Three Steps to Author Infrastructure
August 25, 2013
Prior to being published, every author must construct three pylons on which to build his book platform. These pylons become a foundational base for the author as well as a launching pad for his book.
The three pylons of author infrastructure are
- Social Suite
Whether an author intends to be a one-book-wonder or write series after series, his home address will always be his website. Although it is wise to purchase several suffixes for the same domain, a single web address throughout an author’s career makes his pen name easy to find and remember. Google likes domain addresses that contain keywords and that have no hyphens.
The preferred software today for web design is WordPress. Since it is an open system (like Linux), designers from all over the world write code for WordPress. This means that when an author goes to find a theme for his site, he is likely to find one he likes that works in WordPress, which is free or low cost.
I recommend that authors initialize their website with a professional web designer, but that they maintain the site themselves.
While the website rises up like a billboard that is only changed once in a while, the author blog is as dynamic and fluid as the daily news. Blogging is the act of frequently publishing your keywords. When an author regularly posts to his blog, he is training Google to come to his address for information relating to his keywords and areas of expertise or entertainment.
-blog post titles of 116-130 characters
-articles that are around 500 words long
-posts that are heavily keyworded within the first 65 words
-pieces with sparingly sprinkled hyperlinks
I recommend that authors tag their blog posts with their keywords.
In the social sphere, what’s hot and what’s not seems to change every year.
Although there is no denying that Facebook remains the great watering hole, the social platform nipping at its heels for the #2 position today is Google+. The hardest thing to remember about Google+ is where it sits, but it is definitely worth remembering because nothing makes you show up on Google faster than a post to Google+.
With Twitter, the idea is to get your following up over 500. I know a radio producer, for instance, who will not consider a prospective guest unless the guest has a substantial Twitter following. Podcasters look for guests who have followers to bring to the podcast, not the other way around.
On Twitter, you want to claim your pen name, insert your URL and keywords into your profile, and customize your wallpaper, perhaps to harmonize with your logo.
Even if your book’s front cover is the only graphic design in your marketing campaign, you can use Pinterest to your advantage and even have fun with it.
For most authors, GoodReads is a great place to discover your next reader.
This site is a treasure trove of reader data for GoodReads authors know where to look.
Last but not least, there’s LinkedIn for corporate types, author/speakers, journalists, and nonfiction writers. Index your articles and books here to become a LinkedIn All-Star and stack up your keywords.
I recommend that authors socialize online every day.
In conclusion, remember that skyscrapers begin with a deep hole in the ground.
If you have a website, blog and social suite as your base, your foundation is a solid one that can support you no matter where your career may take you.
Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist promotes nonfiction & historical fiction. Clients include award-winning authors and publishers. Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and her blog.