I have been living this authorlife for nearly 15 years, friends, so when I say this, I hope very much you will take it to heart, because it is a lesson many of us had to learn the hard way--and there is no reason you should have to!
When you are building an author platform, keep in mind you want your audience to be READERS.
It is great to connect with other writers! You need writer friends! But you cannot JUST be talking to other WRITERS on your platform, you need to be building an audience of READERS.
Look, I get it. Writing is what you do, it's what I do, so it's easy to talk about! Of course!!! and to a limited extent, readers are interested in process--the behind the scenes look at what's happening that results in a novel. But that's only AFTER they have read and loved your work!
FIRST you need to persuade them that you have something WORTH READING.
Engage on topics that are thematically related to your work! Engage on topics where the interests overlap with what you're doing in your books!!! Engage with people who are INTERESTED IN THOSE THINGS!
You can talk about writing and process, you can even poke a little at craft but ALWAYS REMEMBER that your audience SHOULD NOT be primarily other writers. Your audience should be READERS.
Other writers, on the whole, aren't going to buy your books. If you're lucky, they'll support your books with some retweets and shout outs on whatever social media service they prefer, but if you want your book to have legs, it has to reach READERS.
READERS READERS READERS.
"But Amalia," you say. "Writers are readers too!"
YES WE ARE. (Or at least some of us are, anyway.) BUT.
We all have a lot of writer friends and it is flat out impossible--IMPOSSIBLE--to support all of them by buying and reading every one of their books.
We see THE MOST BOOKS. We are INUNDATED with books we feel like we have to read or want to read to support someone we love or are desperate to get our hands on because it looks amazing because we are EXTREMELY PLUGGED IN to what is RELEASING all the time!!!
Your fellow writers are going to be the hardest people to sell your book to, the hardest people to impress with your work, the hardest people to win over as fans because there are just SO MANY BOOKS CLAMORING FOR OUR ATTENTION, including our own!!!
Focus your efforts on building an audience and a platform OF READERS and save yourself the struggle of having to figure out how to retrofit the platform you've built to support your releases later.
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