As an Indie Author, I’ve been following video marketing expert Mike Koenigs for a few years now. Today I was watching a video for his new product, “Author Marketing Expert Machines.” I’m not an affiliate, so don’t worry I won’t be pressuring you to buy anything, but the good news is that Mike’s free video does an excellent job of explaining what an Author’s Platform is and why you need one.
If you’re a self-publishing author (or even a mainstream published author), or an artist, creative, entrepreneur or anybody else who gets to determined their own income based solely around the fruits of their work and will-power, I think you’ll appreciate the video, and probably learn something, too.
(Here’s the link to the video, some notes are down below)
How to Build an Author’s Platform
While the video is brilliant is explaining the importance of an author’s platform and how to build one, it fails on a key issue.
Mike begins by telling people that a successful platform involves:
1) A message, product or service that helps people.
2) A system for sharing and getting the word out.
For many non-fiction writers who need to position themselves as an expert in their fields, Mike is exactly right – and the good news is, his advice is also not wrong for fiction writers.
So what’s the problem?
Most writers don’t have a message, product or service that helps people! Instead, they have a product that has entertainment value, but probably won’t help people solve a need or improve their lives.
Almost all successful indie authors have bridged this gap by becoming experts in indie publishing and book marketing – they stopped focusing on their own books and started focusing on providing value (which of course, built up their platform and made it easier to sell books).
Reversing Mike’s definition of an Author Platform, you should ask yourself:
1) What message, product or service that helps people can you offer?
2) How are you going to share it and get the word out?
Your first major task, of course, is to write a good book – the book you were born to write. But then when you think about how to sell it, you need to answer the first question by yourself. As for the second question, most authors will probably hire freelance services or book marketers to take care of things like websites, email marketing, social media, book trailers, etc.
I can’t vouch for Mike’s entire product “Author Marketing Expert Machines,” but I’m confident he knows what he’s talking about.
Like most similar products, Mike’s focus is on simplicity and ease of use. He frequently uses the words, “Step by step, quick, simple, instant, easy, not technical, fast, even easier, push-button automation, hand holding.” For someone like me, who’s already pretty tech-savvy, these benefits are not so enticing, even though I’m sure I would get some really useful tools.
For other people who need to do everything from scratch, have no web presence to speak of, and who are not that comfortable on a computer, Mike’s system is probably a good value.
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.