Last week an emerging author asked me whether she should advertise on Facebook or on Amazon’s marketing services.

Another wanted my help optimizing SEO for the website he’s building in support of his first novel.

Another wondered how to get his debut non-fiction book discovered by a bigger audience. Yet another new author had questions about the best color buy button for the landing page of her inaugural release, still weeks away, and which call-to-action text to use.

Someone else wondered which twitter hashtags work best at book launch. Or if his logo should be in .png or .jpeg format. Whether her author website’s header should be more purple. Which shape bookmark to give out.

Questions for another time

What these emerging authors all have in common: zero to one books available. And time to ask these questions.

I love these authors and their enthusiasm. I want them all to succeed.

And to be clear, these are tasks I help authors implement. But those are questions for another time.

Emerging authors – ask these questions

The right questions for these authors now are about how to write better and connect with that first devoted audience.

The right questions are about creating a base-level author platform – an absolute must for career author success. That platform is:

  • a minimal website
  • a mailing list
  • interaction at one place online where the types of people who read the types of things you write hang out.

Full stop.

No amount of SEO wizardry or optimized ads should be any part of that, yet.

For emerging or beginning or debut authors, asking the right questions keeps the focus where it belongs. On how to create the capacity and motivation to write more. How to best study and practice and respond to discriminating critique so that you can learn your craft better.

More to love

All to give your eventual audience more to love once they discover you. To give the commercial marketplace more opportunities to reward you when those first readers can’t get enough of the stories you tell. To learn more about the people who will love what you do, so that when you can finally say, “Here. I made this,” you’ll have enough resonant words to turn them into lifelong fans.

No matter what color buy button you have.


Have questions of your own to ask, for wherever you are in your writing career? Find us on Facebook.