We selfishly (but with the dual intention of giving y’all some ideas) started this episode by giving an update on what we’re currently doing to expand and get the most out of our burgeoning self-publishing empires. I (Johnny) am doing the most different things, but Sean and Dave are doing more productive things. FOR NOW, PLATT AND WRIGHT… MUHAHAHAHA…
Here’s the Johnny stuff we talked about:
- I started the process of getting The Bialy Pimps into the Barnes & Noble Nook and Apple iBook stores
- I’m in the process of making “The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying Fuck About You” permanently free on Amazon and elsewhere. I’m doing this because the title already sells like mad at 99 cents, and I want to remove all barriers to people getting it. (I’m using it as a lead generation tool, and the start of one of my marketing funnels)
- The Bialy Pimps will officially be launching as a free podcast audiobook on July 25th.
Sean and Dave, for their part, are happy to announce the debut of Yesterday’s Gone, episodes 13 and 14… the first two episodes in the long-anticipated third season. Definitely check it out if you like apocalyptic fiction and what Dave calls “dark whore.”
Using pen names with the man from Mars
… or named Mars.
Mars called in with a cool German accent and a question about using pen names if he wants to write 1) nonfiction about marketing and branding and aslo 2) fiction.
Sean and Dave both said he should use a pen name. I more or less agreed that Mars should use a pen name in his case, but argued that in certain cases (like mine), the content areas aren’t quite as mutually exclusive and that the reader is connecting more with the PERSON than the INDIVIDUAL WORK and that a pen name divides your audience who otherwise might like to read everything you wrote. Hey, it worked for ISAAC FUCKING ASIMOV, I said.
I think Sean and Dave won this debate, because they know a lot more about how to have your cake and eat it too, by both letting your people know all of what you write but keeping Amazon from confusing people who don’t know you yet. And also, I was talking a lot out of my ass.
Why you, as a self-published author, need a platform
Plain and simple, a “platform” is a way you have of connecting with your readers outside of your published works themselves. It’s a way of building a community, being able to talk with people, and so on.
A few key concepts we discuss:
- Our best suggestion is a blog. Dave was all, “Blogger is fine, you guys!” but Sean and I put the smack down on him and are STRONGLY suggesting a self-hosted WordPress blog as your author platform. Our best suggestion for web hosting is Hostgator (that’s an affiliate link), or if you’d like someone to do it all for you, you can hire Sean’s guys at OutstandingSetup.com to do it for you.
- But if you don’t want to do that, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus can be your platform. Or forums. Or anywhere else where you can become known, and get people following what you do.
- But again, ideally, you’ll want your own site because then you can build a list of these people and be able to connect with them directly. (We can talk more about this later if you’d like. Let us know.)
- And lastly, the rule with platform is NOT “If you build it, they will come.” We talk in this episode about that fallacy… and how YOU need to go to THEM. They won’t give a shit about you and/or seek you out if you leave them to their own devices.