I met Thomas Umstattd at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. After chatting with him, I was impressed by his humility and brilliance. He actually made technology less intimidating, and even a bit more inviting.
I’ve come across many writers who cringe at the mention of platform building and marketing strategies. But, with a pal like Thomas, writers can gain the courage and confidence required to develop an effective online presence.
Thank you for joining us, Thomas. Would you please share a little bit about your background and experience?
I built my first website at age 13, taught my first web design class at age 16, and have been helping Authors online since 2007.
WOW! Building your first website at 13? I can barely post on my website and I’m . . . no comment. So, what made you decide to launch The Best Seller Society?
I was at a writer’s conference where the speaker encouraged us to start a blog and a website for our books. I remember thinking, no problem I do that all the time.
Then, I saw the look of panic on the faces of the other attendees and realized I had something to offer the author community.
We launched the Bestseller Society several years later. Our goal is to provide authors the resources they need to succeed year round.
How can unpublished writers and published authors benefit from your services?
Platforms are essential. And Author Media builds platforms for authors every day.
We do everything from building the website to setting up Facebook and Twitter. We show you how to use social media effectively and will even do it for you. (You can see samples here!)
How does Author Media and The BSS serve writers who are not tech savvy?
If you’re tech savvy, you probably don’t need our help :-). We hold each author’s hand through the scary world of technology.
I’m already feeling less intimidated by the process. But, what can those super-writers, who excel in all things technology, gain from partnering with your team?
The biggest thing we offer “super-writers” is time. Just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean you have the time to do it.
We work with Bestselling authors. The biggest reason they come to us is that they’re too busy writing and speaking to worry about their website.
In your experience, what is the greatest challenge a writer faces with platform building?
Have you been reading my journal, Thomas? Just kidding. How has your team helped writers overcome that challenge?
We give authors the tools, coaching and encouragement they need to not only help them overcome their fear, but to equip them to thrive in their writing and promotion.
Sounds like a win-win situation, to me. What are some easy, inexpensive ways writers can begin building a platform today?
Start blogging. That is the core of good online platform building for authors because it is so similar to writing. Just avoid blogger, blogspot, typepad and WordPress.com. If you want a successful blog it needs to be on YourName.com or YourBookTitle.com.
Great tip! What final words of encouragement would you like to share with writers who are intimidated by platform building and marketing strategies?
The anticipation of the unknown is the hardest thing to overcome. Just get started. You’ll find it’s not as tough as you might think, especially if you have someone to help you along.
Thank you for joining us, Thomas. I look forward to seeing how God continues to use the BSS and Author Media to encourage writers as you equip them to excel in the art of platform building.
Xochi (so-she) E. Dixon is an writer, speaker, and Bible teacher who loves Jesus and studying God’s Word. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Alan, their teenage son, Xavier, and their doggy-daughter, Jazzy. Xochi writes contemporary fiction, articles and devotions for women. Her short stories and poetry for teens have been featured in ENCOUNTER – The Magazine, Devo ‘Zine, and on the Real Teen Faith website. Connect with Xochi on her website at www.xedixon.com or on Facebook and Twitter.