Your online reputation can be your most powerful marketing tool and beacon for your author brand, as long as it’s properly monitored.

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For writers, when we talk about author brand we're mostly talking about "voice." Each of us offers a unique experience to readers. But the emotional experience you deliver to readers can also be applied to visuals like your author photo, book covers, and website.

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How to build an author platform on a sturdy foundationYou’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of building an author platform. According to publishing expert Jane Friedman, when editors and agents say they’re looking to work with authors who have an existing platform, what they really mean is they’re searching for a writer “with visibility and authority who has proven reach to a target audience.” But before you get all excited and try to build a taller, wider, shinier platform than the next writer in your genre, consider this: all your platform-building efforts will be a waste of time if you’re not starting off on solid ground. So what is a solid author foundation? A sturdy foundation for a writer’s platform is comprised of three things.

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Why your author website is more important than social mediaNowadays, “web presence” is a big part of telling your story as a writer. In fact, the majority of your readers will probably discover you and your writing online first. When publishing industry folks talk about "building a platform," they're often thinking about an author's online presence, email list, social media following, blog activity, and web-based book sales. But as you establish your own web presence, it's important to remember that your author website is more important than any single social media platform. Here are four reasons why you should prioritize your author website over any social media account:

1. You need design control

Social media = generic profiles plastered with ads and other distractions. With your own site, you create a design that suits your vibe and functions the way you need it to. Plus, the layout won’t change unexpectedly overnight. (I'm looking at YOU Facebook!)

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Build your author platform before your next book launch, so you can harness the power of potential buyers, industry contacts, and your entire web community.

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Building Your Brand: how authors can promote their work while protecting their souls

(This article is an excerpted section from CJ Lyons’ BREAK FREE FROM THE SLUSHPILE, copyright 2011. Thanks to CJ for allowing us to re-post. For more advice, check out www.cjlyons.net!)

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There are tons of places authors can find information on building a brand or platform. So many that it’s often overwhelming. It’s easy to want to hide in your hermit cave and write the next book. 

No worries. Even I feel like that most of the time. As an Introvert, my strength comes from my ability to sit alone and focus, get the job done.

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