To start marketing your book, you must first establish a platform for your book and for your author persona. If this is your first foray into book marketing, these tasks will take some time, but they are essential activities.

The major contents of your platform are listed below.

* Strategic Marketing Plan

* Website page

* Amazon Central

* Social media accounts

* Media kit

Some of these activities can’t be completed until your book is either published or is in pre-order. In other words, after it has a presence on the internet. You’ll need the cover image and other information about the book before you can complete these activities. If you have a publisher, a few activities may already be done, but you should review them with an eye to improve and strengthen them.

Let’s go over the contents of your platform one item at a time.

Strategic Marketing Plan:

This is the document that anchors and directs all of your marketing activities. Perhaps the most important part is the customer identity. Unless you know who your customers are and how to reach them, your marketing activities will be wasted. For instance, if you wrote a children’s picture book, you may think the kids are your customers. They aren’t. Kids don’t have money or credit cards and they don’t browse the web looking for stuff to buy. The children’s parents and grandparents are your primary customers.

Website page:

As a new author, you have to face the fact your book is published in the 21st century. Readers search for and find books by using the internet. The implication of the last statement is that you and your book need a website. The simplest way to establish a web presence is to use a program like WordPress or Blogger or Weebly.

Websites such as WordPress, Blogger and Weebly have two essential types of content: pages and posts. Pages are static in that they don’t change unless you deliberately set out to change them. Once you establish a page on the website, it stays there, doesn’t move and doesn’t change.

Posts are for blogging and these aren’t static like pages. A new blog post will appear at the top of the website once you publish it. When you write a second post, the initial one will move down to make room for the new post.

So what do you do with a website once you have it up and running? You use it to pimp your book. There should be a dedicated page for the book and it should be easy to find. Don’t make a visitor search for the book page.

Initially that page should have a picture of the cover, your book blurb and buy links. You can also put your short synopsis on it.

Amazon Central:

Once your book is available for sale or pre-order on Amazon, you can start an Author Page. If you have a publisher, it may have started this page for you. In this case, you should look at it to see if you can add content to it.

You’ll find Author Central at: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/home

After you login with your password, you can add your bio and other information to the page. One of the great features of the Author Page is you can add a wealth of information about the book that you couldn’t do when you uploaded it to Kindle.

The book topics include Editorial Reviews. These are reviews that Amazon won’t allow to be posted on the book site because Amazon won’t allow paid reviews. If you receive a review from a prestigious site like Publishers Weekly, this is the place to post it.

Another topic is From the Author. Here you tell readers why you wrote the book. Or the problems you encountered in writing it. Or anecdotes from the writing process.

You can also upload videos to the page (i.e. a trailer) and you can set up an RSS feed so your blog posts show up on the Author Page.

Taken together, the Author Page is a great marketing tool.

For what an author’s page looks like, go to mine: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BM76IE

Social Media Accounts:

Social media is an essential part of your marketing plan and your branding. However, be warned. Social media is a major time suck and many sites are next to worthless when it comes to marketing and selling your book. Nevertheless, you must persist.

At a minimum, I recommend you create and maintain accounts on the following platforms:

* Goodreads

* Facebook

* LinkedIn

* Twitter

Feel free to use other accounts, but keep in mind social media can be a major waste of time and you want to publicize and market your book, not waste time.

Media Kit:

The purpose of a media kit is to let folks in the media and other interested parties know about your writing credentials. If the book is your only writing project so far, there won’t be a lot of material, but start it anyway. If you published short stories, articles or other content, add it to plump up your resumé. The media kit lives on your website or blog and must be available to anyone who wants to download it. For that reason, you may want to consider not putting personal information in it like your home address, or your phone number.

So, what goes into a media kit? Here is a list of items that make up your kit:

* Bio.

* Press releases.

* Website links.

* Body of work.

* Book descriptions.

* Book reviews.

Make sure the media kit is a doc or pdf file so it can be downloaded and opened by everyone.