More Important Than Your Profiles
Writing well is the most important thing. You have to write good books.
Where you publicize and promote those words won’t matter if your books can’t stand on their own. If you have nothing yours to say, and to say well, then work on your craft and your experiences first.
But once your book is strong, and you’ve built your author website and blog (No, seriously, we’re not having that conversation. You have an author website and blog.), then you need to amplify your platform in order to give your books a wider reach.
You can have facebook and twitter and pinterest profiles if you like the social interaction there, but those aren’t the profiles you must have. Your three must-haves are below.
Your Google+ Profile Gives Authority
And that authority is not only in search results, but over time will be the backbone of so much more.
Google+ Is The Only Platform That Verifies Your Authorship
When you author an article in your blog or post content on your site, only Google knows that you authored the piece. It does this by verifying your identity through your Google+ profile, then associating that profile with the published article. Google calls this association “authorship”—and you need it.
That association is the wizardry that allows your name and image to show in Google search results, like the following:
This internet verification uses the rel=”author” tag in your post’s html, and it all hinges on having your Google+ profile.
Google Plays the Long Game
Count on Google to be here for years; the company plays the long game. Google+ is the social glue that the company uses to marry its multiple venues, some of which don’t even strike us as google properties: YouTube, AdWords, Zagat, Picasa, Gmail, Maps, and dozens more. Google is already on your desktop and mobile devices, is coming soon to your home, with its recent purchase of Nest, and will be in your self-driving car as well.
Google plans very far ahead, and part of its plan includes giving you credit for your work. Which starts with your Google+ profile. Which you need.
Your Goodreads Profile Finds Community
Here’s the bad news: The planet has 7 billion people who don’t care about your book.
Your Readers Are Here
The good news: You don’t need those haters. Among the 16 million users on Goodreads are the readers who will adore your book instead. Here is your targeted audience of book lovers, people who:
- Share what they like
- Come here for recommendations
- Build their “to read” book lists
- Announce to their friends when they find an author they want the world to know about
The few hundred or few thousand readers you need to champion your book and to amplify its exposure are on Goodreads, and you need to be there too.
Goodreads Publishes Your Blog Posts
You know those blog posts you spent hours crafting, the ones you want the world to see, but which never get the broad audience they deserve? Goodreads will publish those for you, as part of your author profile. Even better, every reader who is a fan of yours will get your blog posts as part of their Goodreads news feed.
Goodreads Is on a Fast-Track for Better Usability
There is more at Goodreads. In fact, there’s so much more that it’s a challenge for many authors to know how best to navigate the site: whether to start giveaways (yes, often) or join groups (sparingly) or lead online Q&A discussions (eventually) or even advertise (very cautiously).
Goodreads’ usability is sub-par. But it won’t be for long, since Goodreads was recently acquired by the world’s very best usability experts, who even now will be engineering a high-tech makeover.
Speaking of Amazon …
Your Amazon Author Profile Enhances Visibility
Whether you are an independent author or Neil Gaiman, if you have at least one book on Amazon then you get an Amazon author page, a place where seeing your sales numbers and author rank aren’t even the most valuable aspects of the property.
The world’s biggest online merchant has given you shelf space to describe yourself, list your books, and re-broadcast your blog and twitter feeds.
Your mileage may vary–but if it does, I want to hear about it. Which social site is more critical for you than these 3 online profiles?