Self-publishing from Scratch: Article 4

In Article 3 for Self-publishing from Scratch, I wrote about platforms. If you missed it, it’s here. All posts are organised under the drop-down menu above: Self-publishing / Self-publishing from Scratch.

Article 4 will focus on one particular platform: a professional website. Professional as, this is a business website, not a rant and rave page where I alienate readers on petty topics and post pictures of my weekend out with the boys, getting drunk and stuck in the mud.

Why Build a Website?

I’ve been asked this many times in the past ten years. It’s often followed by, “I already have an author Facebook page (or another social media presence); I don’t need a website.”

Yes, you do.

Remember, I’m giving this advice to my younger self, the one who wanted to self-publish her book back around 2006. Due to writing friends discouraging her from taking that step, saying it would “ruin” her career, she put off self-publishing until 2010 and by the time she had enough experience to do it well, she had missed the easy boat. By 2015, it was more difficult to get books noticed, and she swam in a sea with millions of other hopeful writers.

Let me throw this out there: she didn’t have a fiction writing career to ruin, and her friends’ advice was based on nothing more than their opinion, which they had gotten from traditionally-published writers, who looked down on those who took the reins and drove their own wagon. Perhaps they were fearful of doing it themselves.

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Self-publishing from Scratch: Article 3

In last week’s Self-publishing from Scratch post, the advice I’d give to myself was to tell others I’m writing a book even if I was finished writing it yet. Once family, friends and neighbours are told, how do I get the word out to the world?

By building a platform.

What is a Platform?

A platform is your stage. You can jump onto it and improvise; this works well for some actors. However, most of us need preparation before the curtain rises. Every act is planned, dress-rehearsals are done and make-up is applied. Ideally, you want to know what impression you want to deliver to your audience and plan your performance with that in mind. The last thing you want to do is confuse your audience or send mixed messages.

Authors use this stage to influence the audience to buy their books, to support their writing career and to share the news about their books to those they are connected with, either personally or in social media.

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