In recent decades, the explosion of readily accessible independent publishing has presented a huge opportunity for business leaders and entrepreneurs to change the way they show up in the world by authoring a book. Unfortunately, so many business authors underestimate the power that author platforms play in determining the success of a business book.

The Common Misconception: More Than Just Publishing

There is a common misconception that once a book is published on a major platform like Amazon KDP or Ingram Spark, it will automatically attract attention and start generating book sales. This is simply not the case.

A business person examining a large, interactive digital screen showing book sales analytics

Yes, it is vitally important to have your book listed on multiple sales channels to ensure the widest distribution of your book, but these platforms do not do all the work for you. You need to leverage and use your author platforms to widen the reach of your book and attract new readers into your sphere of influence.

So what should you be doing with your author platforms? The pivotal idea you need to understand is that successful authorship is not just about availability; it’s about visibility as well. You need to be seen as the author of the valuable and insightful content you share through your book before that content can provide the value and insight that your readers need and are searching for.

A great example of this in action is Karen Williams, bestselling author of 7 books and business book writing mentor at Librotas. Karen ensures that all her books have worldwide distribution through fully optimised Ingram Spark and Amazon KDP accounts and book listings, but then supplements those distribution channels to include her own corporate website as well as individual landing pages for each of her books supported with a robust marketing infrastructure across social media and email marketing as well as public speaking and both live and online workshops. She uses this wide author platform to not only sell books but also to leverage her knowledge and expertise in business book writing to convey the importance of establishing your authority through authorship.

Actionable Strategies: Enhancing Your Author Platforms

Here are some tips for how you can create a wide and supportive author platform for you to share the knowledge and value of your book more effectively:

  • Ensure your book is distributed through Amazon KDP AND Ingram Spark; don’t just list on one and think you’re done.
  • Make sure the metadata that sits behind your book listing is optimised as much as possible taking into consideration standard SEO best practices.
  • Incorporate eCommerce-enabled purchase of your book through your own website. It’s a bonus if you can set this up to be fully automated print-on-demand using a platform like BookVault.
  • Integrate some form of lead capture for readers who purchase your book anonymously through a retail channel, such as a link within the book for bonus content that they need to provide an email address to access.
An author at a desk with publishing platform icons floating around

Once you have that author platform in place, you can start to leverage that platform to help boost the marketing and sales efforts for your book as well as other core products and services that you offer to your readers/clients. Be sure to link all activity back to your platform so that any visibility you get boosts the credibility of the platform as a whole.

Overcoming Obstacles in Platform Management

A common objection I hear when I discuss this strategy with authors is the idea that managing multiple distribution platforms will be time-consuming, inefficient, and costly. I assure you that if you take a bit of extra time in the beginning to set up these platforms correctly, that is not the case.  Here’s why:

  • Neither Amazon KDP nor Ingram Spark charge any account registration or book listing fees.
  • Amazon KDP and Ingram Spark use similar data during the account registration process, and both can use the same artwork for book interiors, and eBooks (the only artwork difference is in the supply of cover artwork, but one can easily and quickly be generated from the other).
  • If you use BookVault to manage the printing and distribution of books sold via your website, then the process is completely hands-off once the integration between your website and your BookVault book listing is established.
  • Sales reports from both Ingram Spark and BookVault are emailed to you automatically each month, so you only need to manually check sales data for one account.

In summary, it is vitally important to your success as a business author to employ a comprehensive author platform strategy that includes Amazon KDP, Ingram Spark, and a personal or corporate author website.  These platforms are incredibly powerful tools, that when used effectively and in conjunction with each other, enhance your credibility, expand your reach, and ultimately increase the likelihood that your book will revolutionise your business. It positions you as the go-to expert in your industry and provides you with a platform to effect real change in the lives of your readers and the world at large.

Take Your Authorship Further

A book connected to various marketing channels

If you are a published author already, I encourage you to review your current use of the author platforms that I’ve discussed. If you are still writing your first book or are considering writing a book to support your business, then I urge you to start with the end in mind and commit to building a robust author platform from which to share your knowledge and expertise with the world.

To benchmark yourself on how robust your author platform is, I invite you to take the Business Book Readiness scorecard. It’s a 2-minute, 25-question quiz that analyses how ready you are to publish a book that has the power to revolutionise your business. Click the button below to take the scorecard now.

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