“When Does This Get Easy?” — The Myth Of Author Platforms


I am surprised at where I am with my author platform versus where I thought I would be after writing six books. I’ve accomplished a tremendous amount of work to get to this point. I hoped I could slow down and watch my reader list grow.

There were three major revelations associated with my author platform that caused me to look deeper:

1. I am not a writing machine.

2. Training is continuous.

3. I still need many others to help me.

I Am Not A Writing Machine

Each day my author platform wants content. I thought that by the time I was writing my sixth book, I would be a writing machine. In my mind, I would routinely and consistently write two thousand words per day. “Boom-Boom.”

Nope. Not true.

There are days when the writing flows, words jump onto the page and life is beautiful. There are days when I must remind myself that this is my livelihood as I stare at the blank page and make myself write the needed words. There are days when I stop, get out of my seat and walk away from the paper and the pressure. On those days there is no “Boom-Boom.”

In my mind’s eye, by now, I would be sitting around my pool while the words flowed. It simply does not work like that. Each day is a new and exciting writing challenge. Each time you start to write, you must organize your thinking.

Training Is Continuous

Growing your author platform requires constant learning. To get where I am, I required a plethora of training. I am taking more training as a self-published author than I took as an Aerospace design engineer.

As a self-published author, I’m everything. I’m the idea generator, author, editor, marketer, first proofreader, initial cover designer, program and general manager for my book. Add to that I want to be great at my craft and I’m in training mode for a long time.

Since June of 2018 I have:

* Completed the Chandler Bolt Self-Publishing School (SPS) “write a book in 90 days course”. This course was the foundation of my writing career. Years ago, I took writing in college. The self-publishing game changed all of that. I published two books during the 90 days and graduated. The books were a full-length book and a novella.

* Completed the free Kindlepreneur AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) ads course. I badly needed this course to understand how the Amazon internal advertising system worked. Still learning what to do.

* Completed an Udemy course on how to start a blog

* Completed the Chandler Bolt, Self-Publishing School “Sell More Books” course. I have found book marketing to be my weakest skill. In my life, I have successfully led the marketing team for a $460 million-dollar business. Book marketing, especially self-publishing book marketing, has so many pathways that deciding which way(s) to go is a major decision.

*Completed Brian Cohen’s, Headlines, Hooks and Copy course. The course is yet another learning activity based on marketing and how to grow your readers.

* Reread Stephen King’s “On Writing.”

*Completed the Nick Stephenson’s First 10,000 Readers course

* Taken two Udemy courses on Scrivener 3. Scrivener 3 is writing software that has made my writing much faster and more organized. I am more productive using the software. But I’m still learning how to use the software.

Nevertheless, despite all the above, I am not the writer I desire to be. There is so much I don’t know that I don’t know. I am constantly looking for classes and guidance. Learning is never ending.

I’m Still Contracting Tasks to Others

To make a great platform, I need twenty-seven hours in a day. I assumed that by now I would not need many people to assist with my book publishing. Wrong, yet again.

Since I have a web site, blog, newsletter group, social media accounts, and a cross promoting group, my books should sell themselves. Untrue!

* I need my editor now more than ever as I’m updating the existing books as my writing gets better.

* I’m sending my books through two proofreaders.

* I have more beta readers than ever.

* My books are being formatted by others.

* My IT support has become super critical, now that I have an email list and website.

* I’m a member of three very active author Facebook groups. I still find valuable information I need on these sites.

* I have not found the silver bullet for sales. I’m working hard for every single reader.

It is sobering thinking about my future as a full-time author. I have a plan to improve my author platform. I have captured where I should be when I’m writing my twelfth book in my journal. The fact I accept now and have added to my planning process is that I will never finish improving my platform.

Still, I am looking forward to becoming a lean, mean writing machine by the twelfth book. I will let you know how it turns out.

Reach me at https://www.tonicrowewriter.com to tell me your thoughts about building an author platform.

Helping each other write better. Join us.

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