29 April 2015

New developments in AuthorRise, by Chris Weber

Have you ever wondered what triggered a book to suddenly 'leap' up (or drop down) Amazon rankings?  I often do, so it was partly through curiosity that I've been trialling an interesting new concept called AuthorRise. I asked founder and CEO Chris Weber to explain how it all came about:

Our little team started AuthorRise about a year ago to build tools that could help authors grow their own audience. We wanted to build something different than the promotion sites that offer authors a quick burst of marketing. We wanted to support sustainable, everyday actions that any author can take and go from zero readers to a successful business. If someone is serious about becoming a full-time author, it takes time, patience and perseverance.

We do this because everyone on the team is either a writer, a designer, or a maker in some fashion, so we know what it’s like to be doing something creative and also try to build a business out of it on your own. Supporting the creation of great work is one of the noblest pursuits anyone can undertake, and we just hope to help as many authors as possible find the success they're looking for.

In our quest to build the best tools possible, we’ve rebuilt the whole site based on the habits of our most successful members. There are now three sections - Goals, Create, and Track - each with a distinct purpose, but they add up to a system that has been proven to lead to a more engaged audience, and more sales.

The Goals section helps you set simple, achievable goals like “posts-per-day”, and then keep an eye on if you’re hitting the mark. Building a real fan base is a day-at-a-time challenge, and the goals section is meant to encourage you to put in a little bit of steady work every day. It really does add up.

The Create section turns your blog posts, articles, reviews, and recommendations into marketing materials. You can send tweets that include a link to your book and go out as Twitter cards, which are much more visual. We also created “Flyers,” a basic template for sharing content across social networks that we’re able to track. Now you can see how many people are looking at your posts, where they’re coming from, and whether they’re clicking the “buy” button. We designed them to be reusable over time too, so you can re-share the ones that work. It’s a great time-saver in the long run and has a huge impact on the exposure any one piece of content gets.

Lastly, we created a Tracking section to keep an eye on the overall picture of your writing practice. You can see how all of your books are performing at a glance, and compare Flyers to see which ones work, and which don’t. They’re simple statistics, not huge in-depth reports, because we found that while it’s great to keep an eye on things, at some point, more information doesn’t actually help.

On the whole, we’ve found that people who use our tools for 10-15 minutes every day have seen their audience improve in both size and engagement, and we’ve seen an average increase of 10% in sales. We’re constantly building new tools for our members to try. We keep the things that work and ditch the things that don’t. It’s an evolution based on what our community finds to be most valuable, and we love the collaboration.

Chris Weber
On the personal side, I attribute so much of what is good in my life to books, especially reading voraciously as a kid. My parents supported my reading habit without hesitation, even encouraging me to study literature in college despite it's lack of "real world practicality." My goal now is to support the environment that has helped me so much. I think bringing great work into the world is one of the noblest pursuits anyone can undertake, and I just hope to be a part of helping as many authors as possible find the success they're looking for.

Chris Weber

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