Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Author Websites - Why You Need One and What to Include

You've written a book and you want everyone to read it. If you're serious about branding yourself as an author then you’ve made sure to be active on social media, submitted a press release to several PR submission sites, and schmoozed with all the right people (i.e. book bloggers, book reviewers, tour providers, etc.). So what’s missing? Do you have an author website? Does it include all the key elements necessary for informing potential readers about your book? If the answer is no, then you have some work to do. 

If you don’t already have an author website, now is the time to get one. This is especially true if you're planning to take your book on the virtual road with a book tour. It's not at all necessary to invest a lot of money in an author website. Free websites via WordPress or Blogger make perfectly acceptable author sites. In my opinion, it’s much more important to concern yourself with your website content.

Did you know that website visitors spend less than 10 seconds on a website before deciding whether to keep reading or to move on? This shows just how vitally important it is to you and your book to grab your site visitor’s attention immediately. I've compiled some important author website dos and don’ts below.

·       Don’t make your author website too busy. This means no affiliate links and ads. The only ads visitors should see are purchase links for your book.

·       Don’t make it difficult for visitors to find their way around your site. Be concise, precise and specific with your navigation buttons.

·       Don’t confuse an author website with a blog. Visitors don’t care what you ate for breakfast, how cute your dog is or what you did on vacation. The focus should be on your book. Sign up for a free blog for all that other stuff. In fact, a complementary blog is a great additional author marketing tool, since it can be used to interact with readers on a more personal level. Include a link to your blog in your author website navigation bar.

·       Don’t use overly bright, funky colors and odd fonts. If colors and fonts are hard on the eyes or make it difficult to read your content, visitors will leave your site.  

·       Do include your book’s cover photo on your homepage. Resize the photo if necessary, it should not be too large. Make it clickable, to send visitors to Amazon, Smashwords, etc. for purchase. This can’t be stressed enough. If visitors have to hunt and search around the Web for your book, they’ll probably give up.

·       Do include your author bio and photo, and book blurb on your homepage. Links to other pages should be included in your site’s navigation bar, and should include current reviews, schedule of events (promos, giveaways, book signings, book tours, etc.) and a brief book excerpt.

·       Do include social media buttons on your homepage so visitors can follow you on Twitter, Facebook, etc. 

·       Do remember to update often. Keep your events schedule, reviews and bio current.

Remember...your author website represents you and your book. Think of your author website as your home base - where you house your author bio, book blurb, contact info, etc. It's an essential element to include in your book tour, so don't overlook it.

If you're unsure how to go about starting an author website or blog let me know here. I can help!

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