Building Your Book a Following

First off, Happy birthday to my sweet mom! Love you, Mom (pretty sure she doesn’t read this, but just in case, I’m covered)!
Second, today, we’re going to talk about something that I don’t think you’ll see much of online, but this is something I’ve become pretty decent at and am in the middle of doing all over again. Let me ask you a question. Does your unpublished book have a following or fan base?
building a book following
No? Why not?
With the dawn of the internet, it’s easier than ever to build a following for a book before it’s actually published. This is actually really how I got my start online, way before I started blogging. I started on an online writing platform designed to help budding authors, and a few even got publishing deals with HarperCollins.
Now, I wasn’t that lucky, but I was lucky enough to be considered a top pick, and thus had my book read by an editor for HarperCollins. While none of it is very relevant anymore, I do get to call myself an award-winning author, right?
The point was, this was my first test at marketing and advertising – long before I decided to become a public relations and advertising major (at the time, I was thinking I’d be a criminal justice major). Maybe it was because of this that I thought I could do marketing and advertising.
Do you have a way for people to read part of your book before it's actually done? #amwriting Click To Tweet
Either way, this was a mini-test to see how well I could build a following for my book, and for a while I did. Granted, I had friends in high places and for once in my life, I ran around with the “popular kids” (that didn’t last long though).
The point is, I still have people today who ask about my book because they found it on this website. So, today, I’m going to break down some places you can post your writing online before it’s actually published. Now, if you’re like me and slightly paranoid, don’t post the whole book, but post enough for people to get excited and want to know the end of the story.
Wattpad. I don’t know how long this one has been around, but it’s big and it’s been there for forever. There’s a lot of younger writers, at least from what I’ve seen. Lots of fan-fiction, too. While this is the most popular, you have to invest a lot of time in it, and to be honest, from what I’ve tried, there isn’t much constructive criticism. This is great for an ego boost if you’re good, but don’t look here to expand your writing skills too much.
Figment. This is the website that bought inkpop from HarperCollins way back when. While I’ve experimented with it, I really just hate the immature web design on it, so I’ve basically stayed clear of it. By all accounts, it’s a very big community, so if you’re looking to connect, you can definitely try that too. Beyond that, I can’t tell you much about it.
Writeon. This is Amazon’s attempt to build up some authors before they publish on Amazon’s Kindle and essentially bring them more money when people buy books on Amazon. And it’s a brilliant idea. When people are on WriteOn, they’re basically on Amazon, and people go to Amazon to buy stuff. So while my book isn’t available to purchase yet, I’m already prepping them to come to the site, read my stuff and buy it.
Pretty brilliant, yes? I also love the design of the website, very minimalistic and the comments I’ve received are definitely decent. I’d say WriteOn is definitely an older crowd, so if you’re looking for that, WriteOn is your place.
Now, some of these places you’ll need to do promotion. With any website, you get out what you put in. If you’re just starting out, pick one and stick with that for a while, while you get the ball rolling. Some sites have features where you can message followers when you update a story, making sure they never have to miss it again.
If you aren’t already, you need to be out there building a base for your book – this will create sales in the long run when you publish, either for traditional publishing or self-publishing.
If you join one of these networks, let me know!

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