Hey everybody! I hope you all have been having a fantastic week. I know I have. I’m getting prepared to attend my first writers’ conference, and I’m working on crafting Aphrodite for my other writing project, All in the Pantheon. I’m doing the best I can to build up my image as a writer as I move into the querying stage for Chasing Fae! It’s all so new and exciting, and I can’t wait to go on this journey together with you. I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to read posts as they come down the pipeline. I’ve been hearing good feedback so far, and I want to continue down that path. All of your support means so much to me.
That being said, I need your help! Readers and writers, both old hat and new to Fluff About Fantasy, I need input. What do you want to read more of? I’ve covered a lot of different topics from a young writer’s perspective as well as spent some time promoting my own novel. What do you want to hear from me in the coming weeks?
To name a few options for you:
Building An Author Platform series: I have two article ideas lined up to address tips for building a Facebook page as well as a Pinterest account.
Worldbuilding: The SFWA questionnaire series has just wrapped up, so there’s definitely a lot of content on this site. But I’m always happy to talk about worldbuilding. Comment below with specifics!
The Querying Process: Learn with me as I go along!
More information on Chasing Fae: If you’re interested, I’d love to share more information about my novel.
Anything! Anything is up for grabs, as long as it’s related to books or to writing.
I’d love to generate some ideas in order to keep turning out fresh content twice a week. I want to build up this website to be something that I and the writing community can be proud of. Whether you’re a seasoned writer with several published books or if you’re a young writer like me just starting out with a new idea, I want to hear your voice. Please, please, please, if you enjoy the content that you read on this website, please comment below.
Deciding to create my author website wasn’t an easy one. I had no experience in building a website from scratch, and I wasn’t sure where to start. Building up a website with some decent web traffic would require a serious time commitment and unwavering effort. I needed to be ready to take on this kind of responsibility. As I stand now having executed the preliminary stages of my plans, I am proud to say that I did undertake this project, and I am succeeding.
An author website gives you a chance to connect more personally with your audience, whether you are a published or unpublished writer. It serves as a chance to promote your work as well as share your thoughts on any aspect of writing that you so choose. This can include your own writing process or the reviews of other writers in your genre. No matter what you decide to write about on your website, it gives you a real chance to showcase yourself as a person.
What platforms work best?
When I began to research building a website, I contemplated which website builders were the best to use. Wix, Squarespace, Weebly: I researched them all. What I came up with: WordPress.com.
WordPress.com has an easy to use interface that allows for maximum customization. You can create pages that serve as landing grounds for your readers and categories that can run across the top of a menu to carry blog posts. Even the free version offers a lot of color and theme customization options that creates a professional looking page with a little effort. Upgrading to something like the Premium or Business plans would allow you to access more customization options, support from WordPress themselves, and in the case of the Business plan, the ability to add plugins to create features like mailing lists.
What are the essentials of an author website?
1. Title and tagline
Titles are important. They are your very first impression of your website and should offer an insight into what you write. Titles can come from a multitude of places, so don’t be afraid to try something out and change your mind later. “Fluff About Fantasy” was a fun little phrase with alliteration and a very lighthearted air that I came up with on the fly to hold the URL when I first made the site. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.
A tagline, I personally believe, is an optional feature, especially if you’re just starting out and working on finding your voice. A tagline builds on what your title introduces: who you are and what you do. The tagline for Fluff About Fantasy is “Strengthen your work; revitalize your imagination”. It’s a sentence that is a bit of a work in progress; I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet. But it showcases the purpose of my site fairly well, which is to inspire young fantasy writers in particular to create by taking out the guesswork in the writing process.
2. About page/Bio
If your work interests people, they will want to know more about the writer behind it. DO NOT PHONE THIS IN. Your bio should be fairly substantial, but please do not share your entire life story. There’s no need to. Instead, talk about your writing credentials, your inspirations, and don’t forget to add your contact information.
If you’re unpublished and have no credentials to your name, don’t worry about it! So did I! My bio incorporates how I started writing from a young age, my school career and where I’m headed next, and some of my interests.
