IngramSpark Academy

Self-Publishing Essentials


How to Build an Author Platform

Learn how to find your book’s audience and how to connect with readers. This free online self‑publishing course is your guide to building author connections to promote your book.

Find Your Audience

What You’ll Learn From This Free Online Self-Publishing Course:

CHAPTER 1 (7 minutes)

Understanding Why People Buy Books

CHAPTER 2 (10 minutes)

Tips for Finding and Engaging with Your Book’s Audience

CHAPTER 3 (4 minutes)

Social and Beta Publishing

CHAPTER 4 (3 minutes)


CHAPTER 5 (6 minutes)

Tips for Building Author Connections

CHAPTER 6 (4 minutes)

How to Build Your Author Brand

CHAPTER 7 (3 minutes)

Growing Your Audience with Free Content

CHAPTER 8 (2 minutes)

Why You Might Want to Consider Writing a Book Series

author platform icon

Average Time to Complete: 45 minutes

Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Course Overview:

Hey everybody. I'm Kelvin with IngramSpark, and today we're going to be discussing a self-publishing course we've put together for you as an author.

Now, the focal point of this self-publishing course is going to be how to build an author platform and that is a rather broad subject, so we're going to be breaking it down into eight different chapters where you can expect to learn how to connect with your readers, how to find your book's audience, how to promote your book, information on self-publishing, and even ebook promotion. And those are just some of the key elements you can expect us to cover within the entirety of this self-publishing course. Now, let's go ahead and take a quick look at the individual chapters you'll be coming across.

CHAPTER 1: Understanding Why People Buy Books

Millions of books are purchased and published every single year, but the ones that succeed are the ones with authors who understand their audience, as well as what compels a reader to buy. This chapter will help you gain a better understanding of why people buy books, as well as how they make their purchasing decisions.

CHAPTER 2: Tips For Finding and Engaging Your Audience

So, let's say you wrote a great book. One that everyone and their mother should read. But they're not. Why exactly is that happening? Well, for a majority of books, it usually comes down to the fact that the author hasn't properly identified the right audience. So, in this chapter, we'll help you learn how to find your audience, as well as how to engage your audience.

CHAPTER 3: Social and Beta Publishing

Social and beta publishing are an excellent way to test how well your book will resonate with readers before it's published because you may find out that your best audience isn't exactly who you expected it to be.

CHAPTER 4: Crowdfunding

In the last decade, crowdfunding has gone digital and become a major source of funding for creative projects. But even more than just raising money, crowdfunding is an excellent opportunity to cultivate a community that will love your book, even before it's made. How exciting is that?

CHAPTER 5: Tips for Building Author Connections

Now, for some writers, building an author platform comes naturally, but for others who would consider the activity of networking to be extremely extroverted, this is a very draining experience. Fortunately, today, there are more opportunities to build author connections, both in person and online, than ever before. So, regardless of whether you're introverted or extroverted, in this chapter, we want to discuss how to properly establish author connections and find the people who really love your work the most.

CHAPTER 6: How to Build Your Author Brand

Large companies spend millions of dollars every single year to make their brands a focal point of daily conversation. But unlike many of these large scale companies, you as an indie author have plenty of opportunity to create a much more personal experience when it comes to how people are receiving your brand.

CHAPTER 7: Growing Your Audience With Free Content

Every word you write is a tool for promoting your brand and driving more sales. And while it may sound slightly counterintuitive, giving away free, valuable content that your audience can engage with will definitely benefit you in the long run. The more you get your name and writing out there, the easier it is to build brand recognition and grow your following.

CHAPTER 8: Why You Might Want to Consider Writing a Book Series

Naturally, a book series has the tendency to sell a lot more books if done correctly. But naturally, a book series isn't necessarily for every author. So, in this chapter, we'll give you key points of consideration that'll help you decide whether or not a book series is right for you.

And there you have it. There's a brief overview of what you can expect to find within this self-publishing course. We hope you'll take full advantage of it. IngramSpark believes in your publisher education and that's what makes it so much more than just a printer and book distribution partner for authors and publishers. So, without further ado, go ahead and get started with this self-publishing course. And until next time, we'll talk to you soon. Bye.

Content in this online self-publishing course originally appeared as individual IngramSpark blog articles, authored by the following contributors:

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