Author websites: Why and what?
No author website is better than a bad author website. Don’t cut corners.
Clients often ask me why they need an author website to market their books. Isn’t it enough to be on social media?
While your social media accounts are vital for communicating with your audience, that is not enough. A good, professional author website is the keystone of a strong marketing strategy.
A poorly-executed website, however, will ruin your credibility and do more harm than good. If design is not in your skill set, get a professional to do it. It’s worth the investment.
Getting started can be daunting. Consider the fundamentals first:
In most cases, it’s bests to use your own name. Particularly if you write fiction, or if you have multiple books. If, however, you have only one book to sell, with a strong product or service angle, use the book’s name (e.g. Mounted archery basics).
Keep it simple but professional! A DIY platform like WordPress is easy to set up and maintain, and much cheaper to outsource if using a template. Use a modern, responsive template with high-quality images and simple navigation. Again, a poorly designed website will chase away prospective readers before you can say “budget constraints”.
Must-have content elements
Potential readers are more likely to support an indie book if they feel invested in the author.
Who are you? Why are you? Why do you write? This is where you share your credentials, background, values, mission; your story.
Don’t be shy! Put yourself out there. People respond to authenticity.
Include a synopses of your book/s with links to online retailers. Get creative with chapter extracts and extra features to pique readers’ interest.
A blog is not just good for engaging with your audience, but also enhances your website’s SEO if you post regularly.
Write about whatever you are passionate about. Be authentic and offer value. Again: No blog is better than a ‘dead’ blog. If you have a blog section; blog frequently!
Email signup and updates
Use your site to start collecting email addresses as soon as you can; long before you publish your book.
Send out occasional newsletters, but don’t spam your subscribers with sales pitches every week. The goal is to build lasting relationships with readers. If your content is good and your engagement authentic, readers will become invested in you as a person over time and will be more likely to click on that sales email when it appears, once in a while.
Testimonials and reviews
Post short testimonials, screenshots from positive comments on social media, and reviews to substantiate your book’s credibility.
Use a News section to advertise your upcoming events, speaking engagements, and appearances. Run frequent competitions, special offers, and giveaways to draw in engagement.
Include a Press page containing all the information a member of the media would need to feature your book. Also have it available as a downloadable PDF.
It’s that simple, and that complicated. Any questions? Reach out!
Contact us if you have any questions or would like a quote for you kick-ass author website.