As an author...
Should you have an Author’s Website?
And if so, what should be in it?
People may offer different reasons for having a website, but at the top of the list is ‘to make money’. Your author-website is a marketing tool. Marketing is how you get known. Selling is how you get paid.
Your author-site is your connection to the world and can have many elements. Try to make your site interactive to encourage engagement and retention. Here are some ideas, in no particular order:
PROFESSIONAL: First and foremost, your website should look professional. You don’t want your site to look ‘homemade’. That first impression will have them stay longer and keep them coming back.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - BIO PAGE: People are always interested in the story behind the story. Who is the author? What interesting facts are there? Think about what you would want to know about your favourite author.
This is also a good opportunity to let your followers know why you write about your topic and why they should follow you. What is it about your story, your experiences or your training that makes you qualified to write about your subject?
CONTACT INFORMATION: Don’t play hard to get. Make yourself available to people through the normal forms of communication but also through social media. This is often done in the site’s footer or header.
SOCIAL MEDIA: This can be such a powerful form of marketing. It can also be fun but it does take a certain amount of work and persistence. Use social media to promote contests, giveaways and special offers.
BLOG - VLOG: Keep your website interactive and engaging with a blog or vlog.
NEWSLETTER: The list. The list. The list. These are the three most important marketing tools. A newsletter is one of the best ways to generate a list. You don’t need to produce a newsletter every week; once a month or every second month is fine.
You can offer free stuff to anyone who signs up to your newsletter.
TESTIMONIALS: Hopefully you’re collecting testimonials. Written and/or video testimonials are a very powerful way to showing off without tooting your own horn. You can have a dedicated Testimonials page but you can also sprinkle them throughout your website to emphasize your book, your activity book, you free download or whatever else.
FREE ACTIVITY BOOK: This is the perfect giveaway to help entice someone to buy your book or signup for your newsletter. Always ask for a name and email. You then email them the link to download the free activity book.
ANNOUNCE FUTURE BOOK(S): Your website, and newsletter, are a perfect place to announce upcoming books (or other products). Even if the book isn’t written yet, you can create the book cover and use it for pre-sales or to generate interest for the book-launch.
SIGNED COPIES: Your website, and social media, are an excellent way to sell personalised, autographed copies of your books.
BOX SETS: When you have a series of books your website, and social media, are an excellent way to offer the box-set of your series. Amazon doesn’t sell box-sets. They only sell books individually.
FUTURE PRODUCTS: Besides books, there are a number of other products you might like to develop and offer. Use your website to survey and gauge public interest in these idea. How about an app for your book or series? We offer an app-building service that you can sell.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Post you upcoming appearances, readings, speaking engagements, book-signings and events.
INTERACTIVE SURVEYS - CONTESTS: A great way to be interactive and keep your audience interested and returning is to include surveys and contests. This could be for things like ‘Name that Character’ or book titles or what is the friendliest animal? This is also a great way to build your network. Use your social media to bring people to your site in order to take part in the surveys and contests.
You might also have book giveaways for contest sign-up.
PRESS KIT: You might like to make a press-kit available for download. Take the time to research what should go into a press-kit and do the best job you can developing it. This is much like handing out really good business cards.
EXTRA BONUSES - FREE STUFF: People love free stuff. The internet is full of free stuff that you can use on your own site. Make sure it’s relevant to your followers and make sure it doesn’t infringe on copyright protection.