Publishers now look for authors that have a strong social media presence and a large number of "followers" that are with you because of what you are writing about, as well as other offerings you have available on your website. Not just a catchy business name and a website that lists the services you offer and products you sell. OH NO! Your website is your own name, so even though I named my current business "Custom Solutions," to encompass all of the many things I offer to potential clients, that name is not even listed on my website. Only the state sales tax people and the IRS know my business name to be honest. My NEWLY LAUNCHED website is www.lesliefunk.com and when you go there you will notice it is focused on Chronic Pain, the topic of my book. Specifically, the book is "Relief From Chronic Pain: Learn how to reduce your pain and increase the joy in your life." You will also find information about my crochet art, my Etsy store for all the stuff I make, my recipes for healthy food that tastes good, lots of science and my blog too! I still have a ton of stuff to complete and post on my website, yet I decided to launch it anyway last week, because otherwise I might have continued to work on it for years and never actually get it up on the Internet! I am proud of myself, proud of the site that I created all on my own (I used Go Daddy, they ROCK!), and really proud of my upcoming book that will be submitted for publication review in September to Hay House Publishing, Inc. You know them, they publish this guy, Wayne Dyer?
You might wonder, why does an author need a website anyway? Turns out, it translates into a bigger concept called your "Platform." When I attended the Hay House Writer's Workshop in March of this year I learned a lot about how to develop a platform, and what it really means as an author writing her first nonfiction book. As I listened to the speakers at the workshop explain the concept of creating a "Platform" I also observed the other 399 writers in the room. I watched their faces, body language and listened to the questions they asked of the workshop presenters. One primary emotion permeated the room; fear. It was followed by skepticism, deep sighs of overwhelmed humans and the snorts of the non-believers. I was instantly aware of the fact that most authors and would-be-authors are not really all that into social media and self promotion.
So the idea of building a website then using social media to direct traffic to the website to promote their expertise and ultimately their new book is about as exciting to this room full of authors as finding out that they need to have a colonoscopy, a few fillings in their teeth and and file taxes in the same week. Those same would-be authors may still be soothing themselves with pints of Ben & Jerry's each night, as they contemplate how they will build a so-called "Platform" when they are still feeling like they don't know how to go about "twittering" (ah, that isn't the verb you want folks, you are "tweeting") much less finding their domain name and building a place to live on the web.
Yeah, for many of us who went to college in the 80's the word "domain" recalls a episode of Seinfeld and "The Contest." Although at least if you build a website you can be named Webmaster and in effect you are mastering your own domain (name). I had to do it, I come from a family that adores this type of humor and yes, it was often painful to sit through a dinner at the home of my adolescent years. Thank God my brother can do Eddie Murphy skits, word-for-word, on demand! I will have to do a post or two on my family in the future, complete with content warnings and possibly an actual rating. Wait, scratch that, I might have to make it "fiction" and change the names, to protect those that have a professional career now and may not want to share the relatives with their boss or co-workers. Sorry for the teaser, you will be directed elsewhere for the above mentioned content in the future.
So now is the time, please, pretty please, go to my website and sign up for my email list. If you prefer, just send me an email with any questions your may have, suggestions, referrals to your website or other sites you really love and of course you can just send me a "Hi, what's up?" email, I love those too! I promise to answer your email, so what more could you ask?