3. Consistent Content
I spoke briefly about content in my introduction, so I want to talk about the logistics of putting out content here. To get your website web traffic, you need to churn out content regularly. My research and experience recommends that you post on your website twice a week in the beginning. Pick two days that you know you can put something out on 95% of the time. Again, this is going to take real commitment in order to get somewhere. Once you’ve been in business for about a year, usually you can go down to one post a week.
Tip: Search engines enjoy regularly updated sites that happen on a consistent schedule, so they will be more likely to pick up on your site and move it up the results list. Even in a newer state.
That’s all I have for you all today! I hope that I have been of some help. Let me know in the comments below if you think that next time, I should jump right into social media setup or whether you would like to see a post of a walkthrough of setting up a WordPress site with images and step-by-step instructions. I’ve never tried something like that before, but I would be willing to try! Let me know. Much love. <3
Hey writers! I’m so excited for you to be back at Fluff About Fantasy on this lovely Saturday. Yesterday, I had a fantastic idea about a new short blog series I want to start as the Worldbuilding one is gearing up for its end. I want to present the types of things that I have learned about building an author platform, particularly for fiction writers. Now, I’m young, and I’m new to this writing world. But as a young writer, I have picked up several valuable insights over the last few months that I would love to share with my readers. I hope that it helps new writers, young and old, to develop their readership as they write and shape their stories.
What is an author platform?
Based on what I’ve read, an author platform can be defined several different ways. The way that I’ve best come to know it is as a readership that enjoys what you’re writing and wants to hear more from you. Your platform is made of your message, your audience, and the methods you are using to reach them. Authors use this in the context of finding their target audience to sell their books. When you’re in the early stages, building an author platform can be used to find the people you read alike with, the people who read the genre you’re writing, and other writers who are working just as hard as you to tell their story.
Author platforms are primarily important for nonfiction writers as they need to establish their proficiency in what they are writing about as well as their public persona. For fiction writers, what matters most is the quality of your manuscript. First and foremost, focus on your writing. But having an audience that is regularly interested in what you’re working on and what you have to say can be a very good asset in the eyes of agents and publishers. And more importantly, it is a fantastic asset to yourself. I know that through my connections that I’ve built over the last few months, I have become a stronger writer and a better networker. I’ve made some great friends in the Writing Community that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Elements of An Author Platform
Now, the advice I’m going to give is not a one-size-fits-all package. You have to figure out what works best for you and what is most comfortable for you. However, the information I am going to give is based on what I have learned through research and through my own experience.
Message: What do you want to communicate to your audience? You could be trying to express something complex like a social justice issue or something as simple as the enjoyment of escape through fantasy stories. When I first started to think about this, I made a little list of five elements that I wanted to be associated with. They were as follows:
Emotional and Honest Characters
Strong Advice for Young and New Authors
I’m working on all of these. 😀
Target Audience: Who are the people you want to reach? Again, I made another list of my top five groups that I especially wanted to touch to narrow my focus a bit.
Young Adults Who Enjoy Reading Fantasy
Young Adults and Middle Grade Age Kids Who Enjoy Writing Fantasy
Adults with a Childlike Fascination with Fantasy
Fantasy Authors with a Desire to Help New Authors
Aspiring Fantasy Writers
Tagline: Sometimes it can really help to narrow down your focus to one sentence. Note that I say sometimes; not everyone is good at narrowing it down. Personally, I’m not usually very good at this. I have a hard time summing up my vision in one sentence. However, for the blog which focuses on helping young fantasy writers with their work, I was able to create the tagline: Strengthen your work; revitalize your imagination. I think this sums up a lot of what I am trying to capture through this work. You can let me know how I’m doing in the comments below! (It would be appreciated!)
The Methods of Communication: This is how you communicate with your audience. These options are not exhaustive nor mandatory. But it can give you a good framework of where to start. Anything in italics will be addressed in its own separate article in this series!
All of these elements will help you build a strong author platform that not only will you grow from, but also you will be able to reach out and connect with the greatest of writers and the best of readers.
I’m very excited to share this series with you, and I hope you will all enjoy!