Build your author profile in 5 simple steps

By Allison Tait.

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s noisy out there in the publishing world. Hundreds, if not thousands, of books are being released every month, in print, ebook, and audio form, and making a book stand out in the hubbub isn’t easy.

Which is why you have to start building your author profile now.

Today.

This minute.

It doesn’t matter if your book is due out tomorrow or you’re still slaving over your first draft, it’s never too early (or too late) to start gathering a community around yourself and your work.

Because that’s what an author profile is – it’s finding a group of people who like and support your writing and will talk about you and your book, long after launch day, even when you’re not around.

The brilliant thing about it is that you don’t need to make it all happen overnight. But you do need to make small things happen on a regular basis.

How to build your author profile in five simple steps

Step 1: Stake your claim (AKA Create your website)

No matter how active you are on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you need an author website. If social media is you going out to meet people in cafes, your author website is where you bring them home. Platforms like Wix and Squarespace make it easy to set up a simple website to hold your space.

All you need to begin with is a home page with your ‘About’ information and a headshot, and a ‘Contact’ page with an email form. If you’ve got publishing credits, add a ‘My Writing’ page, if not, perhaps a ‘What I’m Working On’ heading.

The key here is to claim your URL (yourname.com or yourname.com.au or, if those are not available yournameauthor.com etc.) and set up shop.

If you want the step-by-step guide then you’ll want to take a look at the Australian Writers' Centre’s Your Author Website course.

A woman building her author website on a laptop.

Step 2: Get social

Once you have your home base organised, it’s time to get social. You’ve probably been seeing articles about BookTok and Reels and various other ways to make an impact on social media and immediately put it all in the ‘too hard’ basket.

Relax.

The best way to use social media is to be, well, social. So start with a platform you like and commit to spending 10 minutes a day on that platform posting content on your own profile, or visiting other authors and commenting on whatever they’re doing.

Once you’re comfortable on one platform, consider trying a new one.

And if you’re wondering what to post, the best hack is to follow authors you like and see what they’re doing. Take inspiration from the content they post that really speaks to you.

Step 3: Find your community

Online or offline, one of the best things you can do to build your author profile is to connect with other writers. Facebook groups are terrific places to make connections – like the So you want to be a writer podcast community which is full of amazing writers at all stages of the writing journey.

Look for groups that are not all about self-promotion (see step 4), but rather writers sharing information in a meaningful way.

Reader groups can also be fantastic but be very wary of being the writer who barges in and drops their book into the comments of every thread – in reader groups, the best person to promote your book is NOT you.

Be authentic in your engagement in groups, share meaningful information and others will be curious enough to want to find out more about you.

You’re aiming to build an invested group of people around you. People who will not only help you spread the word about your books, but suggest you for author visits or other opportunities.

Attending writers’ festivals or conferences is another terrific way to build your profile – you don’t have to be speaking on the program to make connections.

Step 4: Connect (rather than campaign)

There’s a hint about this in step three, but it never hurts to be clear. Building your author profile is not about shouting ‘buy my book’ at every person you meet, whether that be in person or online.

When you’re thinking about what to share on your social media platforms, always keep your visitors at the forefront of your mind. What’s in it for them?

So if you have a book coming out, rather than simply tweeting buy links for your book, share stories – where did the idea come from? Is there a photo of something that inspired the book? Have you met people along the way who helped bring it to fruition? What kind of research did you do?

Try to draw people into your story rather than shoving your book in their faces.

Step 5: Start today

You don’t need to do all of this today, but you do need to do something today.

It’s easy enough to make a plan: simply think about one thing you can do every day for the next week, and write it down. On Monday I will…. On Tuesday I will…

Then make the time to do it.

Building an author profile is a long term investment but, like all long term investments, the sooner you begin, the better your results.

Good luck!



Author bio

Allison Tait is the author of three epic middle-grade adventure series for kids: The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. A presenter at AWC and former co-host of the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast, Al reads a lot, writes a lot, and blogs at allisontait.com.

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