What is your history? What gives you credibility and “expert” status? It does not necessarily need to be the extra alphabet letters after your name – more-often-than-not, it also includes your life experiences which have allowed you to develop into who you are now. Having a well-defined Author Platform creates a strong foundation for building your tribe of followers.
- The WEB represents WHAT you stand for, and HOW your unique offering serves others. What is your mission, your passion – both personally and professionally? Quite often, it’s our life “mess” which becomes our message. How can you take that message and share it with the world? How can you share your life lessons to help others? Weaving a well-crafted, consistent visual, verbal and virtual message attracts people who are eager to work with you, and will more than likely be the ones who buy your book.
- The EMBELLISHMENTS (feathers, beads, arrowheads) represent HOW you serve others. These are your gifts to your tribe, your followers. Interacting with your tribe strengthens your platform and helps to build a stronger relationship:
- Social media – be visible where they hang out.
- Workshops, webinars – create programs to share your knowledge and experience.
- Blogs, guest-blogging – reach a larger audience.
- Events – attend, become involved, extend your network, plan your own.
- Partnerships – create online and in-person events to increase visibility.
In several Native American tribes, the female elders crafted the Dreamcatcher in order to capture the good dreams that would otherwise blow away in the night winds. Building a strong Author Platform works in much the same way – allowing you to capture the attention your target audience, strengthen relationships with existing clients and attract new members to your tribe.