Build Your Profile
An author’s profile is often one of the factors that helps improve exposure and sales of a book. It’s also something you can work on well before the book is published.
Key to growing your platform is defining the best ways to reach and engage your target audience. Start by identifying a specific, core audience for your book.
Ask: Where are they gathering and getting their information? What other organizations and experts do they respect? What societies, associations, or social groups do they belong to?
If you are publishing a scholarly monograph, focus on joining academic listservs and professional associations where your audience is active. If you’re a trade book author hoping to reach a wider public audience, consider building your social media presence and pitching articles or op-eds.
Having a clear sense of your audience and figuring out the best channels to reach them will help you prioritize your efforts and focus on just a few of the action steps outlined below.
Develop Your Network
Do you know a wide range of colleagues, influencers, journalists, and partner organizations who can help promote your work? How will these contacts help you reach your audience? Where are they most active?
Now’s the time to start expanding your network.
- Join academic associations and listservs, and attend academic conferences
- Join new community or professional organizations, listservs, or social media groups
- Offer to review or host an event on other experts’ work
- Participate in or speak at events where your audience is active, through conferences, the community, or partner organizations
- Grow your social following by engaging thoughtfully with relevant influencers, thought leaders, and organizations on social media
- Consider starting an email newsletter, where people can follow your work
Establish Yourself as a Go-to Expert for the Media
One of the best ways to reach a broader audience and to gain visibility with media is to offer your informed opinion on events in the news cycle or to engage in public discussions on relevant topics as they relate to your area of study.
- Pitch articles and op-eds
- Consult with your college/university media relations department to partner on promotion of your research. If available, consider participating in media training through your media office.
- Identify journalists in your field and follow their conversations on social channels. Comment and engage when appropriate, but do so with integrity, and don't explicitly promote your book. Retweet content that is relevant to your research and add your perspective.
- Read bylines and start to build a list of relevant journalists or outlets to whom we should promote the book and your work.
Improve Your Online Presence
Increasing your visibility online helps potential readers, colleagues, and media find and learn about you.
- Keep your faculty webpage current
- Consider developing a personal website that includes your narrative bio, books and publications, and any media coverage
- Review and update sites like Google scholar, academia.edu
- Keep your social media profiles up-to-date and post consistently