I Need What?

In the year two thousand seventeen, I published my first book. What a feeling of accomplishment that was. It took two long years to go from a first draft to a polished second draft. Then I sent it to my editor.

Lord, I was not prepared for what came back. Page, after page, after page, were full of markups and comments. I wanted to scream.

Another eighteen months later, I finally held my first book in my hands. I flipped through the pages and smelled the scent of fresh ink blowing into my face. I never dreamed I’d see the day when my own words were in print, and yet, there it was.

Now all that was left to do was sit back while my baby, my darling, rose to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. Right?

Wrong! I discovered, much to my own chagrin, my job was not even close to being finished. In fact, it was just beginning.

Apparently, I needed something called an author platform. Oh, great…where do I find one of those? So, I asked Google.

I learned that in a world of online sales and digital products, an author platform was the lifeblood of an author’s brand, but everything I found on the topic was in the abstract. I couldn’t just order one on Amazon.

It seems an author platform can be many different things to different people, but if I searched for an all-encompassing definition, I’d say an author platform is a collection of online presences, promotions & sales, marketing, social media, and reader engagement, but what pieces and parts to include in this author platform package was subjective to each author’s style and need.

My only certainty was I had no idea how to make an author platform.

"I did what all good authors do—I ate chocolate."
—TJ Culler

I asked around on Facebook and also on Alli which is the Alliance of Independent Authors. They’ve got a great group on Facebook with lots of helpful advice, but my fears were confirmed. I lacked the technical skill needed to build an author platform. What was I going to do?

So, I did what all good authors do—I ate chocolate.

A week or so passed and my friend Jake asked how my book was coming along. It was all I could do to keep from crying. But I held my composure and explained my problem.

Jake is techno-nerd kind of guy. He listened and instead of sharing my frustration, he simply said, “So what’s the problem?”

I said, “You can do this?”

He replied, “Piece of cake.”

We spent the next year designing and building a service to help authors like myself—authors befuddled by technology, get their foot in the door with this thing called an author platform. We call our service The Author Spot, and we sincerely hope you find it as innovative as we believe it is.

I’d tell you more, but my dog is begging me to take him out. Yes, his name is Spot and he’s a point-setter mix. We’ve got his poses all over The Author Spot.

‘Till next time.

TJ


TJ_Culler_Avatar

TJ Culler is an author, reader, and an adventurist. She loves working at The Author Spot as an Author Platform Specialist. Her hobbies include hiking, camping, and driving her Jeep in the great outdoors. After publishing her first book in 2017, TJ discovered what a daunting task an author platform really was. She now dedicates her time to helping authors, like herself, who struggle with technology.
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