Corps Mission: Platform vs. Promotion

Once again, I’m trying to decipher the things that people in the publishing industry are saying about promotion,  and about platform building. I’m still trying to understand what the job description of a working author looks like. How much book promotion should an author plan to do? How much self-branding does an author need to do?

Chad Allen (the blogger linked to above) really helped me sort through one bit. The focus for me right now is to build a “tribe” to use Godin-speak. Right now I’m platform-building. I’m setting the stage for careful and appropriate promotion later on. But right now, I’m mingling, schmoozing and making friends.

Okay, that helps. But it still leaves me with a question of my actual goals. Obviously, I want to have a strong case when I start seriously shopping the book.  But from an online marketer’s perspective I’d like to point out that this is a really sticky situation.

My client (me, as a science fiction author) doesn’t have clear goals established for her brand. She doesn’t know what the business needs are to support her desired outcome. Therefore, as the internet marketer, I don’t have one damned metric that I can measure our success against.

Never, in all of my experience online, have I ever worked with a business with so many conflicting messages, opinions and goals.

If I had a book, the metrics might be sales, downloads, coupon uptake, or reader reviews. But I don’t have a book, so all of those normal e-commercy sorts of goals are useless to me right now.

I do have a blog, and I’d like very much to increase readership and interaction there, so that will be an ongoing goal. Softer web-content goals: visits and pageviews. Those can measure some of the work I want to do.

I am also going to continue to synch up my personal social media with my author stuff (twitter is in process, blog is done – just need to delete the old one, up next are google plus and Pinterest. Wish me luck).

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