How should I leverage my contacts to promote my book?
Jaguar: Well, in every which way. The theme here is building that sense of community around what you are doing. If you know people who are interested in what you do, the kind of writing you do, they know other people who are interested. You can get a club together and that can be the basis for developing your own fan base, your own community, your own platform.
With communication technology that we have today, this is the golden age of the enthusiast. The golden age of the person who is passionately interested in a specific subject and wants to know other people who are interested in that subject.
The barriers between where you are and where you want to be are often lower than you might think. Everyone's got a connection to, let's say, your local paper. If you are thinking in terms of: “I want to create a local event,” then somebody knows somebody, who knows somebody.
Your local event can get you into your local press, depending on the size of your community. It can be a very low barrier, and that is the way you generate some interest. Further more, everything you can do on that scale, everything you can do to get noticed, is going to be something that shows up on web searches.
If you know people who have any kind of contact with other enthusiasts, with people in the media who are interested in these subjects, again that is building that community. I cannot stress this enough. A community is like a built in audience for your book.
Is there a specific time, line for when you should submit your book proposal after you have established your author's platform?
Jaguar: My thoughts would be a combination of developing a large enough audience and I would say it takes probably at least a year of solid blogging to build up a real community around a blog depending on the interest level involved. When you are actually pitching the book to the publisher, the publisher is actually looking at two things.
The quality of the book, the quality of the idea, and whether it sparks their interest. Also, if they believe it is marketable. What you are aiming for is not a particular schedule but when you reach that threshold, when you can present a publisher with...here is my website it gets so many visits per day, and here is the forum on my website and how many discussions we have and here is my estimate of the market for this book.
Once that gets to a number where you are comfortable in saying these are the sales I think are the potential here with the audience I have developed, then I think that is a good threshold for saying this is the time to put the book proposal in. Not so much how soon you are doing it, but how much you exalt the audience before hand.
I want to thank Jaguar Bennett for the time he took to speak so candidly with me. I have developed a free course to help you take each step, one at a time, to start your author's platform. I will have the link to the free course up in a few days.
Thank you for reading!
If you have any questions at all, please post in my forum or send me an email. I will be glad to help you any way I can.
Bluedolphin Crow is the writer for BellaOnline's Nonfiction Writing Site. Why not circle her on Google+?