As an author, you’ve no doubt heard a lot of talk about your author platform and how important it is. But that’s often where this advice ends, leaving authors to wonder how to improve their author platform or, for that matter, even where to start.
First, let’s clarify, because an author platform means a lot of things. But simply put — it’s really everything you’re about as it relates to your target markets and who you’re trying to appeal to!
What I mean by this is, it’s how your author persona shows up in the world. So, if you have spent some time on your author platform, but you know it needs a polish, or if this is your first time really considering this, I have good news: it’s a lot easier than you think.
The other piece that’s worth mentioning here is that author branding and an author platform have a lot of crossovers; the two are very intertwined. Let’s dig in.
Color, Fonts, and Your Website
The first piece of any author’s platform is often their author website, and this is where your readers really get to know you. So, what’s your website saying about your author platform?
Color is well-known for its psychology, and it plays a huge role in the tone of your work, and the feelings you’re trying to evoke from your potential readers and fans.
Once you figure out what color or colors make sense for the message you want to put out there, make updates to your website, newsletter template, social media headers, and your posts as well, especially if you’re using a site like Canva to help create images.
Font is important, too; different fonts are associated with different genres, tones, time periods, attitudes–it all matters.
Figure out something that really works for the kinds of books you write now, and the kind of vibe you want to put out there. Your website, social media, and newsletter templates should match across the board.
Together, these components are really important. It’s amazing how much more pulled together your entire author platform will be if you keep these three elements consistent across your website, newsletter, and social media. The next level up—your book cover—should fit the vibe of your author platform as well.
Even these small, subtle changes can have a big impact on how readers perceive you.
Social Media and Your Author Platform
I talked about colors and the look and feel of your website in the first point; now it’s time to revamp your social media to reflect these changes.
And again, it doesn’t have to be a massive change!
Meaning: I’m not asking you to burn your social media to the ground and start over, But subtle shifts, color changes, and themes can really help pull your author platform together in a much more cohesive way.
Book Covers Reflect Author Platforms
I know this is a sticky subject for many, but if you have more than one book out there, you’ve no doubt already considered making changes to your book cover to better match your brand.
And though it takes a bit more effort, it’s not a bad idea to consider a book cover polish, if you feel your covers missed the mark on the look and feel you’re going for.
When it comes to book covers, a really easy way to pull each book together is by using the same font size and treatment for your author name across the board, even if your books aren’t in a series.
If you do have books in a series, sticking with a similar color theme for a series can be really impactful, and using colors that compliment your website and the rest of your author platform will just pull it all together in a way potential buyers will definitely notice.
An author platform is a lot of things, and can be a long and involved process, but it doesn’t always have to be.
Remember though, if you aren’t managing it, it’s managing you!
Everything you put out there is part of your platform and brand and it’s telling readers about you. Do you like what it’s saying? If you don’t, then maybe it’s time to make some changes!
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Resources and Free Downloads
Check out Jane Friedman’s site. She’s an excellent resource